• Spotlight on Kyoto’s Okera-Mairi Ceremony

    Every New Year’s Eve, the city of Kyoto, Japan holds the Okera Matsuri festival during which people pray for good health in the coming year, and the process of visiting festival is called the Okera-Mairi ceremony. The annual Okera Matsuri festival typically begins at 7 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and runs until 5 a.m. on New Year’s Day, and the event is held at Kyoto’s Yasaka Shrine.

    During this festival, bonfires are lit, and roots of the medicinal okera herb, which is traditionally associated with eliminating malevolent energy, are tossed into the flames. Because it is thought that preparing a meal over these flames will bring a year of peace, taking some embers from the fire is often a part of the Okera-Mairi ceremony. For this reason, it is customary for people to light bamboo ropes to take home with them from the festival.

    For teppanyaki, sushi, and Japanese food in San Jose, come and see us at House of Genji. Please call (408) 453-8120 today to make your reservation.

  • The History of the Martini Cocktail

    Enjoying your favorite mixed drink while having your teppanyaki dinner prepared right at your table can make for an excellent evening for you and your friends. If the martini is among your favorite cocktails, then watch this video to learn some of this history behind this popular drink.

    Historically, the dry martini entered the scene when dry vermouth was first available, as people would ask for a dry martini when they wanted dry vermouth instead of the alternative. Before dry vermouth was an option, the martini was made using gin, orange bitters, and sweet vermouth.

    As a Japanese steakhouse featuring a cocktail lounge and teppanyaki in San Jose, House of Genji is the place to be for great Japanese food and fantastic cocktails. For more information, call us at (408) 453-8120.

  • 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.