From Fukui, with Love

A bento a day keeps the nutritionist away

Posted by in Mary's blog

I have recently been exploring the world of bento making. Bentos are a common part of Japanese cuisine. There are two types of bentos: cute bentos and everyday bentos. For a long time I believed bentos were too difficult and took too much effort to make. But I really wanted to learn how to make bentos because they are super nutritious, convenient, and their overall attractiveness makes you want to eat them up. This blog helped point me in the right direction.  She makes everyday bentos that don’t require hours on end…read more

School lunch in Japan is a good deal!

Posted by in Mary's blog

In Japan, students eat school lunch. Every day they get a hot well balanced meal to eat while they’re at school. Rice is a staple in Japan. So much so that each meal time has rice in its name. あさごはん (“morning rice” or breakfast), ひるごはん (“noon rice” or lunch), and ばんごはん (“night rice” or dinner).  As expected rice is also an important part of school lunch. School lunch at hoikuen Every day at hoikuen our children eat school lunch. We are very thankful that the hoikuen provides a healthy meal…read more

We’re almost free from winter!

Posted by in Mary's blog

I don’t like winter.  I have fond memories of liking winter as a child.  I enjoyed playing in the snow with my brothers and sisters.  We built snow forts, had snowball fights, made snowmen and snow angels, and went tobogganing.  I think it was sometime in my teens that I stopped enjoying the season.  I’m just not a fan of being cold. We’ve had a mild winter this year in Japan, and spring is just around the corner (my favourite season!!).  But winter in Japan still feels quite COLD.  I know…read more

Not a typical birth experience in Japan

Posted by in Mary's blog

I think my birth experience in Japan was far from the “normal” Japanese experience. Prior to The Turtle’s birth I read a lot of blogs about giving birth in Japan. Their experiences were quite a bit different from my own. I wanted to include a few here, so you can get a better idea of what birth in Japan might look like. A Canadian mom from “Life in the Land of Wa” Where: Fukuyama-shi, Japan Story: This mom had to labour in bed without the option of getting up and…read more

My Japanese birth story

Posted by in Mary's blog

We live in Fukui city.  Fukui city is in Japan.  My baby’s birth certificate says “福井市” in several places. There are ~270 000 other people here.  It’s not a thriving metropolis, it’s not a fishing village, it’s home. Preparing for the big day I don’t speak Japanese.  My husband knows more than me, but not enough.  A while ago we found an English speaking obstetrician through Japan Healthcare Info.  His clinic was small and he had no birthing facilities, but he didn’t require appointments.  I was able to see him…read more

Birth plan for the win

Posted by in Mary's blog

I mentioned in my last post that part of the reason why our birth experience in Japan was so great was because we had a birth plan, and more importantly a doctor who was willing to follow it.  I thought I would post it here as a resource for any foreign moms planning to give birth in Japan.   Mary Salvatore’s birth plan バースプラン サルバトレ・メアリー Mother’s name: _____________  母親:_____________ Father’s name: _____________ 父親:_____________ Mother’s Date of Birth: _____________ 母の生年月日:_____年___月___日 Estimated Due Date: _____________ 出産予定日:_____年___月___日 OB/GYN: _____________ 主治医:_____________ Midwife: _____________ 担当助産師:_____________ Allergies: None アレルギー:無   We are excited to…read more


It’s a….TURTLE!

Posted by in Mary's blog

It’s been a while since I posted about my pregnancy, and I sure many of you already know why.  Life has gotten a lot busier.  Our handsome little boy was born on August 12th at 2:57 a.m.  We had a really great birth experience at Saiseikai hospital in Fukui, Japan.  I’ll post my birth story soon for those of you who might be interested in the finer details.  In short, I gave birth naturally to a healthy 3810g baby boy.  He was quite large compared to Japanese standards, but still…read more

Full term but far from ready

Posted by in Mary's blog

I’m 37 weeks pregnant. Our baby is now considered full term and could come at anytime. Although we’re hoping we still have another 2 1/2 – 3 weeks to go. There are a lot of things to do still to prepare for our new little baby. Mike wraps his last classes before baby on August 1st, so hopefully baby will hold off until after then. On Monday, I will have my 11th prenatal appointment, and from here on out I will see the doctor once a week (and eventually twice…read more

Choosing a birth centre in Japan

Posted by in Mary's blog, Mike's blog

When we travel, we spend time meticulously pouring over hotel/ryokan reviews so that we can make informed decisions about where we spend our vacation time.  To our surprise, finding a place to give birth has been kind of similar, except instead of comparing amenities like onsens and breakfast, we have been comparing medical interventions and child care philosophies… The standard stay at a birth centre here is around 1 week, which in contrast to the 20 hours we spent at Grand River Hospital in Kitchener when the Bunny was born is…read more

Halfway to newbornville

Posted by in Mary's blog

Last month we reached the half way point in my pregnancy. Only 16 weeks to go till we meet our new baby! Its been a while since I’ve posted, so let me briefly review the 2nd trimester so far. Currently my prenatal visits have been every 4 weeks. It is exciting to watch our little one grow and see him (yes, it’s a boy!) moving about on the ultrasound monitor. This is a very different experience from Canada where we might have only seen the baby 2 or 3 times…read more