New Friends in Room 6

Posted on September 28, 2011 | genkijacs

A kind friend of the school recently left us a huge box of action figures, mostly of the ever-popular Kamen Rider series here in Japan.

But what to do with such a gift? Our classrooms all have a theme of sorts, except for one or two and room number 6 needed one. So their new home was born and they are being swiftly put to work as decorations around the classroom!

Unfortunately, as they are very strict gentlemen, their arms do not bend under any circumstances! So we have to be imaginative...

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We hope they enjoy their new life in Room 6!

Low Cost Carriers in Japan

Posted on September 23, 2011 | evankirby

While low cost carriers (LCCs) have been providing cheap tickets to travelers in Europe for many years now, they’re still relatively new in Japan. But it looks like next year will be a big year for LCCs in Japan! And the cheaper flights are, the easier it is for you to come study with us! So we wanted to take this chance to summarize the current situation, as well as coming developments.
Some info for this post came from an article, 「格安航空を知り尽くす」 (“Kakuyasu koukuu wo shiritsukusu”, Learn Everything About LCCs), published in the September 13 edition of the weekly 週刊エコノミスト (Economist Weekly) magazine.
All airline info is current as of September 24, 2011.

LCCs in Japan currently
There are no real domestic LCCs in Japan currently. Skymark Airlines, the most famous discount airline, is often only a couple of thousand yen cheaper than the big airlines, JAL and ANA. But fortunately the international situation is somewhat better! The airlines below currently fly internationally from Japan. Note that most offer connecting flights to other airports too, so you can use their international network to fly to Japan from a variety of places cheaply!

Jetstar (Australia)
Flies from Osaka to Taiwan, Singapore, and multiple locations in Australia.
Flies from Tokyo to multiple locations in Australia.

Air Asia (Malaysia)
Flies from Osaka and Tokyo to Kuala Lumpur.
Huge network of flights from Kuala Lumpur to other places, so really handy!


Cebu Pacific Air (Philippines)

Flies from Osaka to Manila.
Not so handy for anywhere else, unfortunately.

Spring Airlines (China)
Flies from Ibaraki (near Tokyo) and Takamatsu (near Osaka) to Shanghai.

Air Pusan (Korea)
Flies from Fukuoka, Osaka and Tokyo to Busan, South Korea.

Jeju Air (Korea)
Flies from Kansai, Kitakyushu and Nagoya airports to various airports in Korea.

Jin Air (Korea)
Flies from Sapporo to Seoul
Somewhat limited options currently

Eastar Jet (Korea)
Flies from Tokyo and Sapporo to Incheon


Future Developments

Jetstar
In mid-2012 Jetstar, in partnership with JAL, plans to begin offering discounted domestic flights in Japan, with a fairly extensive network including Tokyo, Osaka, Sapporo, Fukuoka, Okinawa, and more!

Peach Aviation
Based in Kansai airport, and planning to offer both international and domestic flights, this airline is a partnership from ANA, expected to start service in March 2012. So soon!

Air Asia Japan
Also in partnership with ANA, Air Asia will start offering both domestic and international discount flights from 2012.

The result of all of these efforts should be a massive drop in the price of tickets for travel both to and within Japan. We can’t wait!

Hojoya O-Matsuri!

Posted on September 21, 2011 | genkijacs

This week sees Fukuoka ring in the third of the three signature festivals of the region: the Hojoya festival. It is the final Matsuri of the summer and generally seen as the festival that brings in the autumn season. It is a festival based around the buddhist precept of not killing, so birds and fish are ceremonially released from captivity.

The first of two trips to the festival has already passed at Genki JACS and everyone enjoyed themselves immensely! Hundreds of booths, food and drink stalls, along with the traditional yatai - serving everything from ramen to yakiniku. Those who could turned out in their yukata and added to the thriving family atmosphere.

There is one more evening trip left this week and many students are returning during the day to celebrate and acquire more souvenirs!

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Genki textbook seminar!

Posted on September 20, 2011 | evankirby

What is Genki?

A big event planned for Sunday October 2nd - we've invited one of the authors of the Genki textbook series (no relation to our school) to visit GenkiJACS for a seminar to celebrate the publishing of new editions of both Genki 1 and Genki 2. The second edition of Genki 1 went on sale in May, and Genki 2 should be on sale shortly.

Eri Banno teaches at Okayama University. At the seminar, she'll talk about the process of creating the Genki textbooks (now one of the most popular series), and how best to teach them. It's aimed at teachers at GenkiJACS and other Japanese schools, as well as trainee teachers. We're excited about this chance to talk to the person who created the books that form the backbone of study at GenkiJACS. And we know for sure it'll mean better classes for all future students!

Michael Jackson Thriller dance event

Posted on September 19, 2011 | evankirby

GenkiJACS students attended a quite unique event recently - an attempt to have 1000 people dance Michael Jackson's Thriller at Bayside Place in Fukuoka! Bad weather meant numbers didn't get too close to 1000 unfortunately, but we all had a great time. Video of the event is here, but to be honest we only wanted to post this great photo:

Michael Jackson Thriller event

Here's to more fun events in Fukuoka, to keep students busy!

Escape game!

Posted on September 05, 2011 | evankirby

20110905-fukuokaescapegame.jpg

We took GenkiJACS teachers and staff out to celebrate the end of the busy summer season last week. This time we arranged to attend something a little special - リアル脱出ゲーム (riaru dasshutsu geemu, a real escape game).
Escape puzzle games have become popular in Japan on PC and more recently, smartphones. In these games, the player must find clues and solve puzzles to escape from a locked room or other awful situation. Real escape games bring this to the real world - participants are literally locked in a room filled with clues, and given a time limit to escape. The game we attended was organized by a company called Scrap. They run these games around the country, of course changing the puzzles and situation each time. Ours was 「人狼村からの脱出」 (Jinroumura kara no dasshutsu, Escape from werewolf town), which involved figuring out which of the townspeople are werewolves. Of the 15 or so teams at the event, only two teams managed to escape before the time limit, and none of the GenkiJACS staff were in those teams, unfortunately. But we had a great time trying!