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A Look at Dining Etiquette in Japanese Culture

When dining at a Japanese restaurant in the United States, many people use Western table etiquette. If you’re curious about what table manners are followed in Japan, then read on to learn about dining etiquette in Japanese culture.


While some restaurants in Japan feature Western tables and chairs, others use traditional low tables, tatami mats, and cushions. In these situations, it’s customary to remove your slippers or shoes before stepping onto the tatami mat and to avoid stepping on the cushions of others. Seating order is also a consideration, and the most important person at the table typically sits farthest from the room’s entrance, and the least important person or the host sits closest to the entrance.


At most restaurants in Japan, customers are provided with wet towels to clean their hands before eating. People typically wait to eat until everyone’s dishes arrive and then begin the meal with the phrase “ itadakimasu,” which means “I receive gratefully.” It’s considered good dining etiquette in Japan to finish one’s food down to the last grain of rice and to then return the dishes to where they were placed at the beginning of the meal. Burping, chewing loudly, or blowing one’s nose at the table are considered bad table manners in Japan.


It’s customary in Japan to wait until everyone has their glass to begin drinking. Then, the glasses are raised, and a salute is said, usually “ kampai,” which means “cheers.” When it comes to drinking alcoholic beverages, it’s ideal not to serve yourself. Instead, people periodically check the cups of others and offer refills. If someone offers to refill your cup, then it’s good manners to drink more from your cup and then extend your glass toward the person.

At our Japanese restaurant in San Jose, House of Genji features a cocktail lounge and teppanyaki dining. If you have questions or wish to make a reservation, then please call (408) 453-8120.

What to Expect at the Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival

The Hakata Gion Yamakasa is a religious summer festival that runs from July 1 st to the 15 th at the Kushida-Jinja Shrine in Hakata, Fukuoka. If you enjoy eating at Japanese restaurants and learning about the country’s culture, then you are sure to love this event, which has been celebrated for hundreds of years and is Fukuoka’s oldest festival. It is said that the tradition originated from a time when a Buddhist priest spread holy water in the streets to defeat a plague.

During the festival, men carry large, elaborately decorated, 1-ton floats called yamakasa. They then race through the streets past spectators, who can sometimes reach 1 million in number. 1 or more men ride on the floats and splash water onto the participants lining the streets. Although the event begins on the first, the float race isn’t held until the morning of the 15 th.

If you’re interested in trying a Japanese restaurant in San Jose, House of Genji features sushi, teppanyaki, and hibachi and we have a fabulous cocktail lounge. To learn more or make a reservation, please call (408) 453-8120.

Get a Glimpse of Teppanyaki Cooking in Japan

Are you a fan of Japanese dining? If so, then you’ve probably heard of teppanyaki, which is an entertaining and impressive form of grill cooking. Watch this video to get a look at teppanyaki being prepared in Japan.

First, the large, flat grill is heated and oiled to prepare for cooking. Next, the chef uses different parts of the grill to cook ingredients like onions, cabbage, spinach, noodles, and meat. Using metal spatulas to stir and flip the food along with metal bowls to trap heat, the chef expertly prepares complete dishes which are then served to waiting customers.

Are you ready to give teppanyaki dining a try? You can try teppanyaki and much more here at House of Genji, a Japanese restaurant serving San Jose. Please call (408) 453-8120 to make your reservation.

Travel in Japan: Which Month Is Right for You?

Do you love Japanese restaurants and culture so much that you want to visit Japan? If so, then you might get more out of your trip by knowing a bit about travel and events at different times of the year. The following is a bit about what to expect in Japan month-by-month:


Cold, sunny, and great for skiing, January boasts reasonable travel prices if you avoid the New Years holiday.


February marks the beginning of spring according to the old Japanese lunar calendar, and this month includes plenty of wonderful winter festivals to attend.


Pleasant spring weather starts up by late March, and the cherry blossoms begin to bloom in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto.


April marks the beginning of cherry blossom season, and the weather is pleasant in most parts of Japan. April has many events designed to celebrate spring and concludes with the Golden Week holiday.


May is the last month of mild spring weather before Japan’s rainy season commences, and it’s packed with events, holidays, and festivals.


This month is the rainy season for most of Japan, includes a few events, and can be a great month for finding travel deals.


School holidays start in July, beaches open for use, and the summer festival season begins.


August is humid, hot, filled with events, and known for having high travel prices.


Japan’s rainiest month is marked by typhoons and the closing of the summer festival season.


This month includes events and autumn festivals and enjoys reasonable travel prices.


Cool, crisp, and brightened with autumn leaves, November can be expensive for travel to areas known for having beautiful fall colors.


The sunniest month of the year, December is chilly and filled with forget-the-year parties. Large cities are decorated for Christmas and stores are abuzz with holiday shoppers.

Do you want to enjoy a taste of Japan here at home? If so, then come and see us at House of Genji, where we serve sushi and teppanyaki at our Japanese restaurant in San Jose. Please call (408) 453-8120 to schedule your reservation.

A Look at Nightlife in Osaka, Japan

Do you often visit the cocktail lounge at your local Japanese steakhouse? If so, then you may enjoy learning more about entertainment and nightlife in Japan. Osaka, which is located in the Kansai region, is part of the Keihanshin metropolitan area, which is the second largest one in Japan. Continue reading for an introduction to Osaka’s nightlife.

Gaijin Bars

When visiting Osaka, Japan as a foreigner, one type of nightlife that’s available every night of the week is gaijin bars. “Gaijin” means foreigner, and these bars are those that are frequented by visitors to Japan. This difference means that if you stop by one of these bars, that you shouldn’t have trouble ordering a drink, despite not knowing the language. Also, you’re more likely to meet English-speaking Japanese at one of these locations.


If you’re looking for a good party, then you’ll find that Osaka’s nightclubs don’t disappoint. The city has several in its center and within walking distance of one another, allowing you to move on to another if the first wasn’t quite what you were looking for. However, it’s important to keep in mind that Osaka’s subways don’t run between around 1 am and 5 am, meaning you should decide in advance if you’re going to pull an all-nighter.

Karaoke Bars

In the entertainment neighborhoods of major cities like Osaka, karaoke bars are incredibly common. These bars can typically be identified by the word karaoke written in katakana and have 4-12 floors that house karaoke boxes. In a karaoke bar, individuals or groups can enjoy drinks and an evening of singing and socializing. Karaoke bars offer various plans, sometimes including all-you-can-drink, and generally have rates that go by 30 or 60 minutes per person. Be sure that you understand the rates before getting the evening started because it can be easy to run up charges while enjoying karaoke.

House of Genji offers a cocktail lounge, teppanyaki, and authentic Japanese dining in San Jose. To schedule your next reservation, please call (408) 453-8120.

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