Happy birthday, GenkiJACS!

Posted on February 23, 2015 | genkijacs

Genki Japanese and Culture School turned 10 years old on the 19th of February, 2015.
It's been a great 10 years - the school has grown exponentially, and with the addition of a brand new branch in Tokyo in 2013, we are happy to have more students than ever before study the Japanese language with us.

Teachers and staff at Fukuoka school (featuring an appearance by Tomoe-sensei from Tokyo school via Skype), held a small party at the office on Thursday to celebrate.

Our school Directors had this cake especially made in the shape of the school's logo.

Let's play "how many GenkiJACS staff does it take to cut a cake?"....
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We also had some delicious finger foods and drinks, and everyone had a great time celebrating this very special day with the school.

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We also received some very lovely flowers, including a beautiful pink arrangement from our former Fukuoka school staff, Mai-san!
Thanks so much, Mai-san!!


Of course, we wouldn't have been able to get where we are without all our wonderful students. Here's to the next 10 years - we hope to continue working hard at being the best Japanese school in Japan!


YOUは何しに日本へ? (Why did you come to Japan?)

Posted on February 13, 2015 | genkijacs

If you study at Genki Japanese school in either Fukuoka or Tokyo long enough, you may start taking a liking to the TV programming here (this is obviously up in the air). One of the wonderful shows that is amusing to a foreigner is the one mentioned in the title of the blog entry. Oh, the wonderful Japan life!

The show is run by a famous comedy duo known as ‘Bananaman’ made up of Osamu Shitara and Yuki Himura. It runs regularly in Japan on Monday evenings (Mondays are generally awful in any part of the world, but this show makes it all worth it – in our opinion anyway)!


The show loosely places the camera crew at an international airport terminal (usually Narita International or Haneda International in Tokyo) and follows random interviewees around their journey in Japan!


This girl came from Canada from a province in Quebec, her dream wanting to become a maid at a maid café in Akihabara! Big shoes to fill, but the show followed her month long journey from interview to interview. Eventually, she got the job and started working as an associate maid. Not quite the full time position she wanted, but everyone has got to start somewhere right?



Another example is a couple of Swedish friends that got massive popularity by buying new guidebooks about Japan every year, and randomly pointing to spots in Japan. The random page would be their destination for the year. So random, so adventurous, so awesome. Obviously, the Japanese love this kind of behavior and the pair have become micro-celebrities of sort!

Finally, celebrity exposure? Of course! Mega rising star Benedict Cumberbatch has been seen on the show and had a memorable episode. He was probably more amused than the audience, though!


The best part of the show is the randomness! Just about any person can appear on the show and expose their adventure to Japan (except Japanese people, we guess).
So if you run into the YOUは何しに日本へ? camera crew, please bring them down to Genki Japanese and Culture school!

UBER in Fukuoka

Posted on February 04, 2015 | genkijacs

UBER, the car service everyone loves to use, is now available in Fukuoka!


For those of our readers who haven't heard of this fantastic service, UBER is an app you can download to your mobile device. When you need a ride somewhere, simply enter your details into the app, and they'll send a private car to pick you up.

UBER will be available in Fukuoka from the 5th of February. And best of all? During their initial trial period, you can use this service totally for free! The only conditions are:
- Your ride starts AND stays within Fukuoka City, Kasugashi, Shimemachi, and Kasuyamachi.
- Your ride is less than 60 minutes long.
- You don’t take more than 5 rides per week.

More details are available on their blog here. (Scroll down for English!)


Posted on February 04, 2015 | genkijacs

We received this lovely calendar from one of our very talented previous students, Chiyoko-san, last week.
Thanks so much, Chiyoko-san, this is a very special gift indeed!





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