• Celebrating Spring with Bunkyo Tsutsuji Matsuri

    Japan is home to many springtime festivals, and Bunkyo Tsutsuji Matsuri, or the Bunkyo Azalea Festival, is one that attracts people from all over the world. This festival is one of five flower festivals held in the residential Bunkyo ward in Tokyo, and it is packed with a variety of attractions, from Japanese food stalls to an antique fair. Here is what you need to know.

    Nezu Shrine’s Azalea Gardens

    The Bunkyo Azalea Festival takes place at the Nezu Shrine in Bunkyo. The shrine was built over 1,900 years ago by Yamato Takeru-no Mikoto, and the azalea garden was established about 300 years ago. There 100 different species of azalea plants in the garden, which consists of approximately 3,000 plants in total. Among the azaleas are some very rare varieties of the plants, Karafune, which has black flowers, Hanaguruma, which has flowers that look like pinwheels, and Fuji-tsutsuji, which has flowers that are about the size of a bean. There are also seven different structures to explore on the site, which are all designated Important Cultural Properties of Japan.

    Festival Attendance

    Although the specific dates of the festival change annually, it is always held between April and early May, when the flowers are in peak bloom. In addition to exploring the grounds, there are plenty of festival stalls on site with different wares, including Japanese food such as manju dumplings. Amazake and green tea are also typically available. There is an antique fair on site and viewings Sanjuroku kasen-e paintings twice per day. The festival is open from 9 AM to 5:30 PM daily, and there is a small admission fee to walk through the garden.

    At House of Genji, we give you the chance to experience Japanese traditions a little closer to home at our Japanese restaurant in San Jose. We offer teppanyaki dining at lunch and dinner, plus a variety of other Japanese entrees. You can learn more about our menu by calling (408) 453-8120.

  • Planning a Visit to Japan’s Jidai Matsuri Festival

    Japanese dining and culture are a favorite of many here in the United States. If you love trying new dishes when you visit your local Japanese restaurant, then you may be interested to learn more about Japan’s festivals and celebrations. As one of Kyoto’s 3 largest festivals, the Jidai Matsuri is a sight to behold.

    Where to Go

    Kyoto, Japan is a city with more than a millennium of history. Located on the country’s main island of Honshu, this city was once the imperial capital of Japan. The Jidai Matsuri is 1 of Kyoto’s 3 largest festivals, and it is a parade that begins at the city’s Imperial Palace and ends at the Heian-Jingu Shrine. The procession travels 4.6 miles between these 2 points.

    When to Go

    The Jidai Matsuri is an annual festival that takes place every October on the 22 nd . This date marks the anniversary of the foundation of Kyoto and has been celebrated with this festival since 1895. The procession typically departs from the palace at noon and reaches the shrine by 2:30 pm. While viewing the parade, you can expect it to take about 2 hours to see it from start to finish.

    What to Expect

    Because it celebrates the foundation of Kyoto, the Jidai Matsuri is designed to give you a glimpse into the city’s history. The impressive parade consists of more than 2000 participants, and each is dressed in a historically-accurate costume. The characters that you will see are meant to depict the 1100 years of history in which Kyoto was Japan’s capital, and the procession is divided into historical eras. At the beginning of the parade, you will see individuals dressed as those from the Meiji Restoration in 1868, which are followed in reverse chronological order back to the characters of the Heian period in 781.

    House of Genji Japanese steakhouse offers you a way to get a taste of Japan’s food and culture. Our Japanese restaurant serving San Jose offers a cocktail lounge, teppanyaki, sushi, and more. To make a reservation, please call us at (408) 453-8120.