• Why Shouldn’t You Stick Chopsticks Upright in a Bowl of Rice?

    Every culture has its own dining etiquette rules, and Japan is no exception. One important point of etiquette to remember when dining in Japanese restaurants is to never put your chopsticks pointing upwards in a bowl of rice. For people who are not accustomed to eating with chopsticks, this can seem like a natural thing to do, but it is actually a faux pas in many Asian countries.

    Putting chopsticks upright in a bowl of rice is done at a person’s deathbed, just after their death, or in front of a picture of him or her at a Buddhist alter. The tradition, called tsukitate-bashi, is meant as an offering to the person’s soul. It is also considered to be bad luck. Note that placing chopsticks in rice this way is also an etiquette faux pas in China.

    Test out your knowledge of chopstick etiquette while enjoying delicious Japanese food at House of Genji. Get more information about Japanese dining in San Jose by calling (408) 453-8120.

  • Off-the-Radar Places to Visit in Japan

    If you’re visiting Japan, you will naturally want to see all of the usual tourist attractions, such as eating Japanese food at some of the top restaurants in Tokyo or exploring Mt. Fuji. However, there are plenty of off-the-radar places that deserve your attention as well. Visiting these places will give you a unique spin on the tourist experience in Japan and give you plenty of stories to share about unbelievable places once you’ve returned home. Consider putting some of these unusual places in Japan on your itinerary.

    Wisteria Tunnel

    You can find the Wisteria Tunnel at Kawachi Fuji Gardens in Kitakyushu, which is easily reachable on the Shinkansen. The tunnel features a long pathway of hanging, pastel wisteria flowers, with benches along the way to enjoy the view. The best time of year to visit is April and May, during the Fuji Matsuri festival. This is the time at which the wisterias are in full bloom. Keep in mind that the flowers don’t bloom all year long, so check with a local before you go to avoid disappointment.

    Tashirojima Island

    If you’re a cat lover, Tashirojima Island, or Cat Island, as it is sometimes called, cannot be missed. There are fewer than 100 people living on the island, but an enormous population of feral cats roams freely. The cats are well cared for and considered to be a symbol of luck. Visitors to the island can bring food and treats for the cats to bring luck to themselves.

    Sagano Bamboo Forest

    The Sanago Bamboo Forest is only a 30-minute journey from Kyoto, and although it is becoming increasingly popular with tourists, you can still find quiet spaces among the sky-high bamboo stalks. The sound of the bamboo stalks knocking together as the wind rushes between them is a governmentally recognized soundscape in Japan.

    For a taste of Japanese culture a bit closer to home, try a teppanyaki lunch or dinner at House of Genji. In addition to teppanyaki in San Jose, we offer hibachi and a full menu of appetizers and side dishes. To learn more about our menu, please call (408) 453-8120.

     

  • See How Chef Johnny Does Teppanyaki

    If you’ve never had teppanyaki before and wondered what the experience is like, this video will give you some insight on what to expect. Teppanyaki dining isn’t just about delicious Japanese food but also the entertainment that comes with it.

    This video is filmed in a teppanyaki restaurant in the Cayman Islands, but although every chef brings his or her own style to the process, you can always expect to see amazing knife skills and an interactive experience between diners and the chef.

    You can experience teppanyaki for yourself by visiting House of Genji. If you’re intrigued, you can also learn more about our Japanese restaurant in San Jose by calling (408) 453-8120.

     

  • How to Eat Edamame

    A popular appetizer and snack you’ll find on the menu at most Japanese restaurants is edamame. Many people are familiar with seeing these young soybeans after they have already been shelled on salad bars and mixed in dishes, but when they are served as appetizers, they are still in their shells. This leaves people who are new to Japanese food wondering how to eat them.

    The easiest way to eat edamame in their shells is to put the shell into your mouth and use your teeth to gently slide the beans out of the pod. Usually, the shells are salted, so you will get some of the salt while you eat the edamame. Some people like to dip the shells in soy or another sauce before eating as well.

    Come experience the tastes of Japan at House of Genji. Our teppanyaki restaurant and Japanese steakhouse in San Jose offers a full menu of new flavors for you to try. Call us at (408) 453-8120 to learn more.

  • How to Use an ATM in Japan

    Say you’re visiting Japan and you want to try some Japanese food in a restaurant that only accepts cash. If you don’t have any money on you, you will need to withdraw some from an ATM. The trick is that most ATM machines at banks don’t accept cards issued outside of Japan.

    Watch this video to find out how to withdraw money with a foreign card in Japan. If you want to enjoy some cash-only Japanese dining, look for a 7-11. These stores have ATMs that take cards from around the world, and they are open every day, around the clock.

    For a taste of Japan closer to home, try House of Genji for authentic teppanyaki dining. Find out more about the menu at our Japanese restaurant in San Jose by calling (408) 453-8120.

  • Planning a Work Party at Our Teppanyaki Restaurant

    If you’re looking for a fun way to bond with coworkers, consider holding a work party at House of Genji. Whether you’re looking for a unique experience for a holiday party or just an excuse to spend some time with your work friends out of the office, our teppanyaki restaurant is an essential ingredient in an event to remember. Here is what you need to know about planning a work party around our teppanyaki dining experience.

    What exactly is teppanyaki?

Teppanyaki refers to food that has been cooked on a hot iron—in other words, on a flat grill top. At a teppanyaki restaurant, a selection of food is prepared on a large grill that is surrounded by a dining table. Guests sit around the grill and watch their meals being cooked in front of them. Teppanyaki chefs always entertain their guests with their amazing knife skills and dramatic plating abilities.

What is served at a teppanyaki meal?

Teppanyaki is highly adaptable. Guests can choose from chicken, steak, lobster, shrimp, scallops, calamari, or some combination of meats. Soup, salad, rice, and veggies are also included. Some meals are also served with desserts. At House of Genji, we have a range of appetizers and side orders available to complement your meal, including edamame, age-gyoza, tempura, and agedashi tofu. We also offer sushi and sashimi and a variety of dinner salads.

Why is teppanyaki good for a work party?

Teppanyaki dining is very different from your standard work dinner. Thanks to the communal nature of the seating and cooking, you and your coworkers will get to enjoy a unique experience together. It’s the perfect opportunity to shrug off the demands of the office and focus on having fun together instead. Spending some time together bonding outside of work will help build more productive relationships in the office.

Start planning your work event at House of Genji today by calling our restaurant. Find out about our menus and set up a time to come to our teppanyaki restaurant in San Jose by calling (408) 453-8120.

  • A Look at Dining Etiquette in Japan

    When you visit Japan, there are many different customs you will get to experience. Japanese dining etiquette can often be confusing for Westerners visiting the country for the first time. Although everyone is understanding of how different the dining experience is for people visiting the country and are patient as you learn new etiquette rules, it can helpful to learn as much as you can about the norms before you go. Here is a closer look at some basic Japanese dining etiquette rules, so feel more relaxed in Japanese restaurants.

    Chopstick Basics

  • Using chopsticks can take practice, so use them whenever you get a chance before your visit. In Japan, don’t point chopsticks at people or dishes or wave them around while you’re talking. You shouldn’t suck any sauces off your chopsticks or stab foods that are hard to pick up. Never place your chopsticks upright in rice, which is symbolic of death, as is passing food with chopsticks. Don’t lay your chopsticks next to your plate when you’re done eating, as this indicates that you haven’t finished.

    Tipping

    Tipping is not common in Japan. In fact, it is often considered to be insulting. In restaurants, wait staff will often accept tips from Westerners in order to avoid embarrassing them. However, it’s best to avoid the practice completely—in restaurants, hotels, cabs, and anywhere else you would normally leave a tip in a Western country.

    Eating

    Something that may feel strange to Westerners but is expected in Japan is sipping directly from a soup bowl. Slurping is also encouraged, as it demonstrates that you are enjoying the food. Always clean your plate completely. Leaving anything behind, even a small amount of rice or sauce, is considered rude.

    At House of Genji, you’ll enjoy traditional Japanese teppanyaki dining and get plenty of chances to practice with your chopsticks. Contact us today at (408) 453-8120 to find our more about our cocktail lounge and menu of Japanese food in San Jose.

  • Visiting House of Genji for Happy Hour

    Any time is a great time to visit House of Genji, but many of our loyal customers love stopping by for happy hour. Our Japanese restaurant has been a local favorite for more than 30 years, and during that time, our repeat customers have come to rely on our fabulous wait staff and bartenders to provide excellent service. We offer a full bar, including Japan’s signature drink, sake.

    The sake we serve is premium quality, which means that it’s best served slightly chilled, rather than warm. If you’re not feeling in the mood for sake, you can indulge in one of our many other alcoholic beverage selections. Our cocktails are particularly popular. Pair your beverage choice with a delicious appetizer, such as panko wings, deep fried calamari, sautéed scallops, or a freshly made sushi roll.

  • House of Genji is Japanese dining at its finest, and our beverage menu can’t be beat! You can reach our Japanese steakhouse serving San Jose at (408) 453-8120 if you have any questions.

  • Planning an Autumn Trip to Japan? Don’t Miss These Festivals

    Japan is a country that loves its festivals. Visit this beautiful nation any time of year, and you’re sure to find a festival to celebrate. Japanese festivals are a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture—from the traditional dress to traditional Japanese dining experiences, like teppanyaki.

    Kichijoji Autumn Festival

  • Visiting Tokyo in early September? One of the first autumn festivals is the one held annually in Kichijoji, which is a neighborhood in Tokyo. This festival was first held in 1972 at a Shinto shrine, the Musashino Hachimangu. Teams of bearers travel the streets of Kichijoji carrying the mikoshi, which are ornate shrines. The music and dancing are irresistible for spectators and participants alike. There are always plenty of street vendors offering delicious food for hungry revelers.

    Sapporo Autumn Fest

    Bring a hearty appetite to the Sapporo Autumn Fest, held every year throughout most of September. Most of the festivities take place in Odori Park in Sapporo, which is the largest city on the island of Hokkaido. Booths showcase products from all over the prefecture, including agricultural and livestock products. Sample the wine and sake, order up some delicious ramen, and sample various delicacies prepared by some of the best chefs around.

    Kamiari Festival

    The Kamiari Festival is held during several days in late November. It’s held at the Izumo Grand Shrine. Adherents of the Shinto religion believe that all of the gods gather once per year at the Izumo Grand Shrine. People travel here from all over Japan each year in hopes that their prayers will be heard. Note that the dates vary from year to year, since this festival is scheduled by the old lunar calendar. However, it’s usually held in late November.

    Every day is a party here at House of Genji! Visit our Japanese steakhouse in San Jose to see our skillful teppanyaki chefs slice and dice your meal right before your eyes! You can reach us at (408) 453-8120 to check on our available reservations.

  • A Quick and Easy Way to Learn to Use Chopsticks

    Japanese food is delicious no matter how you eat it. But if you want an authentic experience, you should learn how to use chopsticks before your next dinner date at a Japanese restaurant. Watch this quick video for a helpful demonstration.

    You’ll see how to pinch the chopstick with your thumb and index finger. Slide the other chopstick through the space between your thumb and index finger, resting it at the base of your thumb. You’ll hold the second chopstick in place with your middle finger. Maneuver the chopsticks by moving the first chopstick with pressure from your index finger.

     You can practice your chopstick skills at House of Genji—a Japanese restaurant in San Jose. Call (408) 453-8120 or make your reservations online today!

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