Along the Chikuma River here in the Kamiyamada and Sakaki areas, fireworks went off at 5am this morning. They were announcing the start of the Ayu Fishing Season.
Yesterday I paid a visit to one of the fish shacks, Maruken in Sakaki. This year's start was delayed by 2 weeks to allow the ayu to size up, and according to the Maruken guys, it was worth the wait.
Here at Kamesei Ryokan, Chef Takei is marking the start of the season by serving salt rubbed grilled ayu to our dinner guests. 'Tis the taste of the season, and our region. Ahh, it's so nice to be here in Nagano!