Working holiday visas for Norwegian citizens!

Posted on December 27, 2012 | evankirby

From February 2013, Norwegian citizens will be able to receive working holiday visas to come to Japan for up to a year, and work or study freely. They join the 10 or so other countries that are already approved for working holidays in Japan. It's a great opportunity for 18-30 year olds to work in Japan, or even spend a year studying! The working holiday visa is far easier to apply for, and more flexible than the student visa, so we recommend it to everyone who is eligible for both.
A short new article about the new working holiday program between Norway and Japan

A box from Santa-san

Posted on December 20, 2012 | Aiko

We have many Santa-san this year.

Today we got a box from Santa-Alex-san!!


It is so hard to start diet especially around this time...




New Japanese national health insurance requirement

Posted on December 18, 2012 | evankirby

From July 2012, foreigners staying in Japan for 3 months or longer are required to join the national health insurance system, regardless of their visa type. You'll be asked to sign up when you register your residency at the ward office. The application is quite simple. And luckily the fees are low too! National health insurance is based on the previous year's income. As new arrivals in Japan don't have any previous income, you'll be asked to pay at the lowest rate, just 1,900 yen per month.
Note that this insurance covers 70% of medical expenses, so you'll need to pay the remaining 30%. Also note that in general this requirement won't be waived even if you can show you have travel insurance or some other kind of insurance from your home country.

mission POSSIBLE

Posted on December 18, 2012 | genkijacs

At GenkiJACS, students learn Japanese not only in classroom but also outside, in a real world!
Students learned in class how to buy some postcards, stamps at a post office and at a convenience store.
After they became confident ordering them in Japanese, their teacher gave them mission to go to the post office and the convenience store!
He had to buy 4 stamps and 5 postcards.

He had to buy 3 stamps and 4 postcards.

Everybody managed to buy the correct ones!!!

Students looked more confident speaking Japanese than before!

X'mas present

Posted on December 05, 2012 | Aiko

Santa Claus has already come to GenkiJACS!!!


It was from Germany, but we found out that one of the students, who is studying with us now, sent it to us.
He is so organized that he prepared this box before coming to Fukuoka!!

サンタ ヴォルフガングさん、 いつもありがとう!

Genki Japanese students practice traditional Noh theater

Posted on December 05, 2012 | evankirby

Noh theater

Some students at Genki Japanese school were lucky enough to be able to practice traditional Noh at the Noh theater in Ohori Park. Professional actors coached them in Noh techniques, and they even got a chance to wear the masks and walk the walk! Afterwards, they viewed a performance. We fully expect all of the students to follow a career in Japanese theater now!

Cheap portable wireless router

Posted on December 04, 2012 | evankirby

Wireless routers in Japan

Students at Genki Japanese School often ask for wireless Internet at their accommodation. Unfortunately the dorms and private apartments that we offer only have wired Internet access. But there is an easy solution! Electronics shops such as Bic Camera sell portable wireless routers for less than 2000 yen. These routers are the simplest possible devices: plug it in to the power, plug a LAN cable in, and you've got wireless Internet! And they're small enough to take back with you when you go home, or travel to other parts of Japan. A great way to make your life a little more convenient!

Sumo tournament in Fukuoka

Posted on December 03, 2012 | evankirby

We were lucky enough to be invited, along with students at Genki Japanese School, to a local sumo tournament last weekend in Nogata City, Fukuoka, organized by Mochikichi, makers of delicious gourmet rice crackers. This was of course not one of the big 7 national sumo tournaments, but even still, some of the biggest wrestlers such as Hakuhou were there.

Sumo wrestlers

The highlight of the event, for us, was a comedy show put on by two sumo wrestlers, explaining the rules of sumo through short skits. None of us had ever seen something like this before, and it was a great introduction for our Japanese school students to the sport!

Sumo jokesters

It was great to see sumo wrestlers up close, and the whole event had a much more homely feel than the big tournaments. We hope Mochikichi runs this kind of event next year too!