Long winter is over and a sense spring is in the air at the arrival of March, traditionally called “yayoi”. Peak season of winter fish such as “saba” (mackerel) or “hirame” (sole) ends while spring fish, “madai” (red sea bream) or “tachiuo” (largehead hairtail) for example, begins to appear.
However, the truly delicious is shellfish, because the best season for many of bivalves that inhabit sandy beaches or tidal zones such as “asari” (Japanese littleneck clam), “hamaguri” (hard clam), or “aoyagi (bakagai)” (the meat of surf clam) is early spring.
Also “hotaru-ika” (firefly squid) caught in the Sea of Japan is the popular delight of the season that appears in March. Those of Toyama Bay are known for their high quality and are used as ingredient for “gunkan-maki” (a type of sushi made by wrapping seaweed around sushi rice and placing ingredients on top).