Book early to avoid disappointment!

Posted on January 29, 2015 | evankirby

Summer is always the busiest season at Genki Japanese schools in both Tokyo and Fukuoka, but this year it looks like spring will be busy too! We're experiencing a much higher number of bookings than normal, so we may have to begin restricting enrollment quite early this year. To guarantee yourself a place in one of our classes, we recommend filling out our estimate request form as soon as possible. Don't delay, book your place in Japan's most flexible, rigorous and fun school today!

This week's Japanese classes and events: 2015/1/19

Posted on January 18, 2015 | evankirby

We have another busy week at Genki Japanese School's Tokyo and Fukuoka branches!

Here are the classes being held this week, and the approximate level of each class.

Low beginner: Genki 1 unit 4
Low beginner: Genki 1 unit 8
High beginner: Genki 2 unit 13
High beginner: Genki 2 unit 15
High beginner: Genki 2 unit 17
High beginner: Genki 2 unit 19
High beginner: Genki 2 unit 22
Pre-intermediate: Chuukyuu he ikou unit 3
Intermediate: Chuukyuu he ikou unit 10
Advanced: J501 unit 7

Low beginner: Genki 1 unit 4
Low beginner: Genki 1 unit 7
Low beginner: Genki 1 unit 11
High beginner: Genki 2 unit 15
High beginner: Genki 2 unit 19
Intermediate: J301 unit 5

And here are the exciting activities planned for each Japanese school this week!

Tuesday 20th: Learn traditional crafts and visit "Furusatokan"
Wednesday 21st: Paint Hakata dolls; Exchange with university students; Conversation lounge
Thursday 22nd: Traditional tea ceremony; Movie "Kaiji"
Friday 23rd: Free kanji practice class; "Tebasaki" party
Saturday 24th: Conversation lounge with Japanese people

Monday 19th: Shinjuku tour
Tuesday 20th: "Edomoji" fan-making
Wednesday 21st: "Kazarimusubi" decorative knot-tying
Thursday 22nd: Visit Edo Tokyo Museum; Movie "Kaiji"
Friday 23rd: Okonomiyaki party

Hope you'll join us!

New private, semi-private lesson policy

Posted on January 13, 2015 | evankirby

Our specialty at GenkiJACS is very small group Japanese classes, as well as flexible start dates, with students starting each Monday throughout the year. As a result, occasionally students are lucky enough to be the only person at their Japanese ability level, or in a class of just two people! Some schools will cancel the booking when this happens, but our policy at GenkiJACS is to offer a reduced number of private or semi-private lessons instead. As you will have so much more time to practice with the teacher in such a small-group setting, these lessons usually progress faster than regular group classes.

From 2015, our official policy for private and semi-private lessons is as follows:

- If you are the only student at your ability level:
1) If there is a class at a close level, you will have 10 lessons per week with that class, and 5 private lessons focusing on your specific needs.
2) If there is no close level, you will have 10 private lessons per week to focus on just what you want to learn.

- If there are only two students at your ability level:
1) If there is a class at a close level, you will have 10 lessons per week with that class, and 10 semi-private lessons with just the two of you.
2) If there is no close level, the two of you will have 15 semi-private lessons per week.

This policy means you don't need to worry about whether there will be other students at your ability level when you arrive - even if you're the only one, we'll make arrangements to take care of you!
(Note that the only exception to this is complete beginner students. Classes for complete beginners start on the first Monday of every month and the third Mondays in June, July and August. If complete beginner students start outside of these dates, there will not be a class available for you.)

Mastercards/EMV Maestro Cards now working in Japan

Posted on January 13, 2015 | genkijacs

Good news for students holding Matercards/EMV-branded Maestro cards issued outside of the Asia/Pacific Region:

While these cards have been unusable in Japan for the past 2 years or so, it looks like Mastercard has finally fixed the issue! The following notice was posted to their website recently:

To: Cardholders of Maestro-branded EMV Cards issued outside of the Asia/Pacific Region
All Maestro-branded EMV cards issued outside of the Asia/Pacific region are able to withdraw currency at Seven Bank and AEON Bank ATMs

There is a Seven Bank ATM located almost right opposite our Fukuoka school at the Seven Eleven, and just down the road from our Tokyo school at the Seven Bank branch on Yasukuni Doori.

Genki Japanese School on Time Out's 88 Things to do in Tokyo list!

Posted on December 25, 2014 | evankirby

Time Out Tokyo Genki Japanese School listing

Big news today - Genki Japanese School Tokyo has been added to Time Out's influential list of 88 Things To Do In Tokyo! The 3rd edition came out just this month, and is available all over Tokyo. GenkiJACS Tokyo is listed in 4th place! Specifically, the listing mentions our Survival Japanese classes for tourists. We're also highlighted on their map, which should make finding the school a little easier.

Time Out Tokyo Genki Japanese School map

It's a great honor to have been added. Currently the Time Out website only shows 2013's list, but hopefully it'll be updated soon.

Can you figure out which teacher that is in the photo above??

Christmas Party

Posted on December 24, 2014 | evankirby

Christmas party

It's party season in Japan! Last Friday we had our 忘年会 (bounenkai, year-end party) at GenkiJACS Fukuoka, with more than a hundred attendees, and a magic show! Thanks to all the Japanese university students who helped to make it a success.
And our Tokyo Japanese school had a special Christmas party yesterday, with recitals of Japanese Christmas songs, cake decoration competition, and more! Students had a great time. Merry Xmas, everyone!

Christmas cakes

Survival Japanese Classes for Tourists in Tokyo

Posted on December 23, 2014 | evankirby

GenkiJACS is proud to announce our new service for tourists in Tokyo: survival Japanese classes, that teach you the basics of everything you need to have the best possible time in Japan!

These classes can be booked by phone, email or through our website, as soon as a day later. Topics can be chosen from a list including shopping, ordering in restaurants, directions, and anything else to support your stay in Japan. Classes are aimed at beginner students, with no Japanese ability. You can attend alone, or with friends.

Here are more details of these survival Japanese classes for tourists. Have a great holiday!

Winter illumination

Posted on November 30, 2014 | genkijacs

Today marks the start of the last month of the year, and as per usual in December, the illumination in Fukuoka is in full swing. Most of the streets, businesses and shops around the city have some lights on display, so it's almost impossible not to get into the festive mood this time of year, but for those of our Japanese language students who are particularly interested in checking out the lightups, here is a handy list of some of the most famous lightup spots:

JR Hakata City (until 13 January)

Bayside Place Hakata (Until 31 January)

Canal City Hakata (until 25 December)

Iwataya Tenjin (until 25 December)

Tenjin Chikagai (underground walkway) (Until 25 December)

Fukuoka airport (until 23 February)

Akasaka Le Anges (Church/wedding venue) (Until 25 December)

Fukuoka Tower/Momochi Beach Area (until 25 December)

Happy national pocky day!

Posted on November 10, 2014 | genkijacs

11/11 (chosen because all the 1s look like pocky sticks!) is National Pocky Day here in Japan. This delicious treat consists of a thin, pretzel-like stick, most often covered in chocolate about 3/4 way down, leaving just a bit of stick at the end to grab on to so the chocolate doesn't melt on your fingers. How thoughtful!

Pocky is arguably one of the most famous sweets ever to be produced by the country, and, like all the other candies here, it wouldn't be Japanese if it didn't have some crazy flavour variations.

First, we have your standard chocolate and strawberry types.


Double chocolate (the stick is chocolate as well)


Heart-shaped strawberry pocky, available over Valentine's Day (the stick is shaped like a heart)


Men's Pocky, because everyone knows the truly macho only eat pocky out of teal-coloured boxes. So. Manly.


Maccha pocky (green tea)


And the last of the "standard" pocky variations, though this is one is a bit more rare: Mint Pocky.


Now it starts getting a bit weird...

We have your fruit variety pocky, including but not limited to: kiwi pocky, mango pocky, blueberry pocky, orange-custard pocky, lychee pocky, and banana-chocolate pocky


For lovers of the Halloween/Thanksgiving season, we have your pumpkin pocky


And people who are nuts for nuts are sure to love these almond and peanut-cream varieties


For those of you who don't have quite such a sweet tooth but would still like to try this candy, these semi-sweet flavours are for you: black sesame pocky and "salty" pocky!


Having trouble deciding which flavour to choose? No problem! For the indecisive among us, there is rainbow pocky consisting of 7 flavours (Chocolate, green tea, banana, orange, strawberry, blueberry and vanilla).


In fact, there are so many variations available we don't think you'll ever be able to try them all, even if you ate Pocky for all 3 majour meals per day!


Pocky Day, while not an official holiday, is celebrated pretty widely in Japan. If you're thinking this just involves eating as much pocky in as little time as possible, well, you'd be wrong.

Presenting the Pocky hair guy. In 2011, the date on Pocky day was 11/11/11, and to celebrate this monumental (?) milestone in Pocky history, this guy decided to weave 100 packs of pocky into his hair.

We kid you not.



Unfortunately the original, 22-minute video was taken off Youtube, but since it involved him eating some of the pocky once he was finished, we think it's probably for the best.


Others have since tried to recreate the success of Pocky hair guy's video, but alas.

Not quite the same.

How will you be celebrating Pocky Day this year? Let us know!

Fukuoka Michelin Guide 2014

Posted on October 29, 2014 | evankirby

Michelin Fukuoka

The Fukuoka & Saga edition of the famed Michelin guide was released this summer, and it confirms what we've always thought - Fukuoka has an embarrassment of great restaurants!
There are two three-star restaurants in the city, the sushi restaurant Gyoten, and the traditional Japanese restaurant Sagano. Neither is cheap, of course, but both offer the pinnacle of Japanese food, and should be a wonderful experience. We say "should be" because we haven't had the good fortune to eat at either of them yet. Any students who want to treat the teachers to dinner, don't be shy!

There are another eight two-star restaurants in the city, and a massive 20 one-star restaurants, as well as a lot of honorable mentions. Many of these are not too expensive, and fairly relaxed, so they can be a good introduction to high-end Japanese dining, if getting a reservation at one of the three-star restaurants proves too difficult. いただきます!

The guide itself is on sale at bookshops, and of course Amazon.