Star Awards Nomination 2013

Posted on July 30, 2013 | genkijacs

Genki Japanese language school is proud to be voted one of the world's Star Language Schools for 2013. This is our fifth year in a row! The STM Star Awards are unique, peer-voted awards in the international education industry. We are honored to be one of only five schools in the world nominated for the World Language School award!

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who voted for us this year, too. We hope to continue providing Japanese language education to the standard deserving of this award for many years to come.

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Japan's crime rate halved in 10 years

Posted on July 26, 2013 | evankirby

Japan has been justly known as one of the world's safest countries for a long time, but even there, it's not standing still. Japanese government figures (PDF) show the total crime rate has more than halved, from a high of about 280,000 crimes nationwide in 2002, to less than 140,000 in the whole of 2012. As in many countries, people perceive the crime rate to be growing, perhaps because of media attention paid to high-profile crimes. But the breakdown of figures shows decreases in all types of crime, across the board (although there are of course some increases from year to year - this year, for example, both violent crime and sex crime increased compared to last year).

Overall, it's great to hear that such a safe country has gotten even safer. We're happy to say that no Genki Japanese School student has ever been the victim of serious crime here, and with the current trends, it looks like that will continue!

Website update

Posted on July 23, 2013 | genkijacs

You may have seen this logo floating around here and there...

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That's right! We here at Genki Japanese Language and Culture School are updating our look. We've been making small changes to our social media pages (Facebook and Twitter) to include the new logo, and today we updated the website with a new top banner!
We'll be updating the design of the website in the next few months, so stay tuned! Until then, let us know what you think of the new logo! You can drop a comment on our Facebook page or Tweet @GenkiJACS on Twitter!

Japanese students make fake food

Posted on July 21, 2013 | evankirby

Students at our Japanese school recently participated in an activity to make fake food, typically used in Japan for restaurant menu displays.

Fake food class

A professional display food "chef" came to teach our Japanese school students the finer points of making plastic food indistinguishable from the real thing. Students covered items such as tempura, hot dogs, ice cream parfaits, and more. They had a great time, and came up with some wonderful creations!

This activity is part of our Japanese Plus Activities course, a course that combines learning the Japanese language with experiencing three fun Japan-related activities each week. It's currently only offered in summer, but from next year, we plan to offer it year-round, in a new course that combines the best of our Pop Culture course with our Activities course. Keep your eyes on this space!

Kit Kat

Posted on July 17, 2013 | genkijacs

Our Japanese language students are always surprised by the many Kit Kats flavors that are available in Japan. There's bound to be some you've never even heard of, so if you get a chance, try one! We haven't tried them all, so we can't promise they'll all be an explosion of delicious flavor, but here are some of the more interesting ones we've seen around:

Sweet Potato
Passion Fruit
Sakura Flower
Pumpkin Cheese Cake
Red Bean Paste
Apple Vinegar
Jasmine & Green Tea

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Passion Fruit Kit Kat...!

(Some flavors are seasonal and not available year-round).

Comedy shows next door to GenkiJACS Tokyo

Posted on July 15, 2013 | evankirby

Famima the Yoshimoto

Lovers of Japanese comedy will have a field day at our Japanese school in Tokyo, not just because the famous Yoshimoto Lumine theater is only a short walk from school. よしもと興業 (Yoshimoto Kougyou) is the biggest comedy talent agency in Japan, and many of the big stars have them as agents. At the Lumine theater, they run three or four shows daily with some of the most famous comedians in Japan, and with shows starting from just 2,000 yen. For intermediate or above students, it can be a great experience! And luckily, a lot of Japanese stand-up comedy is fairly simple, so it's not too hard to understand.

The other reason our students are lucky is that Yoshimoto is currently partnering with Family Mart to have stand-up comedians perform for free in two convenience stores - one in Osaka (home of Japanese comedy), and one in Shinjuku, about 20 meters from GenkiJACS' Japanese school here! Shows are held at 4pm most days - click here for a schedule. The timing is perfect to stop by on the way home after your Japanese classes!

Famima the Yoshimoto

Photo book from a former student

Posted on July 11, 2013 | evankirby

Student Heli-san came back to study with us for the third time this summer, and studied at both our Fukuoka and Tokyo schools. And she brought something very special: a photo book she had made of her last stay in Fukuoka! She really put some time into it - it's a wonderful item. Here are a few pages:

Photo book cover

Photo book page 2

Photo book page 3

Photo book page 4

Photo book back page

Thank you so much for the copy, Heli-san! We look forward to seeing the book you make of this year's study...

Movie night!

Posted on July 10, 2013 | genkijacs

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Our Tokyo Japanese language school students are enjoying movie night tonight! They are watching "21st Century Boys". Movies are shown in Japanese with English subtitles every Thursday - it's a great way for students to level up their language skills while enjoying a good movie!
Movies here in Japan are quite expensive, so why not stay after class on a Thursday and enjoy one on us?

Tanabata

Posted on July 04, 2013 | genkijacs

Our Tokyo school has started with preparations for the star festival - Tanabata!

Students write their wishes on special slips of paper, and hang them on the bamboo along with decorations.

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Do you know the story of Tanabata?

A beautiful princess called Orihime was an expert weaver who made beautiful clothes for the King. Working so hard to create these amazing cloths, she worried that she would never meet anyone or fall in love. When the King heard about this, he introduced his daughter to a cow herder called Hikoboshi, and it was love at first sight. Orihime was so in love that she started to weave less and less, and Hikoboshi let his cows stray all over the fields. This angered the King so much that he forbade them to see each other again. Orihime sank into a deep depression and was so sad that her father eventually relented and allowed her to see her love only on the 7th day of the 7th month of each year.

Make sure to check out our Facebook page for more photos of Tanabata!

Maestro-branded Mastercards still don't work in Japan!

Posted on July 03, 2013 | evankirby

An update on the situation: Since April, chip Mastercards with the Maestro logo can't be used to make withdrawals from ATMs in Japan. This has left a few students without any funds! GenkiJACS will of course help in cases like this, but we recommend bringing an alternate source of funds too.

The specific cards that can't be used are those that meet these conditions:
- Mastercard
- with Maestro logo
- with EMV (chip)
- issued outside Asia
- except the Netherlands and Canada, which are OK for some reason.

If your card meets these conditions, it currently isn't usable to take out cash from ATMs here. The problem should be fixed at some point, but Mastercard's website doesn't list any expected date, so who knows when. It's been nearly 3 months already!

Edo Tokyo Museum

Posted on July 01, 2013 | genkijacs

Our Tokyo Japanese culture class went on an outing to the Edo Tokyo Museum recently.

The museum is set up so that, if you follow the routes laid out from arrow to arrow, you can experience the history of Edo from its origins right up to modern times.

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There are various exhibits demonstrating each period in Tokyo's history, from the different hairstyles of the samurai era, to the first cars to debut in Japan.

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It's the miniature city exhibits that steal the show, though. They are incredibly detailed, depicting daily life in Edo as it was before it became Tokyo. The miniatures are so small that the museum provides binoculars to view them!

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If you want to learn about the history and culture of Tokyo before it became the modern metropolis it is now, the Edo Tokyo Museum is definitely the place to go.

Professional Photographer

Posted on July 01, 2013 | genkijacs

We had a professional photographer come and take some pictures of our new Tokyo school last week.

Professional photographer

We think Hiro-san did a great job of capturing the atmosphere of Genki Japanese Language School. It's obvious that he's a pro!

We'll be uploading some of the photos he took to our gallery soon, so keep an eye out! For now, here's a sneak peak at some of our favorite shots...

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Make sure to check out Hiro-san's website to see more of his work! http://hirok.jp/