Wakaayu (若あゆ)

Wakaayu is a kind of Japanese confectionery which is made with gyuhi (a kind of rice cake made from glutinous rice or glutinous rice flour) wrapped in an oval sponge cake, shaped into a semicircle and marked with an eye and fins. It is also called Ayuyaki, Ayu or Yakiayu.

It developed from a type of confectionery made with gyuhi rolled in sponge cake called Chofu which symbolizes cloth collected in Soyocho (a tax system, corvee), and, in the course of history, its form was changed into a more refined shape of an ayu (a sweet fish).

It used to be sold in time for the start of the ayu fishing season in June, but lately it can be seen around the end of Golden Week (early-May holiday season in Japan).

It is mainly made as a famous kind of cake all over Honshu, and while in places like Kyoto and Gifu Prefectures only gyuhi is wrapped inside, sweet bean paste is added in the Kanto region.