Car-sharing

Posted on October 29, 2013 | genkijacs

Still being a relatively new service, not many people know that car-sharing is available in Japan. Car-sharing is like renting a car, but on a short-term basis (anything from a few minutes at a time!)

After joining this service, you will receive either a key card, or a QR code sent to your mobile phone, which you can use to access any of the share-car vehicles parked in a number of locations all over Japan. Once you use your access code, the usage of the car automatically gets logged to your account, so you don't have to worry about keeping track of mileage, fuel, etc. All of these costs go onto your account, which you pay on a monthly basis. When you borrow a car, you may use it as long as you want within the specified time-limit (this differs from company to company), and when you're done, you simply return the car to the parking lot and your usage automatically goes onto your tab.

This is especially convenient if you just need to borrow a car for a short period of time, for example picking an important company contact up from the airport, or taking some friends out to the country for a day-trip picnic.

Some of these companies even offer their cars on a parked basis for a few minutes, if you just need somewhere quiet to make a phonecall (the streets can be quite noisy!).

There are a number of companies offering this service in Japan, but we've heard few recommendations for Times Car Plus, so that might be a good place to start looking if you think you might be interested in using this service. Of course, it's always best to compare a few different companies and prices to find one that best suits your needs, and your budget!

So you wanna get active...

Posted on October 25, 2013 | genkijacs

A lot of our Japanese language students who are used to exercising at home, going to the gym or playing sports, find themselves at a loss for where to get their workout fix in Japan. Not to worry, we're here to help!

There is a youth center right across from our Fukuoka school, where students can join in any of the generally free activities hosted such as volleyball, tennis, running clubs, dancing classes and more.

There are also a number of gyms located around the city center, but most of them are membership-only, which is a bit of a problem for our short term students. Luckily, the Chuo gym is to the rescue! They offer membership on a pay-as-you-go basis, meaning you pay about ¥250 per time you visit them, and only then. They also have a number of coin lockers available where you may store your bag for a small fee.

For those of you who enjoy running outside, the beautiful Ohori Park is a short subway ride (or medium-length walk) from school. It's free, it's pretty, it's healthy, what's not to like?

こだわり

Posted on October 22, 2013 | genkijacs

You may have heard the word "こだわり" (kodawari) around, on the TV or radio, especially during those food shows Japanese TV lovers are so fond of. But what is こだわり? Its dictionary definition is somewhere along the lines of "fussing over, obsessing over", and that's not far from the mark.

こだわり is an uncompromising attention to detail. You'll notice this everywhere you go in Japan - from the meticulous way food is beautifully prepared and presented, to the carefully crafted art on simple things such as manhole covers. You can hardly bite into an pastry over here without feeling like you're desecrating a valuable artwork... They are almost invariably finely decorated with attention paid to the smallest details.

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The spirit of こだわりalso extends to other aspects of Japanese culture. Japanese businessmen are painstakingly serious about their work - such things as careless mistakes are few and far between. This might have something to do with the impression a lot of people seem to have that products in Japan are simply made better than elsewhere. They say the devil is in the details, after all!

This is Halloween, this is Halloween!

Posted on October 16, 2013 | genkijacs

It's October, and the weather is finally starting to cool down over here in Japan. Apart from cooler weather, October usually only brings one thing to mind for many people - Halloween!

Genki Japanese Language School and our friends are REALLY getting into the Halloween spirit this year. With no less than four Halloween parties on offer at reception, all at different times and places, you're sure to be able to satisfy your every scary, costumed and sweet-filled dream this year!

GenkiJACS
Date: Friday, 25 October
Time: 18:00~
Place: GenkiJACS
Entry: ¥1,000
Dress as a character from your favourite Japanese anime/manga/game

IAC Fukuoka
Date: Saturday, 26 October
Time: 17:30~21:30
Place: Meet at IAC, party at Club Lab-Z REMIX
Entry: ¥2,800

Journeys English Studio
Date: Saturday, 26 October
Time: 21:30~late
Place: Buzz
Entry: ¥1,000

Fukuoka Friendship Network
Date: Sunday, 27 October
Time: 18:00~21:00
Place: Eternity (Club in Nakasu)
Entry: ¥1,500 for exchange students (¥2,500 for Japanese students)

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* image from Google and (c) its original owner

900 yen bus from Narita Airport

Posted on October 10, 2013 | evankirby

Narita Airport is not the most conveniently located (especially compared to Fukuoka Airport, only 10 minutes from GenkiJACS by subway!), and airport transfers are very expensive. So we recommend students to take public transport to their accommodation when they arrive in Japan. There are a variety of options, including highway bus, express train, and regular train. But the cheapest option by far is the Keisei bus, at only 900 yen from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station!
This bus leaves three times an hour during daylight hours, but the really special thing is that it operates through the night too! Currently, night buses are offered leaving Tokyo Station for Narita Airport at 1:30, 1:50, 2:10, 4:15 and 5am. Night buses are a bit more expensive, but still very cheap.
Here is the schedule for buses both to and from Narita Airport and Tokyo Station.

Once at Tokyo Station, you can transfer to the Yamanote line or other train lines to get to your final destination. Happy traveling!

Interesting Japanese - Tsundoku

Posted on October 09, 2013 | genkijacs

Here's one for the readers among our Japanese language students. Trust Japanese to have a slang word for a concept every avid reader understands very very well! That word is 積読 (つんどく - tsundoku).

The word is a kind of amalgamated pun.

To break it down, it consists of:

積んでおく (つんでおく- to pile up; to put aside for later)
読む (よむ - to read)

読, in this case, is pronounced "doku" (as it is in 読書).

And the でおく in 積んでおく gets shortened to どく (読), and forms 積読 (つんどく).

But what does it mean?

It's the act of buying books with the intention of reading them, but eventually letting them pile up on shelves/nightstands/etc unread. I know I'm guilty of that!

There are also some other interesting words that have come into being using 積む...

積み本 (つみぼん - tsumibon) combines 積む and 本 (ほん - book) to make...
You guessed it...
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The pile of books itself!

積む and ゲーム become 積みゲー...
20131009-games.jpg

Japanese can be a difficult language to learn, but sometimes you come across word play like this that just makes it so much fun!


*Images are from Google and copyright belongs to their respective owners.

New Long-Term Partner School

Posted on October 07, 2013 | evankirby

YMCA

We've offered long-term study on a student visa in partnership with Fukuoka International Communication College (FICC) for the last 4 years. On the combined course, students study with Genki Japanese School for between 2 and 6 months, then switch to our partner school for 1-2 years. The first students on this program graduated more than two years ago, and we met one of them working at the Apple Store last weekend!

From this year, we've started working with a new partner school, the Fukuoka YMCA. We began working with the YMCA for a few reasons. Their Japanese classes are more similar to the ones at our Japanese school, in terms of content, teaching style and class size. They're also a little cheaper than FICC, which is good! They have two campuses: the Tenjin one, where they offer more communicative classes, is just a couple of blocks away from GenkiJACS, while their more academic campus is a subway ride away.
We're proud to offer them as a partner, and we look forward to sending lots of students to them. The first students will start there this week, and hopefully we'll have a report from them shortly.

As always, more details about the combined Japanese study program are on our website, along with info and links to YMCA's site itself. Another great way to stay in Japan for the long-term!

Homestays in Tokyo!

Posted on October 01, 2013 | evankirby

Since we opened our new Japanese language school in Tokyo, we've had a lot of requests for homestays, from students who want to experience living with a Japanese family. Previously, we only offered guesthouse, dormitory or private apartment accommodation. But from today, we've begun to offer host family accommodation too! Rather than offering them directly ourselves, we're using the services of the most professional host family placement company we were able to find. Homestays are of course more expensive in Tokyo than in Fukuoka, but it's a great option for people who want to get used to real life in Japan.
As always, you can request a formal Japanese study estimate here.
We hope we'll see you at our Tokyo Japanese school soon!