Location
  • Japan
    • Tokyo
Language
Japanese

Program Details

Housing
Apartment Guesthouse Host Family Hostel Hotel Hostel
Aug 17, 2018
Mar 12, 2023
5 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Pack your bags and head on over to Tokyo to learn Japanese! Conveniently located near downtown Tokyo’s famous Shinjuku Station, Genki's Tokyo school offers programs in intensive communicational Japanese language. Studying at Genki Japanese School gives students the perfect opportunity to experience the lively nightlight, food, and shopping. Immerse yourself in Japan's culture and deepen your language skills today! GenkiJACS was voted as Star World Language School (not just Japanese school!), at the 2016 Star Awards, and is accredited both domestically and internationally.

Program Reviews

4.64 Rating
based on 11 reviews
  • 5 rating 81.82%
  • 4 rating 9.09%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 9.09%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Instruction 4.65
  • Support 4.85
  • Fun 4.45
  • Housing 4.45
  • Value 4.2
Showing 1 - 8 of 11 reviews
Default avatar
Craig
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

A perfect studying experience in Tokyo with GenkiJACS

I studied Japanese for 2 weeks in Tokyo with GenkiJACS at a beginner level. I'd been studying Japanese myself for a while but really wanted something more intensive to boost my skills and motivation. I chose GenkiJACS because their website looked professional and reviews seemed to suggest they would suit my style of learning.

It was an even better experience than I could've hoped for. Right from my first enquiry, their staff were extremely helpful, answering the many questions I had about the course. Booking it was easy and they kept in touch without any prompting to update me on any information I needed to know before travelling. They sorted out health insurance and provided all the visa information I needed.

They also gave me a test and an interview online to test my Japanese levels, allowing them to place me in a class that was the appropriate level. This worked really well, I think the class they chose for me was exactly the right one. Being able to talk with one of the teachers on a Zoom call was nice too, it reassured me that I'd made a good choice as she was really helpful and made me feel confident speaking in Japanese.

The school itself is in a beautiful location right next to the Hanazono Shrine in Shinjuku. I chose to use my own accomodation, which was very local, so didn't have experience with the accomodation provided by the school, but walking to the school through the shrine every morning was a lovely experience and one I'll never forget.

On my first day there, I was made to feel welcome and given my textbooks and some orientation about how to use the school and its facilities. Everyone was very friendly and efficient and there wasn't any stress or worry. I went straight from orientation to my first class. I was worried it would feel weird because I was jumping into a class that had already been running for a few weeks. It didn't feel weird at all. There was a very brief introduction and then straight into the lesson and another lesson and by the end of the second lesson, I already understood the style and structure of how things would work for the rest of the two weeks. Their learning model is very intuitive.

The classes themselves were excellent. Every teacher has a different style but the material feels very consistent, with each lesson building on knowledge acquired during the previous one. Occasionally I'd feel a bit lost but we always went over things multiple times as each topic fed into the next one really cleanly. I really felt like I was learning things in a meaningful way, not just rote. To make it better, the classes were really varied and enjoyable. The teachers all had great senses of humour and made things fun. It was the perfect mix of entertaining but meaningful learning.

I enjoyed meeting all my classmates too. As a much older learner than average, I was worried that everyone would be super-young and I'd feel alienated but I didn't at all. They were all lovely, inclusive and fun to learn with. I think this is a credit to both them as individuals but also the school, for fostering such a friendly, upbeat environment for learning.

In the second week we were given a test that was surprisingly tough. I didn't pass first time but asked if I could retake. Technically, I didn't need to retake as I wasn't advancing to another class afterwards but I really wanted to have a second go to prove something to myself, and they kindly allowed it and were very encouraging. The difference in my marks - from 67% to 94% - I think shows the progress I made and also that the course material was both challenging but ultimately achievable.

I wish I could've stayed at GenkiJACS longer. By the time I attended my graduation ceremony on the final Friday, I really didn't want to leave. It's a shame I didn't get chance to attend any of the day trips or social events the school puts on, as that would've been fun, but everything I did experience at GenkiJACS was great. I wish I had some constructive criticism, but I honestly couldn't have asked for more.

I guess their style won't be perfect for everyone - some people may prefer a stricter, more formal style of learning and GenkiJACS is a fun place (they have manga framed on the wall, Pokémon plushies and a Hatsune Miku door chime! :D), but I thought the educational value and quality of the course was superb. I feel more confident and motivated with my Japanese and also feel like I've found the right style and direction for further study. Which is exactly what I wanted to get out of this study abroad.

Pros
  • Amazing teachers
  • Efficient, friendly and helpful staff
  • Beautiful environment
44 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Alfredo
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

My experience at Genki JACS Tokyo

From September 2022 to December 2022 I came to Tokyo to study Japanese and selected Genki JACS as my cultural language school. Before coming to Japan I had a couple of talks with the staff at Genki JACS. They were so kind to answer all of my questions and gave me detailed information about the Core Japanese Course I enrolled with. My entrance to Japan was when the borders where still closed, however, the same staff helped me with the student VISA process and provided all documents I needed for a swiftly entrance to the country.

Upon my arrival the Genki JACS staff greeted me and showed me around the place near the school. They also gave me a brief introduction to how the classes worked weekly together with my Japanese textbook and kanji books. I also took an orientation test to set me up with the appropriate group of classmates according to my level of Japanese. I felt extremely welcomed! I also received a student account which I used daily to see my schedule of the current week and upcoming events.

Japanese lectures where amazing and really helpful. My teachers were always willing to give it all for me to advance and learn the language. They are all well prepared to teach the topics and they make the class fun, interactive and interesting. Schedule changes every week together with the lecturers, however, you get to know them all and they remember you too! Be prepared to have daily homework as a matter of practice and exams about once a month.

To be honest I felt lost at the beginning, but in no more than 3 days I was already adjusted. Three months passed by so fast but I can now understand and speak a bunch of Japanese. I'm not an expert yet but will continue studying with them through their online-private lessons. While my stay I didn't set up my accommodation with the school, however, some classmates talked good things and great support about it.

I have nothing bad to say about GenkiJACS. I highly recommend the school and would definitely go back to pursuit my Japanese studies in the future.

Pros
  • Fun and interactive
  • Events almost every week and weekend
  • Location near 3 stations
52 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Ann-Sophie
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience

I have studied with Genki JACS Fukuoka for 2 weeks.
Beginning with the pre-arrival support, the staff was very kind and answered the mails quickly. I took the online tests to determine my level and also had a Zoom interview.
At the first day at school, one of the teachers showed me and another girl around and we also went to Hakata station. The teacher showed us good spots for lunch, e.g. the food trucks close to school.
After that I continued studying in the 3rd and 4th/4 lessons of the day.
The last 3 years I have studied only on my own with a textbook without a teacher, so I knew a lot of grammar but did hardly practice speaking. As in the courses you mostly learn and practice the grammar (speaking practice was also about using especially the learned grammar), it was too easy for me and thus I could change the class at the next day and thus skip a few pages of the textbook. As I was the only girl in the new class, the staff recommended me to transfer into another class again for the next day. The 3rd class was also nice, but still the grammar was a bit easy, but it didn't want to transfer every day.
Which I liked about the course were the vocabulary repetitions and little tests every day.
The textbook we used in class was Minna no Nihongo 2 (in an information sheet I got pre-arrival it was written that you use Genki!) and a Kanji book. I could also change my unused Kanji book into a more difficult one.
I additionaly booked the conversation class, which is normally 5 lessons per week, but as I was the only participating student, it was only 2 lessons a week, but still very helpful and I could practice speaking a lot. I also had the feeling, that the teachers chose the topics I am interested in to speak about.
I stayed with a host family, that was extremely nice! They sent the information 3 weeks before moving there. I wished to live in a central area, the family lived in Kasuga, but with a very good connection to school with JR Kagoshima line, it was only 20minutes to school.
On a holiday the school organized a trip to a sumo tournament, which I enjoyed. But of course, you didn't have to participate.
All in all, I recommend Genki JACS to other students, as everyone of the staff and teachers was very eager to meet my needs.
Many thanks to the teachers and staff!

54 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Julio
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Awesome experience

People are just amazing, from first contact to last day at school you feel they work hard everyday to make this the best experience possible.
On the content it is not easy because of different levels, and conversation classes are just additional to the standard course. I wonder why this isn’t included in the standard course and mandatory for all students. Certain number of hours maybe?
Anyway, awesome experience and I would like to continue the course after coming back to my country.
I hope I can follow the class online from now on.

67 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Damen
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Genki JACS Tokyo was perfect

I started emailing Japanese language schools. The first school kept sending me options that didn't meet my criteria. The next two differed greatly in price. I went with Genki JACS because it was cheaper. I was not disappointed at all. Denis helped me every step of the way with getting set up and making changes I needed. I arrived at the airport and got to my apartment and then the school with no issues.
The school reception desk with Eri and Denis was always available to answer anything to do with the school or any general questions I had about Tokyo.
My residence was great. It had everything I needed: dishes, appliances, fast wi-fi, tv, etc.
The teachers were all phenomenal. Enthusiastic, interactive classes kept everyone attention and were fun.
I have nothing bad to say about GenkiJACS. I highly recommend them and would definitely go back.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
Stay longer in Japan but see the rest of the country by taking advantage of GenkiJACS multiple campuses. They have one in Tokyo, Kyoto and Fukuoka. Some students did a few weeks at each campus.
93 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
J
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Learned so much :)

I booked through SWAP so it was an easy, one payment process. If you want more options I recommend booking directly with Genki as you can choose different lengths of study, program intensity or accommodation and more. The classes are all in Japanese which sounds intimidating but they are well delivered. I had a lot of "a-ha!" moments which made my learning that much more rewarding. I wish I had studied longer than two weeks! By the end I could order most food and ask directions in very simple Japanese. The teachers are very informative and seem excited when asked more in depth questions - they truly want you to learn. The staff is incredibly supportive. Activities, including movie parties, dinners and tours, organized through the school are definitely recommended for those looking to immerse themselves and get the most of their experience in Japan.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I arrived shortly before Typhoon 19 - Hagibis hit. The risk to me was minimal being more inland in Tokyo but the experience all day, a bustling city becoming a ghost town as everything shut down and people stayed indoors, was surreal and the storm was powerful. The wind gusts shook my lodgings whole and tested the durability of my windows. Overall I was safe inside, as authorities suggested, and made my first meal at home during my stay - cup ramen haha.
99 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Anna
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Best school in Tokyo for short-term stays

I studied at Genki JACS in Tokyo for 3 weeks. Although it's a full-time school (20 hours/week for the standard course), having only 4 hours of school per weekday gives you enough time to study and do some sightseeing depending on your schedule. If you're only staying in Japan for a couple of weeks, but still want to brush up on your Japanese, it's a great deal for the price. They also take care of booking your accommodation; I stayed at a guest house just West of Ikebukuro and it was very convenient for commuting to school and travelling around Tokyo. The classes, which are focused on conversational skills, helped me tremendously and gave me confidence as I interacted with locals! I noticed a difference in my speaking and listening abilities in a matter of days. Overall, this is a great school for those who want to study while travelling.

What would you improve about this program?
Take the unpredictable weekly schedule into consideration if you're staying for a short time and are planning activities. I enjoyed having either four morning classes or four afternoon classes in a row with short breaks, but I didn't like having an hour long break between morning and afternoon classes... it makes the day longer! A lot of places in Japan close at 4 or 5 p.m. and having this kind of schedule means you barely have time to explore the city before or after class on some days. Thankfully, that only happened to me twice during my stay.
96 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Melissa
2/5
No, I don't recommend this program

Perfect Place for Slacking Off

TL;DR: I probably would not come back. If you want an intensive Japanese language experience, I would encourage you to look into other schools before signing up for GenkiJACS. If you want to have an easy study abroad experience, then this is the perfect place.

The Bad:
The courses and curriculum. Definitely my least favorite part of the trip. I chose GenkiJACS because I thought it was going to be a really intense language school, which is what I wanted. My language skills did improve a lot, however the course style itself was painfully slow. At the beginning, I was told we would go through one chapter of the Genki textbook a week. That was not true. We crawled through material, going through about half a chapter a week. I did tell them that the class was too easy for me, so they assigned me extra homework – but it wasn’t the material that was the issue. It was the pace. Japanese is one of the most difficult languages in the world to learn so I do understand the need to take it slow… But then don’t advertise as an intensive language school. It’s not intense. At least not in my opinion, and I have experience studying other languages. (I also am fluent in Mandarin and have spent six years learning Chinese) I think over the course of 4 weeks, I felt challenged only once or twice.

The other thing that really, really bothers me was the class size. GenkiJACs advertises the ‘max of 8 students’ everywhere – it’s their selling point. However, my class has 9 people the first week. Was the extra person a problem in terms of learning material? Of course not! However, the classrooms were too small to handle an extra person, and we were crammed for space.

My real issue with having the extra person is that it demonstrates a lack of integrity on the school’s part. Do not advertise a maximum of 8 students when that is not true. The fact that it was a lie and nobody even acknowledged or apologized for it troubled me on a few levels – one, it is morally unacceptable. False advertising really gets on my nerves. Two, I paid more for GenkiJACS for a class size of 8. I got a class size of 9. It’s not what I paid for. If the maximum of 8 students per class was truly as important as the school claims it to be, then they would have split the class up. They didn’t.

Of course, when it comes to the school’s best interest, they are willing to be flexible. At one point, we only had two people in our class, so because it was their policy to have a reduced amount of hours for a ‘semi-private’ class, they cut classes on one day. If policy is so important to you, why did you allow 9 people to be in our class when the max was 8?

The Good:

Staff:
Pre-arrival support and school support once there is AMAZING. Demi (pre-arrival support) is amazing, responsive, and so very nice. Even though I asked a 100 questions, and had changed my courses a few times, he was patient and understanding. He’s a gem. Eri, the receptionist at the Tokyo school, was also very kind and responsive.

The true treasure of GenkiJACS is the teaching staff. Every single one of them is amazing and competent. I have so many faves, but I do have to give a shout-out to Hideo sensei. I love his teaching style and he makes the class fun. Well, all of them make the class fun. I don’t think there’s a single “bad egg” in the teaching staff. (Maybe there was one I wasn't too fond of, but that's okay) While the classes were very slow, at least the teachers were amazing.

Also, I'm not a fan of the flexible schedule.

Accommodation:
The highlight of my trip. On a scale of 1 to 10, this is easily a 100. I did a homestay program and it was INCREDIBLE. Everything about it was amazing. The best meals I had in Japan were made by my host mother. Some of the best experiences I had were memories I made with my host family (i.e. going to an onsen together). If you are reading this review and are on the fence about doing a homestay, let this review assure you – JUST DO IT. Just accept that you will make mistakes and it’s okay that you do. Yes, you will somehow offend your host family by accidentally eating rice with a fork (as I did), or by asking a good-intentioned but nosy question (like I did). It’s okay. You’re learning, and the family is understanding that you don’t know all the customs and what to/what to not ask. You won’t be their first nor last (likely) host student, so they are used to this. I learned so much from my host family – the culture, the language, everything. Not to mention I got to practice what I learned in class with them. Also, the fact that I got to represent America was pretty damn cool. I loved being a mini diplomat 😊

The location of the homestay itself was also amazing. It wasn’t far from school, the town was beautiful, and I really got a “feel” for Japanese life. I cannot say enough positive things about my homestay experience. I was only here for 4 weeks, but I bonded with my host family to the point that I was so sad to leave them. Do yourself a favor and DO THE HOMESTAY. You will grow so much as a person. You will learn so much about the country, the people, and rapidly learn the language if that’s what you’re after. Of course, if you’re not a serious student and are prone to going to bars every night… then maybe this isn’t for you. Still, at least consider it.

What would you improve about this program?
My main issues are the slow pace of classes and the lack of integrity (with the class size). Maybe add an intense language class, or actually stick to the pace of "one chapter per week".
108 people found this review helpful.
Response from Genki Japanese Language & Culture School

Dear Melissa-san,

Thank you very much for your review. Receiving a negative review is something we here at GenkiJACS value as it offers us an opportunity to learn and keep improving and we really appreciate them. We are incredibly sorry that your time with us was not what you were hoping for, as we always strive to provide our students with only the best possible learning experience.

We are really sorry that the rhythm of your class was not as intensive as you expected. We adapt our teaching speed to the speed of each class, so we do not have a set curriculum pace. That being said, we are always happy to listen to our students, and move them to a slightly faster paced class should one be available at the time. If one is not, we are happy to discuss other options, such as moving to a higher level class. Our teachers are always open to talking about students' personal learning speed. We will try our best to improve the way we communicate this to students in the future, as unfortunately, this time, we were only made aware that the speed of your class was slower than expected via this review.

Regarding the number of students in the class, our maximum of 8 students per class is by far the smallest of any accredited Japanese school in the country, and we do our best to stick to that. However, sometimes when a new student joins our school, their Japanese level is different from the level they applied at, and they have to join a class different from the one we had planned for them. In the worst case, this can mean joining a class that already has 8 students. If this happens, we split the class into two classes as soon as possible, so that each class has less than 8 students, but occasionally this means that a class will have 9 students for a few days, until we can arrange for an extra teacher. When this happens, teachers are supposed to talk to all of the students in the class, to explain the situation and to confirm that the students are OK with it. It sounds like that didn't happen in your case, and I'm very sorry for that. We'll make sure that in the future, it's more clearly indicated that classes may rarely have 9 students, and that teachers always confirm with students in situations where adding a 9th student may be necessary for a few days. Sorry again for the trouble that this caused you.

Once again we really appreciate your feedback as it will help to keep improving our services and our sincerest apologies again for not having met your expectations.
We really hope to be able to make it up to you in the future if you give us a second chance and please do not hesitate to contact us directly anytime as we will be happy to support your Japanese learning as much as we can.

Yours sincerely,

The GenkiJACS team

Questions & Answers