• Inside the World of Japanese Whiskies

    When people think of whiskies, they tend to think of Scotch made in Scotland, bourbon made in America, or rye made in Canada. However, Japanese whiskies have surged in popularity in recent years and are giving these standards a run for their money. In fact, the Yamazaki distillery in Japan was recently awarded the distinction of having the best single-malt whisky in the world, according to a leading critic, beating out the top distilleries in Scotland. Since then, demand for Japanese whiskies has been growing and more people across the globe are indulging. If you love Japanese food, why not give Japanese whiskies a try? This information will help you pick a bottle.

    Flavor Profiles

    Many of the people who make whiskies in Japan got their start by training in the distilleries of Scotland, so they bring back many of the distilling and flavoring techniques that are common in Scotch. The whiskies produced in Japan have much more in common with Scotch than bourbon or rye. However, whiskies made in Japan usually are smoother that Scotch.

    Though most Japanese whiskies are smoother than Scotches, the flavors vary greatly. Some of them mimic the peaty flavors of Scotches from the Islay region of Scotland, while others are very light, with floral or vanilla notes.

    Popular Bottles

    Japanese whiskies are changing in response to high demand. Whiskies used to be aged for 12 years or more, but because it became impossible to turn around enough whisky fast enough to meet the demand, younger bottles are flooding the market. Yamazaki 12-year single malt is a highly sought after, peaty pour. Miyagikyo single malt is heavily influenced by sherry flavors and has a fruity flavor with a hint of peat. Akashi is one of the easiest to find and popular Japanese whiskies. The flavors are not complex, but it is extremely smooth, with oak and spice flavors.

    For more of the flavors of Japan, visit House of Genji. From our cocktail lounge to our teppanyaki dining, our Japanese restaurant in San Jose has something for everyone. Dial  (408) 453-8120 to find out more about our menu and hours.

  • Japanese Cocktails to Mix Up Your Next Night Out

    Japan has a robust drinking culture, and many social occasions revolve around alcohol. In fact, it has only recently become socially acceptable to refuse alcohol in favor of soda or water at social events such as company year-end parties and springtime picnic. Although Japan does have a beer and wine scene, cocktails are also very popular. Some cocktails are familiar around the world, while others make use of uniquely Japanese ingredients. In Japan, these cocktails are served everywhere from small bars to upscale Japanese restaurants.


    This cocktail will appeal to gin fans. It contains three parts gin to seven parts umeshu, which is a Japanese form of plum wine. It is a strong cocktail, because it doesn’t include any kind of mixer, but it is also flavorful and somewhat sweet, thanks to the plum wine. Umeshu is the base for a large number of cocktails in Japan and is often enjoyed simply with tonic water. The umetini is typically served in a martini glass.

    Matcha Hai

    If you’re looking for something with a little less of a kick, consider a matcha hai. Matcha hais are 50% club soda. The rest consists of lemon juice, gum syrup, matcha powder, and whiskey. Matcha powder is widely available in just about every bar in this Japan, so while it may be a specialty ingredient in other countries, you can generally order a matcha hai in any bar or restaurant in Japan.

    Lemon Sour

    Lemon sours are one of the most popular cocktails in Japan. It is a bright and tart drink that consists of three ingredients in equal measures: lemon juice, club soda, and shochu, which is hard liquor that is made from distilled grains or sweet potatoes. The lemon juice is sometimes substituted with juice from other citrus fruits, including grapefruit, lime, and yuzu.

    At House of Genji, you will find a variety of cocktails on our menu that make perfect accompaniments to our Japanese food in San Jose. Contact us today to learn more about our teppanyaki meals and the rest of our menu by calling (408) 453-8120.

  • What to Know About Japanese Nightlife

    Japan has a thriving nightlife scene that locals and foreign visitors alike enjoy exploring. Often, going out in Japan involves eating delicious Japanese food and drinks as you visit multiple small restaurants and bars.

    Watch this video to see what a typical night out looks like in Japan. Remember to bring cash, as most bars do not accept credit cards. Tipping is not usually expected, but most places have a seating charge added to your bill that functions like a tip.

    Get a taste of Japanese nightlife for yourself at House of Genji. Our Japanese restaurant and cocktail lounge in San Jose is perfect for date night, happy hour, and family dinners. Learn more by calling us at (408) 453-8120.

  • Drink Ordering Etiquette

    Bars can be busy places, and sometimes, it’s not clear how to get the bartender’s attention or how to order the drink you want. However, you should have a fun and relaxing experience at the bar of your choice, and you can plan for that with some simple drink ordering etiquette.

    This video can help you have a better bar experience with some helpful tips on getting the bartender to notice you and making sure that you get your order taken care of quickly. Simply making eye contact with the bartender is an easy way to get his or her attention and having your money ready to pay the tab will help the line move quickly.

    When you want to enjoy a cocktail in San Jose, visit House of Genji for some sake or other spirits in our cocktail lounge. When you want to make an evening of it, book dinner reservations at one of our teppanyaki tables. For more about us, head to our website or call (408) 453-8120.

  • A Perfect Night out Starts at House of Genji

    The elements of a great Japanese restaurant are a delicious meal, lively entertainment, great service, and an elegant atmosphere. All of these can be found at House of Genji, a Japanese steakhouse and cocktail lounge in San Jose, California.

    House of Genji is the perfect place to experience the art of Teppan-yaki dining—where our chefs entertain guests by juggling and flipping cutlery as they prepare each meal. We only use the finest ingredients and aim to provide guests with a memorable experience filled with authentic Japanese cuisine and culture. We also offer a selection of cocktails, seafood, steak, and sushi for everyone to enjoy. Getting some fine food and Japanese drinks is the perfect way to start a night out with friends or family.

    House of Genji will make for a perfect start to your night, or we could play host all night as you enjoy dinner, cocktails, and sides. To find out more, visit our website or call us at (408) 453-8120. Come relax and enjoy true Japanese dining with us!

  • A Brief History of the Mai Tai

    Mai Tai in San Jose Whether you are at a Japanese steakhouse or laying poolside, drinking Mai Tais will conjure up images of lying in a hammock overlooking a white, sandy beach. But, did you know that when you are sipping this tropical drink at a cocktail lounge near San Jose, you are actually closer to where the Mai Tai originated than if you were in Hawaii? Next time you order a Mai Tai, impress your friends with your knowledge of this tropical tasting drink. Read on to learn the surprising history of the Mai Tai.

    Mai Tai’s Place-of-Origin
    Although most people will associate a Mai Tai with tropical waters, rumor has it was originally created in California. After World War II, California saw the spread of Tiki bars as a fascination with the Polynesian culture grew. Where the Mai Tai originated is the only concrete fact in its history; who created it is up for debate. Two people separately claim to have created this high-demand drink.

    Creator of the Mai Tai
    The origin story of the Mai Tai has two sides. Don the Beachcomber, who was best known for starting a string of Tiki bars in California, claims to have created the first Mai Tai back in 1933. But, Victor J. Bergeron also claims the rights the drink, which he first made for his friends who were in town visiting from Tahiti in 1944. Legend has it that his friends loved the drink and even gave it the name we all know it as today—the Mai Tai. With both claims being debatable, you and your friends will have plenty to discuss over drinks.

    While the debate of who created the Mai Tai goes on, there is no question the House of Genji ’s bartenders make some of the most delicious drinks in San Jose. Our expert staff has been tending to our patron’s Japanese dining needs for over 40 years. Contact us today at (408) 453-8120 to see how we can satisfy you. We look forward to dining with you.

  • A Look at How Sake is Served

    If you enjoy Japanese dining, you’ve probably tried sake at your favorite Japanese restaurant. Sake is a Japanese rice wine that is traditionally served warm, and the temperature of the Sake can make its flavor vary slightly.

    Watch this video to learn more about how Sake is served. You’ll be walked through the steps of warming your sake, and serving it properly in the appropriate cups.

    If you love Japanese food, visit us at House of Genji. We offer authentic teppanyaki-style Japanese food to the San Jose area, and our cocktail lounge is the perfect atmosphere for happy hour drinks and appetizers. Call us today at (408) 453-8120 to make a reservation.

  • Celebrate your Birthday at House of Genji!

    Don’t forget to come and celebrate your birthday with us! Not only do we have a fun atmoshpere, great food, amazing drinks, as the birthday celebrant you get this amazing offer:

  • Planning a Girl’s Night Out at the Cocktail Lounge

    Take your next girl’s night out to the cocktail lounge in San Jose for the chance to eat some great food, order some tasty cocktails, and socialize with your favorite group of ladies. Use this guide for help planning your next excursion:

    Pick the Best Time
    If you want to truly enjoy your trip to the cocktail lounge, you should pick a time that works for everyone. Try to figure out when the most people can make it to your girl’s night celebration. The more people you have sipping on cocktails and tasting some great appetizers, the more fun you can expect to have.

    Spread the Word
    As soon as you know the where and the when, you should start spreading the word about your girl’s night out. You want to give your group of friends enough time to fit your outing into their schedules. Whether you send out a group text message or set up a Facebook group, you should make an effort to spread the word among your friends as soon as possible.

    Get Ready Together
    Think about getting dressed and putting on makeup with some of your closest friends to extend the fun of your night out. Invite a few of your friends over so you can spend some time getting ready together before you head to the cocktail lounge for the actual girl’s night.

    Make the Most of the Cocktail Lounge
    When you finally get to the cocktail lounge, you should order a few different options from the menu so you can taste the amazing flavors of the restaurant. Get a few appetizers that you and your group can nibble on while you enjoy some flavorful cocktails.

    House of Genji is the perfect location for your next girl’s night out. Our cocktail lounge has the atmosphere that you need to relax and socialize. As one of the top Japanese-style restaurants in the San Jose area, we are always here for your entertaining needs. Call (408) 453-8120 to learn more.