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.

流行ポーズ - kawaii poses for girls

Posted on October 15, 2014 | genkijacs

Our Japanese language students are probably all familiar with the popular Japanese custom of striking a pose when taking photos.
Arguably the most popular of these is the "peace sign", which has become fashionable all over the world.


Well, the peace sign isn't the only pose to be seen in Japanese photos. In fact, the custom of posing for photos is such a big deal here that there are websites, blog posts, and even TV show segments entirely dedicated to the most recent popular "kawaii" poses for girls.

And in one survey ran by one of the above-mentioned TV show segments, almost all of the participants said that they knew and utilized the most recent poses in their photos.

One pose that recently made news over here is the 虫歯ポーズ (むしばポーズ - "cavity pose") - one hand held at a slight angle over the cheek, creating a slimming line to give the appearance of a thinner face (so called because it gives the appearance of having a toothache!)




In fact, the pose has gained so much popularity that magazines aimed at young women feature it frequently on their covers.


A variation of this pose is called the 頬に手ポーズ (ほほにてポーズ - "hands on cheek pose"), where both hands are placed on the face at a slight angle. This pose is often seen on the blogs and Twitters of Japanese idols:


But arguably the best version of this pose ever seen was by GenkiJACS' very own Aya-sensei!


Tokyo school expansion almost complete!

Posted on October 12, 2014 | evankirby

Tokyo school new classrooms

Construction work on the new Japanese classrooms at our Tokyo school branch is almost finished, and we should be ready to start running Japanese classes there in just a week or two!


With this, the Tokyo school is nearly as large as our Fukuoka Japanese school, which is quite an accomplishment, seeing as it has been open for less than a year and a half! It's a testament to the popularity of Tokyo as a destination, and also to the hard work of Tomoe-sensei and other staff who put in some incredibly hard work to set up a great school.


And thanks of course to all the students who believed in us and have helped to make the atmosphere at the Tokyo school so fun!

Here's the view from the window of one of the new classrooms. Can you imagine a better view for a Japanese language school to have??


If you haven't already visited the school, now's your chance. We can't wait to have you learn Japanese with us!

Typhoon Update

Posted on October 05, 2014 | evankirby

To all GenkiJACS Tokyo students: Classes will be held as normal today, Monday the 6th of October. Do be careful, and don't forget your umbrella!
(Classes at Fukuoka branch will of course be held as normal too.)

2014 Asiad

Posted on October 02, 2014 | genkijacs

Wow! It is already approaching autumn in Japan, which means the climate should be cooling down – but just over in nearby South Korea, the competition is heating up at the 17th Asiad! For those of you that are unaware, the Asian Games have been held every 4 years since their inauguration in New Delhi in the year 1951. It is considered a global sporting event reflective in terms of popularity and seriousness of competition, behind the World Cup and Olympics.


Did you know Japan is the all time medal count leader at a whopping 2,650 medals? That is a lot of medals. To be more accurate, 910 of those medals are gold! That is also a lot of gold. This year, Japan is ranked 3rd in the medal count so far behind the host South Korea (#2) and China (#1). The competition has been fierce, and there have been all kinds of sports available to watch nightly here in Japan! It seems that Japan has been dominating swimming, fencing, judo and gymnastics! As a fan of volleyball star Kimura Saori, I have been keeping an eye out for the Japanese women volleyball matches.


It promises to be an exciting matchup in the semis; with China, South Korea, Japan and Thailand making the cut! Are you keeping up with the Asian Games? Have you heard of this huge sporting event? At any rate, the games end tomorrow! 日本、日本!頑張れ!!



Posted on September 28, 2014 | genkijacs

On Saturday, we said a very sad (temporary) goodbye to one of the teachers who has been with us the longest, Machiko-sensei. Previous Genki students will know what an integral part of the school she was - we can't imagine a GenkiJACS where Machiko-sensei isn't busily bustling around on Monday morning getting all the new students sorted into class!

GenkiJACS Fukuoka staff - with a special appearance by Tokyo school's Tomoe-sensei! - celebrated the end of summer, as well as Machiko-sensei's farewell, at Mitsubachi, a beautiful restaurant in Nakasu, located right on one of the canals.



Teachers and staff had a great evening enjoying delicious food and drinks, before Machiko-sensei got a special surprise from the restaurant managers!


As well as some gifts from GenkiJACS.


Before Yuji-sensei and Tetsuya-sensei ended the evening with a special Hakata-style 一本締め (いっぽんじめ, "ippon jime" - hand-clapping to celebrate the conclusion of an event).


Machiko-sensei is taking an extended leave of absence to travel to London, but it won't be forever! She promised to be back soon. We'll miss her dearly while she's gone!

In the meantime, Nabe-sensei has taken over overseeing Beginner 2 and above students.

We're not saying さようなら, because we will definitely meet again. See you again soon, Machiko-sensei!


Check out our Facebook for more photos!

The crying politician, Ryutaro Nonomura

Posted on September 03, 2014 | genkijacs

If you've found yourself going online with any kind frequency during the last few months, you've probably seen the video of the "crying Japanese politician", Ryutaro Nonomura.


Nonomura broke down emotionally at a press conference held in early July. The 47-year-old politician was accused of "misusing" an alleged ¥3m in public funds for personal gains, and forced to apologize for his conduct in a national press conference.

If you haven't seen the video, this is it:

Things start to unravel at around 1:30, and it's all downhill from there.

The video was uploaded to the internet shortly after the conference, and, in the way of these things, immediately went viral. It became so popular that Nonomura even has his own line of mechandise, including:


20140903-2.jpg 20140903-22.jpg 20140903-23.jpg

LINE stickers


Various fan art

20140903-4.jpg 20140903-0001.png

and even his own series of Dubstep remixes:

His passionate cry of "この日本…世の中を変えたい!" (このにほん・・・よのなかをかえたい!) (at around 3:37-ish in the original video) is set to become one of the 流行語 of 2014.

Nonomura has since resigned from his position in the Hyogo Prefectural Assembly.

**Guest blog** Miyazaki surf trip

Posted on August 27, 2014 | genkijacs

Our Fukuoka Japanese language students went on a weekend surfing trip to beautiful Miyazaki on the 16th. Our student lifestyle coordinator, Yuuki-san, organized the whole trip, and was kind enough to write us a blog entry about the experience.



We went to Miyazaki for a Surf Trip on 16-17th Aug. My family and I, Kayo-san, and 11 students went to Miyazaki together!! Miyazaki is one of the best surf hotspots in Japan. When we arrived, there were already many other surfers from all over Japan. All the students who participated were beginners, so my husband (Shintarou-san), Gordon-san, and Shigenaga-san (a family friend) entered the sea and pushed everyone’s surf boards. Thanks to them, some students were able to stand on their boards! We stayed at a private home providing meals and lodging along the beach. Dinner was delicious chicken Nanban, a famous Miyazaki meal, and sashimi. Breakfast was Japanese style “Washoku”. It was very delicious! It was only a short trip of 2 days and 1 night, but everybody seemed to enjoy the hot summer in Japan. On the way back to Fukuoka, the traffic was very congested because of the national Obon holidays, so it took seven hours to get back to Fukuoka…! Otsukaresama!! I hope we can make it again next year :-)
Special thanks to Shintarou-san, Gordon-san, Shigena-san, and Kayo-san!!


Check out our Facebook for some photos of the trip!

Gourmet comes to Fukuoka school!

Posted on August 25, 2014 | genkijacs

One of our Japanese language students, who trained as a professional chef, recently cooked a delicious meal for teachers and staff at our Fukuoka school.
The meal was a mouth-watering fusion of European cuisine. Many teachers reported having tears spring to their eyes upon tasting the delicious taste explosion.

Jacob-san, thank you so much for the awesome meal! (And you know, if you feel like coming over again...we don't mind...really...any time...please...we might starve without you.........)







Japanese Tweet-slang

Posted on August 13, 2014 | genkijacs

Our Japanese language students following Japanese friends or celebrities on Twitter may have come across some of these before. Because of the character limit, it sometimes becomes necessary to abbreviate (in some cases, quite a bit!) to fit all your thoughts into one Tweet. Of course, sometimes these abbreviations just become habit, so you use them all the time anyway (no one says "retweet" anymore... it's just "RT"). Here are a few examples of the more frequently seen ones on Twitter:

AZS (or あざーす):
ありがとうございます ("thank you").

(This one requires some explanation!)
In spoken Japanese, sometimes words that end on "い" (e.g. "ない"), sometimes get pronounced "えー" (as in, "じゃねー" instead of "じゃない").
Now, if you wanted to express that you think someone is cool in Japanese, you would say ○○さん、かっこいい (or, if you were to change the い-sound, カッケー).
The Japanese word for "triangle" is 三角形 ("さんかくけい" pronounced "さんかっけい" in this case).
You can see where this is going, right? さんかっけい... ○○さん、カッケー...
"I think Johhny Depp is really cool!" would be "ジョニー・デップさん、カッケー!" in Japanese, or in Twitter language, would be ジョニー・デップ△!

なう / わず / うぃる :
These are all transliterations of English words - "now", "was" and "will" - and perform more or less the same functions. Tacked on to the end of words, they function as a simple to way to say when the word is taking place (and so, when you are going to do/have done something), for example:
なう → 夕食なう (ゆうしょくなう): Having dinner now / 新宿なう (しんじゅくなう): I'm in Shinjuku right now
わず → カラオケわず: I went to karaoke earlier
うぃる → ラーメンうぃる: I'm going to have ramen later
Interestingly, these are always written in hiragana (and not katakana, which is traditionally used to display foreign/loan words)...

Represents applause, when someone congratulates you on something.
Japanese onomatopoeia for "applause" is "パチパチ" (which translates to 88 - "はちはち"), so 888888 is the sound of many hands clapping.

You're sure to surprise your Japanese Twitter followers by using some of these in your Tweets!