10 Surprising Facts You Haven't Been Told About San Jose

surprising facts city of san jose ca

Did you know that San Jose means Saint Joseph, or that the California metropolis that bears the moniker is officially called the City of San San José? Here are 10 other facts you may not have known about the Santa Clara Valley town nestled on the southern shore of the San Francisco Bay. 

1. A Rare Japantown 

You may have heard of Chinatowns, but what about Japantowns? In the United States, there were once many. However, after the Japanese internment during World War II, only three Japantowns remain. One is in San Jose. The other two are in San Francisco and Los Angeles. 

2. A Lot Of People Live In San Jose 

A lot of people indeed live in the city of San Jose, CA. It’s the third most populous city in California and the 10th most populous in the United States. 

3. San Jose Is The Heart of Silicon Valley 

These days, San Jose is unofficially considered the capital of Silicon Valley. Major technology companies, like IBM, Cisco Systems, Adobe, and eBay, are all headquartered in the area. 

4. A Rich City: San Jose Is Smothered In Money

It boasts the third-highest per capita GDP in the world, behind Zurich and Oslo. San Jose has the most millionaires and billionaires, per capita, in the country. San Jose also has the most expensive housing market in the nation and is fifth worldwide. 

5. San Jose Was The First Capital Of California 

Before colonization, the land where San Jose now sits belonged to the Tamien Nation of the Ohlone peoples. In 1777, the Spanish founded Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe, California’s first city. In 1849, San Jose became the state’s capital, and a two-story adobe hotel served as the government building. Back then, the Senate convened on the lower floor, and the Assembly occupied the top one. 

6. San Jose Is Home To A Famous Haunted House 

Sarah Winchester, the widow of firearm mogul William Winchester, started building a mansion in San Jose after a medium in Boston advised her to move westward and build a home for the ghosts killed by her family’s rifles. The house, which weighs in at a whopping 161 rooms, now ranks on the National Register of Historic Places. Construction allegedly continued non-stop from 1884 through her death in 1922, and Winchester never used an architect. Instead, she added rooms haphazardly and built features to confuse ghosts, like stairways to nowhere and non-functioning bathrooms. 

7. Pets Are Welcome, Up To A Point 

If you have a Duggar-sized family of pets, San Jose is not the city for you. A city ordinance forbids residents from having more than five registered pets. 

8. Bring Your Own Bag Policy 

An environmentally conscious city, San Jose has a strict “Bring Your Own Bag” policy. Enacted on January 1, 2012, the regulation forbids stores to distribute plastic bags freely. Paper bags made of recycled materials are available to people who forget reusable ones, but they cost at least 10 cents. 

9. The Wave Was Invented In San Jose 

The Wave, as seen in countless sporting events for decades, was invented by a former San Jose State cheerleader, Krazy George Henderson, in 1968. However, it wasn’t until 1981 when the audience participation standard was featured at a professional game. 

10. San Jose Produces Champion Eaters

If you want to train for a power-eating competition, you may want to consider a move to San Jose. In 2007, Joey Chestnut, a San Jose native, won the Fourth of July Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest and defended his title for the following eight years. In 2015, Matt Stonie, who’s also from San Jose, snatched the throne. 

Do these fun facts make you want to make the move to this great CA city? What are you waiting for? It’s time to move to San Jose! So call a San Jose local moving company to get started!