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Must-See Sites in Tokyo

When planning a trip to Tokyo, many people who are fans of the country’s food look forward to trying different Japanese restaurants while there. Continue reading to learn about what sites you should visit in between meals.

Meiji Shrine

Dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken, the Meiji shrine is the most famous Shinto shrine in the city and boasts a peaceful ambiance and austere appearance. The shrine was dedicated to Emperor Meiji of the 19 th century who is known for opening Japan to the West.

Tsukiji Fish Market

If you’re a fan of seafood or sushi, then the Tsukiji fish market deserves a spot on your Tokyo to-do list. However, keep in mind that most of the business here winds down by 9:00 am, so be sure to get there early. If you’re interested in seeing the live tuna auctions, then call ahead to learn if public access will be allowed on the day you’d like to visit. Outside the wholesale market, you’ll find stalls selling specialty items and fresh fish.

Yoyogi Park

If you’re looking for a stop that will brighten your day and fill the hours with various types of entertainment, then stop by Yoyogi Park. Here, you’ll see everything for play rehearsals and club meetings to dance and musical performances. For a more peaceful atmosphere, head to the north and west areas of the park. At Yoyogi Park, you can also rent bikes, buy a beer, or purchase snacks.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

Where Yoyogi Park is highly entertaining, the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is stunningly beautiful. This green space is particularly breathtaking in late March and early April when the cherry blossoms open. Be sure to pick up a map while you’re there, so you won’t miss any of the major gardens that are featured.

House of Genji is a Japanese steakhouse that offers teppanyaki Japanese dining in San Jose. To learn more or make a reservation, please call (408) 453-8120.

Highlighting Some of Japan's Most Interesting Traditions

Do you love visiting Japanese restaurants and trying new dishes? If so, then you may enjoy learning about some cultural practices of Japan. Read on to learn about some of the country’s most interesting traditions.

Bean Throwing

Celebrated on the night before the first day of spring, according to the Japanese lunar calendar, Setsubun is a holiday that is traditionally believed to mark a closer union between this world and that of spirits. For this reason, it’s said that demons are more likely to appear on this day, and parents in Japan wear scary masks to frighten children. In turn, children hurl toasted soybeans to scare away demons.

Mountain Burning

Yamayaki is a Japanese word that means burning down a mountain, and it’s also the name of a festival that involves burning away old vegetation from a mountainside before the coming of spring. This process is often a sight to behold, and today the tradition is often combined with fireworks shows.

Sumo Salting

Did you know that before beginning a match, sumo wrestlers toss salt into the air to purify the ring? Some wrestlers choose to add flare to the tradition by throwing the salt towards the ceiling in a dramatic fashion. This tradition stems from a ritual called Harae, which is used to purify Shinto shrines and is a practice that is said to drive away evil spirits.

Onsen Towels

Onsen are hot springs, and their use is a beloved pastime in Japan. According to tradition, the waters should be kept pure. For this reason, it’s important to clean oneself before entering an onsen, so a small towel is brought along. However, the towel is dirty once used for bathing, but there is typically nowhere to store the towel while using the onsen. To solve this issue and keep the waters pure, people traditionally fold the towel and store it on top of their head.

At House of Genji, our cocktail lounge and Japanese restaurant serving San Jose offers fantastic drinks, delicious teppanyaki, and authentic Japanese food. To schedule a reservation, please give us a call at (408) 453-8120.

What Are Gyoza?

Gyoza are a staple on Japanese restaurant menus, and if you’ve never tried them as a side dish or appetizer, then you may be wondering what they could be. Gyoza are commonly referred to as pot stickers and are dumplings typically filled with meat, vegetables, or both. Gyoza originated in China but are incredibly popular in Japan. Some of the most common gyoza fillings include chives, cabbage, ginger, garlic, green onion, and pork.

Gyoza can be prepared in any of several ways. Yaki gyoza, which are the most common variety of these dumplings, are pan fried in a hot skillet. Often served in a light broth, sui gyoza are boiled and are far less common in restaurants. Finally, age gyoza are deep fried, have a crispy texture, and are also quite rare to find on a menu.

House of Genji offers gyoza, teppanyaki, hibachi, sushi, and much more. If you have questions about our menu or would like to make a reservation at our Japanese steakhouse in San Jose, then please give us a call at (408) 453-8120.

Wasabi 101

If you’ve ever ordered sushi at a Japanese restaurant, then it was probably served along with condiments like pickled ginger, soy sauce, and wasabi. Watch this video to learn about what wasabi is and how it is used.

Wasabi is a root vegetable that grows in sandy, mountainous areas where there is cold, shallow, running water. Because of the unique environmental conditions that the plant requires, wasabi can be quite difficult to grow. For this reason, genuine wasabi is often very expensive.

At House of Genji Japanese steakhouse, we offer delicious Japanese dining and feature a cocktail lounge. If you would like more information about our Japanese restaurant serving San Jose, then please give us a call today at (408) 453-8120.

How Valentine's Day Is Celebrated in Japan

Here in the U.S., many people associate Valentine’s Day with men presenting gifts to the women that they are in a relationship with or interested in. In Japan, this holiday is celebrated quite differently. If you love dining at Japanese restaurants and discovering new things about this country’s culture, then continue reading to learn about the celebration of Valentine’s Day in Japan.

Valentine’s Day

Just like in the United States, Valentine’s Day is a big business holiday for Japanese retailers. However, Japan has a deep-rooted tradition of women offering chocolates to men on Valentine’s Day, rather than the other way around. There are several theories as to how this came about, with many having to do with the fact that confectionaries marketed their chocolates to women as a way to show their affection to men that interested them. In this country, there are 2 types of chocolates that women give out on Valentine’s Day. The first, called giri-choco (obligatory chocolate) is offered to colleagues and friends. Giving someone honmei-choco (true feeling chocolate), on the other hand, is considered a genuine display of affection.

White Day

In Japan, the gift giving doesn’t end with Valentine’s Day. Exactly 1 month later, this country celebrates a counterpart to the romantic holiday on March 14 th, called White Day. This holiday gives men the chance to return the affection that they were shown on Valentine’s Day by giving a gift to the women from whom they received chocolate. Often, the gifts given are white chocolates that are meant to match the name of the holiday. Along with chocolates, flowers and other gifts are often given. Many department stores make a point to advertise White Day with gift displays to ensure that men don’t forget to purchase gifts for women.

House of Genji is a Japanese steakhouse that features a cocktail lounge and offers teppanyaki in San Jose. If you would like to know more about us or make a Japanese dining reservation, then please call (408) 453-8120.

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