Genki Japanese School in Tokyo, Japan

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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.

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based on 4 reviews
  • Instruction 8
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 7.5
  • Housing 8.8
  • Value 6.3
Showing 1 - 4 of 4
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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:

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.

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.

How can this program be improved?
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".
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

No, I don't recommend this program
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Nice teachers and a good atmosphere

I studied Japanese for two weeks on beginners level and I really enjoyed it. The teachers were all happy and seemed engaged in their teaching. Many students come and go every week but I still felt seen and valued just as much as anyone else. A good mix of students of all ages and from all over the world. On my two weeks I never felt bored or not engaged, it was all good fun. I would have wished for more conversation practice though. I also think they could have taken advantage of the fact that we're in Japan and made us talk to people in the city as homework perhaps. But perhaps you'd have gotten all this if you'd studied longer. In any case I really feel inspired to keep on studying Japanese now.

How can this program be improved?
Some of the teachers could be better at speaking English perhaps, sometimes you want to ask more complicated questions in English.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Very interesting classes

The classes were very participative, I'd hardly get bored. During classes it didn't seem so, because we were always practicing speaking, but every week we learned a lot of new things and also, the amount of time needed outside classes to follow what was taught wasn't high, meaning you can enjoy a lot of Tokyo during weekdays. Because of the class style, I ended up befriending my classmates and had quite a busy schedule during my time in Tokyo because of this :P

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar

GenkiJACS is a great school

- Excellent teachers who are fun and helpful
- Small classes gives everyone plenty of opportunity to practice in class
- Good, central location
- Very helpful staff
= ideal school

I have only studied at GenkiJACS for a few weeks at a time, but I have been there three times already, and I'm sure there will be a fourth and fifth time as well! I definitely recommend this school to anyone who wants to learn Japanese in Tokyo!

Yes, I recommend this program

About Genki Japanese Language & Culture School

Genki Japanese and Culture School (GenkiJACS) is an international communicational Japanese language school that offers short-term study abroad courses. Students have the opportunity to learn the Japanese language and culture in a relaxed and friendly...