• 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.

     

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