Winter illumination

Posted on November 30, 2014 | genkijacs

Today marks the start of the last month of the year, and as per usual in December, the illumination in Fukuoka is in full swing. Most of the streets, businesses and shops around the city have some lights on display, so it's almost impossible not to get into the festive mood this time of year, but for those of our Japanese language students who are particularly interested in checking out the lightups, here is a handy list of some of the most famous lightup spots:

JR Hakata City (until 13 January)

Bayside Place Hakata (Until 31 January)

Canal City Hakata (until 25 December)

Iwataya Tenjin (until 25 December)

Tenjin Chikagai (underground walkway) (Until 25 December)

Fukuoka airport (until 23 February)

Akasaka Le Anges (Church/wedding venue) (Until 25 December)

Fukuoka Tower/Momochi Beach Area (until 25 December)

2014 流行語

Posted on November 26, 2014 | genkijacs

The nominations for 2014's 流行語 are in!

Here are a few of the phrases that are nominated for the top 流行語 of 2014, according to Yahoo! News Japan:


Check out the complete list for more!

Happy national pocky day!

Posted on November 10, 2014 | genkijacs

11/11 (chosen because all the 1s look like pocky sticks!) is National Pocky Day here in Japan. This delicious treat consists of a thin, pretzel-like stick, most often covered in chocolate about 3/4 way down, leaving just a bit of stick at the end to grab on to so the chocolate doesn't melt on your fingers. How thoughtful!

Pocky is arguably one of the most famous sweets ever to be produced by the country, and, like all the other candies here, it wouldn't be Japanese if it didn't have some crazy flavour variations.

First, we have your standard chocolate and strawberry types.


Double chocolate (the stick is chocolate as well)


Heart-shaped strawberry pocky, available over Valentine's Day (the stick is shaped like a heart)


Men's Pocky, because everyone knows the truly macho only eat pocky out of teal-coloured boxes. So. Manly.


Maccha pocky (green tea)


And the last of the "standard" pocky variations, though this is one is a bit more rare: Mint Pocky.


Now it starts getting a bit weird...

We have your fruit variety pocky, including but not limited to: kiwi pocky, mango pocky, blueberry pocky, orange-custard pocky, lychee pocky, and banana-chocolate pocky


For lovers of the Halloween/Thanksgiving season, we have your pumpkin pocky


And people who are nuts for nuts are sure to love these almond and peanut-cream varieties


For those of you who don't have quite such a sweet tooth but would still like to try this candy, these semi-sweet flavours are for you: black sesame pocky and "salty" pocky!


Having trouble deciding which flavour to choose? No problem! For the indecisive among us, there is rainbow pocky consisting of 7 flavours (Chocolate, green tea, banana, orange, strawberry, blueberry and vanilla).


In fact, there are so many variations available we don't think you'll ever be able to try them all, even if you ate Pocky for all 3 majour meals per day!


Pocky Day, while not an official holiday, is celebrated pretty widely in Japan. If you're thinking this just involves eating as much pocky in as little time as possible, well, you'd be wrong.

Presenting the Pocky hair guy. In 2011, the date on Pocky day was 11/11/11, and to celebrate this monumental (?) milestone in Pocky history, this guy decided to weave 100 packs of pocky into his hair.

We kid you not.



Unfortunately the original, 22-minute video was taken off Youtube, but since it involved him eating some of the pocky once he was finished, we think it's probably for the best.


Others have since tried to recreate the success of Pocky hair guy's video, but alas.

Not quite the same.

How will you be celebrating Pocky Day this year? Let us know!

Now you, too, can become a travel agent at GenkiJACS!

Posted on November 05, 2014 | genkijacs

Last week, some of our Japanese language students at our Fukuoka school had a lesson in which they became Japanese travel agents.

Paired into groups of 2, students tooks turns planning and arranging a trip according to the other student's requests.


It was interesting to see the different kinds of trips students wanted to go on. For example, some of our younger students who are still in university or just graduated added lots of time to party and wanted info on popular clubs and bars, while our working-age students generally kept a strict budget in mind, and were more focused on sight-seeing and travel.