What is Muko?

The Otokuni area is a specialty area for bamboo and bamboo shoots

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The Otokuni area is a specialty area for bamboo and bamboo shoots.

Beautiful bamboo forests spread out at the foot of the Nishiyama Hills, and the area is said to be associated with the legend of “Kaguyahime” (Princess Kaguya).

The local moso bamboo was brought back to Japan from China by Zenji Dogen in the Kamakura period (1185-1333), and it is said that the first bamboo planted in Japan was at Jakushoin Temple in Nagaokakyo City.

The local moso bamboo is grown using a unique cultivation method under favorable natural conditions of well-drained acidic soil. It is dug out with a unique digging hoe called “hori,” made by a blacksmith.

These white, soft bamboo shoots have been recognized as a brand-name product as “Kyo bamboo shoots” and are an indispensable ingredient in Kyoto’s spring cuisine.

Bamboo has been used for a long time, with bamboo baskets excavated from the Yayoi period (710-794). It has been used for a variety of purposes, including daily tools such as baskets and colanders, fans, tea sets, musical instruments, and materials for civil engineering and construction.

In Nagaokakyo City, which has a strong connection with bamboo, the bamboo grove has become the face of the city, and fantastic bamboo-themed events have been held to help revitalize the city.

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