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Planning a Visit to Japan's Jidai Matsuri Festival

Japanese dining and culture are a favorite of many here in the United States. If you love trying new dishes when you visit your local Japanese restaurant, then you may be interested to learn more about Japan’s festivals and celebrations. As one of Kyoto’s 3 largest festivals, the Jidai Matsuri is a sight to behold.

Where to Go

Kyoto, Japan is a city with more than a millennium of history. Located on the country’s main island of Honshu, this city was once the imperial capital of Japan. The Jidai Matsuri is 1 of Kyoto’s 3 largest festivals, and it is a parade that begins at the city’s Imperial Palace and ends at the Heian-Jingu Shrine. The procession travels 4.6 miles between these 2 points.

When to Go

The Jidai Matsuri is an annual festival that takes place every October on the 22 nd. This date marks the anniversary of the foundation of Kyoto and has been celebrated with this festival since 1895. The procession typically departs from the palace at noon and reaches the shrine by 2:30 pm. While viewing the parade, you can expect it to take about 2 hours to see it from start to finish.

What to Expect

Because it celebrates the foundation of Kyoto, the Jidai Matsuri is designed to give you a glimpse into the city’s history. The impressive parade consists of more than 2000 participants, and each is dressed in a historically-accurate costume. The characters that you will see are meant to depict the 1100 years of history in which Kyoto was Japan’s capital, and the procession is divided into historical eras. At the beginning of the parade, you will see individuals dressed as those from the Meiji Restoration in 1868, which are followed in reverse chronological order back to the characters of the Heian period in 781.

House of Genji Japanese steakhouse offers you a way to get a taste of Japan’s food and culture. Our Japanese restaurant serving San Jose offers a cocktail lounge, teppanyaki, sushi, and more. To make a reservation, please call us at (408) 453-8120.

Getting Your Seafood Fix at House of Genji

For hundreds of years, Japan’s people have relied heavily on the ocean’s bounties, and this is evident in many of the country’s traditional meals. To this day, seafood in various forms plays a significant role in many Japanese dishes. If you’re searching for the right Japanese restaurant to help satisfy your hunger for seafood, then look no further than House of Genji.

At this Japanese steakhouse, you’ll find a unique menu that boasts a range of seafood entrées. A few examples of these include scallops with New York steak, scallops with filet mignon, steak and lobster, smoked salmon rolls, tuna sashimi, and the Genji seafood combo, which features lobster tail, prawns, and jumbo sea scallops.

To get your seafood fix in the form of Japanese dining in San Jose, come see us at House of Genji. We serve teppanyaki and sushi, and also have a cocktail lounge. Call us today at (408) 453-8120 to schedule your reservation.

Inside the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine Flea Market

If you love the dining options that are available when you visit a Japanese restaurant, then take a look at some of the street foods found at the Kitano Tenmangu shrine flea market. Located in northwest Kyoto, this market features a wide variety of goods, including everything from woodworking tools to traditional garments.

Watch this video for a glimpse inside the Kitano Tenmangu shrine flea market. If you visit the market, you should know that the vendors are often willing to negotiate on prices, so you should arrive prepared to haggle. After perusing the wares, don’t forget to step inside the main grounds to take in the beauty of the ancient Kitano Tenmangu shrine.

At House of Genji, our Japanese steakhouse and cocktail lounge in San Jose offers a wide selection of delicious and unique Japanese dining options. To find out more about our Japanese food menu, call (408) 453-8120.

Perfect Additions to Any Teppanyaki Meal

When it comes to Japanese dining, teppanyaki meals are a common favorite. For this type of entrée, your chef cooks your food right at your table, often with a touch of drama and flair. If you are planning to try this exciting dining style, then consider including some of these popular additions to your meal:


When you first arrive at the Japanese restaurant, your appetite is likely to be instantly stimulated by the delicious aromas that fill the room. As you sit down and begin looking over the menu, consider ordering some appetizers to help tide you over as you watch your meal being cooked. Some favorites that go well with teppanyaki include miso soup, seaweed salad, edamame, and age-gyoza, which are Japanese-style pot stickers.


After snacking on appetizers and watching as your entrée is prepared, you may want to enjoy a side order or two to complement your teppanyaki meal. Side dishes that are commonly paired with teppanyaki dishes of all kinds include tempura, deep fried calamari, agedashi tofu, and panko wings, which are breaded and deep fried chicken wings. For sushi lovers, ordering sashimi or a sushi roll could be the best choice. Some options that pair well with teppanyaki include tuna rolls, cucumber rolls, tuna sashimi, and smoked salmon sashimi.


Once you have finished your entrée and are relaxing with your party members, there’s no better way to finish off your meal than with a tasty and refreshing dessert. Some popular choices that you are likely to see in teppanyaki restaurants include fresh fruit, sherbet, and green tea ice cream. These selections are all sweet and richly flavored, making them ideal options for your final dish of the night.

At House of Genji, we specialize in providing a unique and delicious style of Japanese dining in San Jose. To book your reservations or to find out about our teppanyaki menu, call us today at (408) 453-8120.

A Guide to Obon Season in Japan

If you’re a fan of Japanese restaurants and culture, then you may be interested to hear about Obon season, one of Japan’s major holidays. Obon (or Bon) is a Buddhist event that’s celebrated in mid-August and is held for people to commemorate their ancestors. Use this guide to gain a better understanding of Obon.

Lighting and Hanging Lanterns

Once the first day of Obon arrives, people hang lights and lanterns outside their front doors or inside of their houses to help guide the spirits of their ancestors back home. If someone is celebrating their first Bon holiday after losing a family member, then the lanterns are typically placed outside to better guide the spirit of the deceased on its first journey back home.

Ozen and Grave Cleaning

During Obon, families visit the graves of their ancestors to perform a ritual cleaning of the gravestones. Additionally, people will place handmade sweets, fresh fruit, sake, and green tea on their home’s Buddhist altar, at ancestors’ graves, and at Buddhist temples. Called ozen, these offerings to the dead are intended to treat the spirits as if they were still alive.

Bon Dancing

At many towns and cities throughout the country, groups of dancers practice for months leading up to Obon season. During the holiday, streets are closed off, and Bon dancers perform Bon Odori that began hundreds of years ago as spiritual performances. The dances performed during Obon are some of those that make Japan’s dancing so recognizable.

Saying Farewell

At the end of Obon, people can send off the spirits in several ways. Those who live near water often set out paper lanterns to float down rivers, with each flame representing a departed ancestor. Others light ceremonial fires in the shape of kanji, and some temples hold fire ceremonies.

If you enjoy Japanese culture, teppanyaki, sushi, and hibachi, then visit us at House of Genji. At our Japanese steakhouse near San Jose, we offer a broad range of delicious entrées, side dishes, and cocktails. To learn more about Japanese dining, call us today at (408) 453-8120.

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