From Fukui, with Love

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

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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

Our Thanksgiving in Japan

Posted by in Mike's blog

We had our annual Thanksgiving feast at Bunkyo Gospel Centre last weekend.  It was wonderful. Japan has a “Labour and Thanksgiving Day” in November, but it isn’t celebrated the same way we are accustomed to.  We discussed cultural differences between Thanksgiving celebrations around the world while we ate turkey at our table. My mom and I worked in the kitchen to prepare one of three 15 pound turkeys in the church’s convection pizza oven.  We imported the turkeys and cranberry sauce from America through Yoyo Market.  Here some simplified steps…read more

How to see foliage the Japanese way

Posted by in Mike's blog

We just returned from another weekend in Nagano at the lovely cottage that we visit occasionally.  This time we had a mission:  To find and take pictures of awesome fall colours in the mountains.  Our friends and neighbours call it “autumn leaf viewing”. Prior to this past weekend I used to look outside, decide the trees looked nice, then drive through wooded areas.  That was my version of autumn leaf viewing.  This time we did things differently.  I discovered foliage spot finder to help us with our quest: Using this website, I…read more

Kanazawa gets no respect

Posted by in Mike's blog

Name 3 cities in Japan.  I bet one of them was Tokyo. There was a time when Kanazawa had a chance at being one of the first three cities that might have come to mind.  That time was a few centuries ago.  These days Kanazawa gets no respect.  We went there a few weeks ago to see what all the lack of fuss was about. Short introduction Kanazawa is a city.  It’s not a big city…only around 460 000 people.  It happens to be the biggest city in Hokuriku (Hokuriku…read more

Budget travelling in Japan the Mike & Mary way

Posted by in Mike's blog

Vacationing in Japan can get crazy expensive, but it doesn’t have to.  If we aren’t careful, we can drop tens of thousands of yen in a day while we are away from home.  It helps to pretend that the values of all the things we buy have less zeroes at the end…but when we do that we’re only fooling ourselves. Now that we have been to more prefectures than we can count on our hands I feel like we have learned enough about how to have a good time while…read more

Calling Canada from Japan (and vice-versa!)

Posted by in Mike's blog

We’ve been under pressure from our family to invest in a MagicJack setup for the past couple of years.  Nearly every member of our extended family uses MagicJack…so we should too, especially since we’re overseas, right? Nope.  We got something better. (note: This isn’t as much as an anti-magic jack as it is a pro-alternatives post.  The reasons we didn’t want MagicJack are, in brief: (1) Depsite the word “free” being listed on the front page of MagicJack.com 26+ times, it costs $50 for a device and $20-$30 in annual…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

We fought and we won: How we (finally) got a Japanese credit card

Posted by in Mike's blog

This post signifies a MAJOR victory in a battle we’ve been fighting since our first week in Japan:  We are now the proud owners of a bona fide Japanese credit card! Way back in the day when the Bunny rode around Fukui in a stroller, we took her to the main post office branch in the middle of the city on our initial quest to get a credit card.  We aren’t fans of spending money we don’t have, but in our first week here alone we ran into the beginning…read more