GenkiJACS chosen as one of world's Star language schools 2016!

Posted on July 28, 2016 | evankirby

Top Japanese language school

Genki Japanese School is proud to announce that our Japanese schools have been officially shortlisted in the top 5 world language schools for 2016!

Just as movies have the Oscars, the language travel industry has the Star Awards. Each year people vote on their picks for the best language schools and companies. The five schools that receive the most votes in each category are "shortlisted". Major languages such as English have their own category, whereas all less major languages such as Japanese are included together in the very competitive "World Language Schools" category. GenkiJACS has been shortlisted by popular vote as one of the world's top 5 language schools every year since 2009!

The actual winner will be announced at the awards ceremony, held each year at the start of September in London. While GenkiJACS would be very surprised to win in this tough category, we will be keeping our fingers crossed. Wish us luck, everyone!

Japanese government to get stricter with Japanese language schools

Posted on July 25, 2016 | evankirby

After the owner of a Japanese language school in Fukuoka was arrested last year for allowing students to work more than legally allowed, the government has decided to update the rules for Japanese language schools a bit, to give them more options for dealing with badly run schools. Nothing has been officially published yet, but according to the Japan Times' source, "under the new rules, an average student attendance rate of below 50 percent or immigration violations by more than half of a school’s students could result in revocation of its operational license".

These aren't particularly tough restrictions - an average attendance rate below 50 percent literally means that on average, all students come to less than half of their Japanese classes, which would be an incredibly bad situation for a language school - but they're a good start. For Japanese language schools, receiving government accreditation is an extremely difficult process (which GenkiJACS finally managed to complete last year, after more than 10 years in business!), but once a language school is accredited, there seem to be very few continuing checks on school quality. We are happy to hear about any further measures to ensure that bad language schools are pushed out of the industry, and good schools supported. The future of the Japanese language school industry in Japan is bright!

Summer in Tokyo: Beer gardens near school

Posted on July 01, 2016 | evankirby

One of the summer all-time favorite activity is to visit a beer garden. Put your Japanese to good use and start chilling at these rooftop restaurants after classes!

Lumine Beer Garden
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Open from: 4pm to 11pm (last order at 10:30pm)
At: 3-38-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
More information here: http://lafesta-beergarden.com/


Jingisukan Beer Terrace (Odakyu Mall)
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Open from 12pm to 10:30pm (Last entry at 8:30pm)
At: 1-1-3 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku
http://www.odakyu-dept.co.jp/shinjuku/beerterrace/jingisukan.html

Sky Paradise Beer Garden (Isetan Mal)
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Open from: 4pm to 10pm (last order at 9:00pm)
At: 3-14-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku
More information here: http://www.salvatore.jp/beergarden/isetan-shinjuku/


#GenkiJACSTokyoSummer #GenkiJACSTokyoBeerGarden

What to do on a rainy day - The wonders of Tokyo underground

Posted on June 26, 2016 | evankirby

Next up on our rainy day series is the Tokyo underground.
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Bet you never know THIS much could be going on beneath the recently renovated Tokyo station. After undergoing a 5 year renovation, this famous historic landmark is restored to its original glory as a key architectural masterpiece.

Beneath this magnificent façade, its undergrounds house some of the most interesting streets and specialty shops. What better way to enjoy a rainy afternoon than to visit the First Avenue at Tokyo Station?

If you love getting all the cute little merchandises of Japanese characters, remember to have sufficient cash when you visit the Character Street. It’s a great place to get souvenirs for your friends and family as well as satisfy your inner geek and little girl.
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If you’re more of a foodie, there’s definitely something for you at First Avenue as well. Look no further than the Ramen Street which houses the most famous ramens in Tokyo. The shops all specialize in something different and you can choose from Shio (salt), Miso or Tonkotsu (pork bone) soup base. For something different, there is also Tsukemen, where you dip the noodles into the savory broth.
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And last but not least, snacks, snacks and more SNACKS! You may already be awed by the fantastic treats that the average Konbini (convenient store) in Japan has to offer. But Okashi Land here is all about the limited editions and coolest flavors that you can’t get anywhere else. We know you’ve just had ramen, but there’s always more room for snacks right?
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Check out the official website of the Tokyo Station First Avenue for more updates on events and pop up shops: http://www.tokyoeki-1bangai.co.jp/

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#GenkiJACSTokyorainydayplan #GenkiJACSTokyoStationFirstAvenue

Fukuoka is 7th most livable city in the world!

Posted on June 26, 2016 | evankirby

Monocle Magazine has released their 2016 Quality of Life Survey, and Fukuoka City has climbed even higher than last year! In 2015 Fukuoka was ranked 12th worldwide for quality of life, but on their 2016 survey, Fukuoka has moved up 5 places to 7th position. This is still behind Tokyo, which remains in first place, but is now 2 places ahead of Kyoto!
Here's the top 10 list:
1. Tokyo
2. Berlin
3. Vienna
4. Copenhagen
5. Munich
6. Melbourne
7. Fukuoka
8. Sydney
9. Kyoto
10. Stockholm

That's 3 Japanese cities in the top 10! It's great to see the quality of life available in Japan being recognized internationally. If you haven't visited Japan and Fukuoka yet, now you have one less excuse. See you here soon!

What to do on a rainy day - Nothing beats a warm hot bath

Posted on June 24, 2016 | evankirby

There are just too many great onsens (温泉) and sentos (銭湯) around in Tokyo that it’s almost impossible to give you a full list. But here are some of our top picks:

Oedo Onsen Monogatari
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At: 2-6-3 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo
By train: 2 minute walk from Tokyo Telecome Center Station
Hours: 11:00 to 9:00 (next day), 7 days a week Last entry: 7 a.m.
Adult: 2,480 Yen(Sat. & Sun. 2,680 Yen・Special Day 2,880 Yen)
Evening Discount Admission ¥1,980( Sat. & Sun. 2,180 Yen・ Special Day 2,380 Yen) ※Late Night Premium 2,000 Yen (after 2:00 am)
※Fee includes: Bath fee, Yukata robe fee, Towel fee, Facility usage fee.
****Point*** Immerse yourself in Japaense traditional Onsen culture at this themed facilities! You can stroll around the streets modeled after olden day Tokyo, enjoy delicious Japanese cuisine as well as try out some traditional Japanese games! Definitely something there for everyone!
More information here: http://daiba.ooedoonsen.jp/en/


Spa La Qua
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At: Tokyo Dome
By train:
Korakuen Station on Marunouchi Metro Line/ Nanboku Metro Line
Suidobashi Station on JR Chuo Sobu Line
Kasuga Station on Toei Mita Line/ Toei Oedo Line
Hours: 11:00 to 9:00 next day
Fees: 2,634 Yen, Late night charge: 1,944 Yen
***Point*** Need a quick get-away to one of those resort islands but don’t have the time or money? Take your break at Sa La Qua and you can recharge yourself at this sanctuary right in the middle of Tokyo.
More information here: http://www.laqua.jp/pages/en/


Niwa no Yu
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At: 3-25-1 Koyama, Nerima Ku, Tokyo
By train: 5 minute walk from Toshimaen Station
Hours: 10:00 to 23:00
Fees: 2,130 Yen (1,295 Yen for after 6pm entry).
***Point*** All natural spa where you can enjoy the view of beautiful Japanese garden as you indulge in the various pools.
More information here: http://www.niwanoyu.jp/


Saya no Yudokoro Onsen
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At: 3-41-3 Maeno Cho, Itabashi Ku, Tokyo
8-minute walk from Exit A2 of Shimura-Sakaue Station on the Toei Mita Line
Hours: 10:00 am – 1:00 am (last check-in 12:00 am)
Fees: Monday to Friday 830 Yen / Saturday, Sunday, and holidays 1,030 Yen
***Point*** If you’re looking for privacy, this place has individual rooms you can rent for 2 hours at a time and even enjoy a meal there.
More information here: http://www.sayanoyudokoro.co.jp/english


Tennen Onsen Heiwajima
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At: Big-Fun-Heiwajima, 1-1-1 Heiwajima, Ota-ku, Tokyo
By Train:
Five minutes from Heiwajima station (Keikyu line) by free shuttle bus
Fees: 1,800 Yen on weekdays, 2,100 Yen on weekends (up to 7 hours)
***Point***
Near Haneda Airport with free shuttle bus access! Catch your last Japanese onsen experience before heading home:)
More information here: http://www.heiwajima-onsen.jp/en/

#GenkiJACSTokyorainydayplan #GekiJACSTokyoOnsen

Rainy days in Tokyo: Museums and Galleries

Posted on June 22, 2016 | evankirby

Don’t let the dreaded rainy season in Japan dampen your spirits! We’re putting together a list of things you can still enjoy on wet weather days.

#GenkiJACSTokyomusuems #GenkiJACSTokyorainydayplan

First up is our unusual museum listicle:

Tokyo Trick Art Musuem
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At: Decks Tokyo Beach Island mall 4F, 1-6-1, Daiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo,
By train:
YURIKAMOME Line 2-minute walk from Odaiba Kaihinkouen Station.
RINKAI Line 5-minute walk from Tokyo Teleport Station.
Fee: 900 Yen
More information here: http://www.trickart.info/


Cup Noodle Museum
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At: 2-3-4 Shinko, Naka-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa
By train:
8 minute walk from the Minatomirai line Minatomirai Station
8 minute walk from the Minatomirai line Bashamichi Station
12 minute walk from the JR/Shieichikatetsu Sakuragicho Station
Fee: 500 Yen
More information here: http://www.cupnoodles-museum.jp/english/index.html


Samurai Museum
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At: 2-25-6 Kabukicho, Shinjuku (It’s just 5 minutes from school on foot!)
Admission: 1,800 Yen
More information here: www.samuraimuseum.jp

Space Museum TeNQ
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At: 6F Yellow Bldg., Tokyo Dome City 1-3-61 Koraku, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
By train:
JR Line/Toei Mita Line Suidobashi Station
Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line/Namboku Line Korakuen Station
Toei Oedo Line Kasuga Station
More information here: http://www.tokyo-dome.co.jp/tenq/



Summer Music Festivals

Posted on June 20, 2016 | evankirby

Summer is all about rocking in the sun! Check out these cool music festivals in Japan :)
#GenkiJACSsummer

Fuji Rock
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Dates: July 22 (Friday), July 23 (Saturday) and July 24 (Sunday)
Location: Naeba Ski Resort, Yuzawa-cho, Niigata Pref.
One day ticket: 17,000 Yen ~ 19,000 Yen
Two day ticket: 32,000 Yen ~ 36,000 Yen
Three day ticket: 39,800 Yen ~ 43,000 Yen
*** Early bird and advance ticket discounts available***
More information at: http://fujirock-eng.com/


Summer sonic
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Dates: August 20 (Saturday), August 21 (Sunday)
1 day ticket: 16,500 Yen
2 day ticket: 30,000 Yen
Platinum ticket: 30,000 Yen
More information at: http://www.summersonic.com/2016/english/

Rock in Japan
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Dates: August 6 (Saturday), August 7 (Sunday), August 13 (Saturday), August 14 (Sunday)
More information at: http://rijfes.jp/

Rising Sun Rock Festival
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Dates: August 12 (Friday), August 13 (Saturday)
Tickets:
18,500 Yen for 2 day ticket
9,300 Yen for August 12 (Friday) ticket
13,000 Yen for August 13 (Saturday) ticket
More information at: http://rsr.wess.co.jp/2016/

Japanese school attending NAFSA Conference

Posted on June 15, 2016 | evankirby

We were extremely happy to be the only Japanese language school accepted to attend the prestigious NAFSA Conference in Denver at the start of this month! This is possibly the world's biggest gathering of study abroad professionals, with more than 10,000 people attending over the week-long event. We had a booth beside the massive Study In Japan area. Our booth turned out quite nice - the new banners we had made are quite striking!

Genki Japanese School NAFSA booth

It was great to see so many of our university partners there, and to have the chance to meet many others. It's surprising how many of the attendees have some Japanese study already! We can't wait to attend next year too...

Skype lessons

Posted on June 14, 2016 | evankirby

Japanese Online Institute
As we do every summer, we've put Skype lessons on hold so that we can better deal with the rush of students coming to study at our Japanese schools in Tokyo and Fukuoka. This year, however, we've decided to stop offering Skype lessons ourselves, for the near future at least. This is partly because the ever-growing number of students at our schools themselves means we don't always have enough teachers available to teach Skype classes, and partly because our Skype lesson coordinator, Miki-sensei, has taken ill recently and will be out for a while. Where possible, we've arranged alternate online lessons for ongoing students. For students who still have outstanding Skype lesson credit, we're working with Japanese Online Institute (JOI), a Fukuoka-based provider with many years of experience in teaching Japanese online. We chose them because their lessons are high quality, their schedule is flexible, and the cost is not too high. We're happy to recommend them to all students who want to continue their study after going back home!
If you have online lesson credit with us that you would like to use up, email us and we'll tell you how to claim those lessons with JOI. Looking forward to a wonderful summer!