Besides being a useful building material, bamboo also is a potential source of bioactive substances. Although some studies have been performed to examine its use in terms of the biological activity, only certain parts of bamboo, especially the leaves or shoots, have been studied. Comprehensive and comparative studies among different parts of bamboo would contribute to a better understanding and application of this knowledge. In this study, the biological activities of ethanol and water extracts from the leaves, branches, outer culm, inner culm, knots, rhizomes and roots of Phyllostachys pubescens, the major species of bamboo in Japan, were comparatively evaluated. The phytochemical profiles of these extracts were tentatively determined by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis. The results showed that extracts from different parts of bamboo had different chemical compositions and different antioxidative, antibacterial and antiallergic activities, as well as on on melanin biosynthesis. Outer culm and inner culm were found to be the most important sources of active compounds. 8-C-Glucosylapigenin, luteolin derivatives and chlorogenic acid were the most probable compounds responsible for the anti-allergy activity of these bamboo extracts. Our study suggests the potential use of bamboo as a functional ingredient in cosmetics or other health-related products.