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Top Foods to Try When You Visit Japan

Visiting another country gives you the opportunity to try some of your favorite dishes right where they originated. If you love to dine at Japanese restaurants in your hometown, then continue reading to learn some of the top foods that you should try when visiting Japan.


For many fans of Japanese food and culture, it goes without saying that sushi is a must-try when visiting Japan. During your stay, you should have no trouble finding makizushi, which you may know as sushi rolls, made with ingredients like cucumber, avocado, and tuna, as well as salmon, squid, and tuna nigiri, which is raw fish served over a small portion of formed rice.


If you enjoy eating sushi, then sashimi should certainly be on your list of foods to try while in Japan. Sashimi is made with raw fish, like many types of sushi, but it is not served with rice. Instead, sashimi, which is raw fish or meat, is served only with condiments like soy sauce, wasabi, and ginger.


Full of different flavors, textures, and colors, sukiyaki is a traditional Japanese entrée that features a variety of ingredients that are stewed in a soy sauce broth. While this dish has many variations, some of the most common ingredients that are used to make sukiyaki include beef, cabbage, leeks, mushrooms, tofu, spinach, carrots, and shirataki noodles.


In Japan, there are restaurants and bars that specialize in serving yakitori, which is chicken that is seasoned, skewered, and barbecued. Be sure to stop by one of these locations and give yakitori a try.


You are bound to enjoy a bowl of authentic ramen in Japan far more than you have any packaged or microwavable varieties that you have tried. This dish is typically made with ramen noodles served in a broth along with ingredients like pork, chicken, eggs, spinach, scallions, garlic, and mushrooms.

If you have a craving for delicious Japanese dining in San Jose, then call House of Genji at (408) 453-8120 to book your restaurant at our Japanese steakhouse.

Exploring Traditional Japanese Sweets

When dining at your favorite Japanese restaurant, you may have seen types of wagashi, which are traditional Japanese sweets, listed on the menu. Keep reading to learn about some popular types of wagashi.


Made from little, sweet rice dumplings that are boiled and grilled, dango is served on a skewer and can be enjoyed plain or flavored with things likes sesame seeds, sweet soy sauce, red bean paste, soy four, and matcha green tea. This chewy type of wagashi is standard fare at festivals in Japan.


Daifuku are little cakes that have a soft, outer layer of rice cake that is dusted in flour, and a smooth, sweet filling. The rice cake can be made in a variety of shapes and colors, and some popular filling varieties include sweet red beans, ice cream, ume paste, fresh strawberries, and matcha cream.


Manju is a type of steamed pastry that is often made with wheat flour and filled with sweet red bean paste. This dessert can be made in various shapes but is usually in the form of a small, round cake.


Warabimochi is a traditional Japanese dessert that has a sweet a nutty flavor, a jelly-like consistency, and is covered with a powdery coating. The jelly part is made using starch from warabi bracken, which is a type of fern, and the powder is made from soybeans.


Like most wagashi, namagashi were developed to be served during tea ceremonies, but these desserts are higher in moisture content than many other wagashi varieties. These little cakes are often formed into colorful and elegant designs and filled with ingredients like chestnuts, fruit jellies, and sweet bean paste.


Dorayaki are made using two round, flat, sponge cakes that traditionally have a red bean paste filling in the middle. However, this sweet, sandwich-like treat can also be found with fillings like custard, ice cream, and whipped cream.

At our Japanese steakhouse and cocktail lounge in San Jose, House of Genji specializes in serving tasty, teppanyaki-style Japanese food. To make your reservation, please call us at (408) 453-8120.

What Is Mochi?

Did you recently visit a Japanese restaurant and notice something called “mochi” on the menu? If so, and if you haven’t tried mochi before, then you may be wondering what this food is and how it is made.

Mochi is a Japanese rice cake, and it is made by steaming sticky rice and then pounding it until it has a smooth texture. Then, the rice can be formed into small pieces or a larger one and then cut. Mochi can be cooked in a variety of ways, for example by grilling, steaming, or baking it. At this point, the mochi can be eaten as is, added to soup, filled with ingredients like ice cream or red bean paste, or flavored and sweetened.

At House of Genji, we offer delicious and authentic Japanese dining in San Jose, as well as teppanyaki food and a cocktail lounge. You can make your reservation today by calling (408) 453-8120.

Did You Know That These Numbers Are Considered Unlucky in Japan?

Are you a fan of teppanyaki dining? If so, then you may be interested in learning about the country where this cuisine originated. Watch this video to discover what numbers are thought of as unlucky in Japan.

In Japan, four is considered unlucky, because it is sometimes pronounced the same way that the word for “death” is. Hospitals and some hotels in Japan have no fourth floor or rooms 4 or 40-49, and it is customary to give gifts in sets of three or five instead of four. Nine is also considered unlucky because it is sometimes pronounced in the same way as the kanji for the word “suffering.”

At our Japanese steakhouse in San Jose, House of Genji offers teppanyaki, sushi, and a cocktail lounge where you can enjoy wonderful food and well-crafted cocktails. To make your reservation, please give us a call at (408) 453-8120.

Answering Common Questions About Karaoke in Japan

After enjoying a meal at a Japanese restaurant, heading to a karaoke facility is a popular option for many people in Japan. If you’re curious about this activity, then read on to learn the answers to common questions about karaoke in Japan.

What is karaoke?

Karaoke is a singing activity that originated in Japan and has become popular in many other countries. In Japan, karaoke often serves as a social activity that is great for stress relief and entertainment.

Where is Karaoke performed in Japan?

Like in the United States, karaoke bars are an option in Japan. However, karaoke boxes are often more popular and prevalent. You can typically find karaoke boxes in busy metro areas.

What is a karaoke box?

Various chain stores in Japan offer karaoke boxes, which are sound-proofed rooms that people can rent by the half hour and use for karaoke. In these rooms, individuals, pairs, and groups can sing their favorite songs in a private space. When renting a karaoke box, you can typically order drinks and food to enjoy while there.

What happens during karaoke?

Of course, there is lots of singing involved in karaoke. After renting a karaoke box in Japan, you enter the room and then select a song to sing. Some locations offer instruments like tambourines and maracas that can be used, as well.

Does karaoke have rules in Japan?

While karaoke doesn’t have rules, there is etiquette associated with this activity. For example, it’s important to wait your turn, to let others pick songs, and for everyone to choose songs that the rest of the group will enjoy. Also, while someone is singing, it’s best not to look bored or use your phone. Finally, don’t be shy and join in on the karaoke fun!

Come and get a taste of Japanese culture at House of Genji, where we offer a cocktail lounge and teppanyaki in San Jose. To schedule your reservation with our Japanese steakhouse, please call (408) 453-8120.

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