Fukuoka's government newspaper, 福岡市政だより ("Fukuoka shisei dayori") just published the results of their latest questionnaire on what Fukuoka residents think of the city.And the results are the best ever! A whopping 95.8% of residents say that the city is 住みやすい ("sumiyasui", easy to live in). And only 1.6% of people said it was difficult to live here.
The reasons why people love Fukuoka, in order of popularity, were:
Students at GenkiJACS' Fukuoka Japanese language school recently were invited to watch a show at Fukuoka's longest-running "new half" club. "New half "(ニューハーフ) is the Japanese way of saying transvestite. In recent years, LGBT have become more visible in Japan, partly through the popularity of celebrities such as Ikko, Kayo Satoh, and several others. There is still often a sense of "otherness" in the way that the LGBT community is viewed by the population at large, but there seems to be little direct prejudice.
We were invited to attend a special test performance at あんみつ姫 (Anmitsuhime, most likely named after the manga of the same name) of their newest show, which is specifically aimed at foreigners. The rapidly growing number of tourists visiting Fukuoka has meant a lot more places are offering services specifically for foreigners recently, and Anmitsuhime is no exception. Their shows generally mix comedy and dance numbers. Their new show followed a similar pattern, but the comedy elements focused more on physical than verbal play, to make things easy for the foreigners in the audience.
They were kind enough to allow our students to watch completely free, including free drinks! The show was of course great, with incredible costumes and decoration, great music, and very funny routines. They have reportedly been running for 35 years in Fukuoka now! Here's hoping they run for 35 years more!
Genki Japanese is Star World Language School 2016!
Incredible news! Every year in September, the Study Travel Star Awards honor the top language schools worldwide. They're basically the Oscars of the language travel industry, the highest award available. And this year, Genki Japanese and Culture School won! By popular vote, we were named Star World Language School 2016. This means we're not just the top Japanese school, but the top language school worldwide!
This is an incredible honor for us. Long-time Genki watchers will know that we have been nominated and shortlisted every year since 2009, but this year is our first time to actually win! A lot of other great schools are nominated in this category, including the wonderful Kai Japanese in Tokyo, and our friends Mandarin House in China, so it's still difficult to comprehend that we won.
A massive thank-you to everyone who voted for us, and of course to all of the staff and teachers at our Tokyo and Fukuoka schools, who work so hard every day to do the best we can for our students. It's awesome to receive this kind of recognition of their efforts.
To celebrate this wonderful event, we'll be running a variety of promotions and celebrations in the near future, so watch this space!
One of the things we're most proud of here at Genki Japanese School is the very high scores our former students give us. In a recent survey, all of the language school review websites we could find ranked GenkiJACS as the best Japanese language school in Japan, or one of the best. We're so happy that students appreciate the effort we put in to arranging their Japanese courses, accommodation and activities.
We've collected a few quotes from some of the reviews we found below. These are all unsolicited quotes from former students, published on public review websites:
Genki Japanese School, Tokyo Branch:
- I learned so much in just one month. I highly recommend GenkiJACS to someone who is serious about learning Japanese - there is class everyday and oftentimes, there is homework, so you do have to take it seriously to improve!
- GenkiJACS in Tokyo is a fabulous place to study Japanese. The best part of the school is the teachers and receptionists. They are so kind and helpful. The teaching was fantastic. GenkiJACS is a school I would pick when studying Japanese in Japan, because of its fascinating location, the friendly teachers and receptionists at the school as well as the wonderful life the school offers during your stay. I highly recommend Genki Japanese and Culture School to all out there who are looking for a good Japanese school to study.
- I visited GenkiJACS just for 3 weeks but it was definitely worth it and I'm really looking forward to the time I can go there again. With maximum 8 students the classes are really comfortable.
- I spent a really good time at GenkiJACS, and would not hesitate to go back there to study Japanese!
- The teachers are simply fantastic. Knowledgeable, fun and caring. I achieved excellent results in just 7 weeks. Location is simply fantastic.
- The Genki JACS school in Tokyo is the perfect school for me. The staff at the Geni JACS is probably the closest thing you can have to a family abroad, they are ALL extremely helpful, very patient (no matter what crazy ideas or wishes you come up with) and take care of you in a way you might not be used to when coming from Europe.
- It is an amazing school, staffed by wonderful, helpful and engaging teachers. The school was fantastic, the facilities are great and it is a place I would definitely recommend anyone study at.
- I loved it so much. The teachers are all very friendly, fun, patient and excellent at teaching Japanese. My GENKIJACS experience was fantastic and I’m saving up to go again next year!
The experience was not less than pleasurable. All the stages from the enrollment until the last of day of school were really good. Upon the first day of arrival I have been greeted with welcoming smiles from the staff and has felt welcome ever since.
- It was the best school I ever studied with, so I highly recommend Genki JACS!
- Teachers taught in a way that made Japanese easy to learn and making grammar and vocabulary easy to memorize for beginners.
- The classes weren't too big and had the right size of about 6 students, so that you could learn very well and pay attention.
- All is perfect, the activities, location, teachers and classes.
- Everything was awesome. Don't miss the chance to go to Japan and learn Japanese at Genki!
- It was especially important for me that there was a small number of students per class (we were never more than 8) which in my opinion helped in keeping the class dynamic and fun.
- It was an excellent school in a wonderful city. You will fall in love with everything that is around you in Tokyo. There is no doubt that these were the best eight weeks of my life.
- The best experience I have had in my life.
- Amazing and really productive stay at Tokyo. My time studying at Genki JACS is superb, I really enjoy it.
- The teachers in Shinjuku are a joy to be around.
- In the 5 weeks I have been in GenkiJACS I have learned way more than in one year in Amsterdam. In the culture class I had a lot of extraordinary experiences. If I had to write a bad point, it would be that I felt so sad and lonely after I had to leave Japan and GenkiJACS after 5 amazing weeks.
This school was the best ever
- It was a great experience and I do highly recommend it.
Genki Japanese School, Fukuoka Branch:
- Genki School shall be your best option if you want to study Japanese, and experience Japanese way of life.
- Genki JACS was an amazing experience! Fukuoka itself is an awesome place to be! I would definitely recommend Genki JACS Fukuoka to anyone who is motivated to study Japanese! I had a great experience and wish I could have stayed longer than the three short weeks I was there.
- Genki JACS was my best language learning experience so far. I spent the best three weeks in my life in Fukuoka thanks to Genki JACS.
- If you want to learn Japanese, Genki JACS is the place to go. Genki JACS is a great all around experience. -- I'm planning to go back again for another 4 weeks.
- GenkiJACS was and is a unique experience. I went here last year and I will never forget it. The teachers are all really friendly and helpful.
- The experience of studying in Genki has become one of my best memories in my life.
- I just regret my stay was no longer. It was intense and unforgettable. I look forward coming back really soon !
- Wonderful experience. Learned a lot and had fun. Would highly recommend GenkiJACS.
- My time at GenkiJACS was nothing other than amazing. It is so welcoming and friendly, it was so easy to make friends, even for someone as shy as I am! The teachers are equally as amazing. They are so kind and helpful, you don’t feel anxiety but rather a yearning to learn because the class is so fun. Thank you GenkiJACS! My only regret is that my stay was so short, so next time I’ll have to stay longer :)
- An extraordinary thing on this school is the atmosphere. The teachers are relaxed and in a really good mood. It is real fun to have lessons with them. It’s a great place to study. I would recommend the school and I’m looking forward for my next stay at Genki JACS.
- The staff is extremely friendly, helpful, and always happy to do what it takes for you to feel comfortable and enjoy the experience. It has been a wonderful experience, and I have been back each year.
- The school is so great that when it was time to return to Germany, I had already decided to return to Genki JACS as soon as I could manage to get enough time off.
- I loved the small class sizes and laid back atmosphere.
- Everything about the school is top-notch: well-trained and enthusiastic teachers, small class sizes, fun atmosphere, convenient location, ample cultural outings and after-school parties, etc. What really impressed me about GenkiJACS was its cultivation of a perfectly-balanced atmosphere of both learning and fun
- Attending GENKIJACS has been one of the best experiences in my life.
- The tempo in class is quite high, but most people doesn’t have much trouble keeping up since the quality of the teaching is very good.
- My time spent at GenkiJACS rates as one of my best experiences ever. All the after school and weekend activities were so great because it kept me busy. The admin at this school truly care. I had so many instances where the admin went out of their way to help me personally. I cannot stress enough how wonderful this school was and I highly recommend it for everyone.
- I have been many times to Genkijacs and I am always coming back. The teachers are really great, they know their job and it is really a pleasure to learn japanese there.
- The course was extremely rewarding, and both the city and its people were fascinating. GenkiJACS is an outstanding school.
- I recommend GenkiJACS to anyone who wants to learn and practice Japanese in a fun and efficient way. It is a GREAT school.
- The school made me feel like a special person, not just one more student. I stayed with a host family, and they were amazing! They were so kind to me and took me all around the city. I still stay in touch with them!
- GenkiJacs is like a family, which is quite comforting. The teachers are the nicest people I have ever met.
- I highly recommend GenkiJACS to someone who is serious about learning Japanese
- I have attended several Japanese language courses in Europe and Japan. GenkiJACS proved to be the best Japanese language school I found. I definitely want to go back to GenkiJACS.
- I had a really fabulous time here. Every teacher I had was of high quality, but on top of this they were exceptionally friendly and taught with a sense of humour.
- Compared to other language schools I have studied at, the instructors at GenkiJACS are very enthusiastic. While my instructors were very professional in the classroom, they were also great companions/friends who love to hang out with the students with optional after-school activities. - - - The administrative staff at GenkiJACS has been one of the very best I have ever interacted with.
- The best two weeks of my life!! I want to go back after university to study in Japan for a minimum of a year. The teachers at Genki Jacs are amazing! You will improve so quickly without even realising.
- The teachers were great and the staff supports students in every way possible.
- Originally I went to Genkijacs for four weeks but after two weeks I realized I liked it so much I ended up studying there for three months!
- Excellent learning and life experience. The teachers are passionate and patient in teaching. They made learning enjoyable and interesting.
- The school, classes and teachers were all wonderful.
- I learned so much in just one month! I highly recommend GenkiJACS to someone who is serious about learning Japanese.
- The school you should not miss. There are tons of activities organized by Genki school that you wont feel bored with your Japanese study life
- Exactly what I was looking for. A fantastic opportunity for my family!
- Definitely worth the money. Everybody seems to try to fullfill your wishes the best as they can. I plan to return to this school and can only recommend it.
- I'm currently in an exchange program in Todai. Genki JACS' way of teaching was so much better. I lived with a Japanese host family in a traditional Japanese home. It was beyond great. I really recommended it.
- The great language lessons, as well as the Activity and Culture Class made my stay in Japan a fantastic experience that was really worthwhile.
- The quality of the staff is top notch with most tutors having international experience and years of teaching Japanese to foreigners. Fukuoka [is] the friendliest and safest city in the world I have so far experienced. I can recommend the school without hesitation and will be making arrangements to attend follow up courses in the future myself again.
- Genki JACS is probably the best language school in Fukuoka.
- If you’re looking to improve your Japanese and / or explore Japanese culture, I highly recommend you Genki JACS.
- I could not be happier with my experience at the school.
Find out what everyone is raving about - sign up to study at Genki Japanese Language School today!
GenkiJACS chosen as one of world's Star language schools 2016!
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
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!
Next up on our rainy day series is the Tokyo underground.
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.
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.
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?
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/
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:
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!