Ayu lives in streams in Japan, and it is considered to be a summer treat in mountain villages. Even though they are not endangered, the fishing is banned from fall to spring in order to protect the resources. From early summer to fall, many people enjoy fishing and eating ayu.
Actually, I am not familiar with this fish, because I am from a coastal city facing Pacific ocean. But there is something special about it. Many people said that the fish smells like a watermelon. Actually, it is said that ayu grew up in clear water smells like a watermelon, but ayu grew up in murky water smells like a cucumber.
They are typically grilled with sprinkles of salt. Some restaurants grill them around a charcoal pit, showing off spectacular view like the photo above.
If you have a chance visiting Japan in summer, try ayu.