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Showing posts from 2016

Health Post New Zealand

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Hi again,

Sorry about the blank... I am still here, and still pregnant. 34 weeks along now, so less than 6 weeks til the due date!

In the cold and in the meantime, I have come across a great online shop in New Zealand which ships local health food and products all over the world. It (of course) has a much more limited selection than my first love (iHerb), but does stock some of my favorite brands from home.

The shop is called Health Post NZ and they do have a physical store in Auckland city (New Zealand). Most of their business is done online and they have really reasonable shipping rates, as well as loyalty bonuses/discounts. Another great policy is that they donate $1 from every web order to charity of your choice (from a small selection they have set up).

New customers who register and sign up for the email newsletter get a $5 discount off their first order too. 

Right now the NZ dollar is pretty strong, but still cheaper than the Japanese yen, so shopping is reasonable.

Here are some of…

This month`s iHerb haul

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As I enter the last few weeks of pregnancy (only 7 and 1/2 weeks to go!), my iHerb order this time contained a few pregnancy necessities and some repeat purchases too... Check out what I got this week...


On the list this time... 
* click the product name for links to the site

Zarbees Children's night time cough syrup - this one was for Aiden and I`ve used it before. It is all natural, contains honey, helps a lot with night time coughing, and puts him right to sleep. Love it!

NuttZo seven seed and nut butter - this one is also a repeat purchase. I sometimes get the one with chia seeds in it, but this one is just as good, and a wee but cheaper.

Cococare cracked heel balm - another repeat purchase! Love this one in winter as it helps to smooth the skin on the heels and has a nice smell too!

Shea moisture baby calm and comfort kit (Raw Shea Chamomile and Argan Oil 4pc set) - this was a first time purchase and since I had a 10% discount code this month, got this one for the baby.

Earth mama A…

Packing your maternity hospital bag in Japan

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I attended the pre-birth class at my hospital yesterday and they gave us all a list of things to bring when we are admitted for labor and delivery. Most hospitals in Japan require first-time mums to stay up to 5 days and other mums to stay up to 4 days, so think about things you might need for that many days away from home.

Let`s have a look and see what everything is, and where to get it.

* some hospitals will require more or less, so please check your list carefully too.

母子手帳 - boshi techo - mother and baby book
診察券 - shinsatsu ken - patient id card
健康保険証 - kenko hoken sho - health insurance card
印鑑 - hanko - name stamp

(you should already have these and be bringing them to check-ups)

The following things can be packed in a small suitcase or carry bag and should be named and be easy to find (by you or your partner) at the hospital...

パジャマ - pajama - night wear that is easily accessible with buttons down the front
カーディガン - kaadigan - a loose cardigan, hoodie or robe to wear when it gets cool
マタ…

Osaka`s aquarium, the Kaiyukan

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We go here a lot, so it isn`t something I considered posting about, but as one of Osaka`s main tourist attractions, the information may be useful for someone!
Osaka`s aquarium (one of the largest in the world) is located near the ocean, in the port area of Tempozan. They have a good English website, so please check it out here.

As stated on the website, it is easy to access, about 5 minutes on foot from the local station Osakako. It is on the Chuo subway line which runs from east to west through the middle of the city. The physical address is 1-1-10 Kaigandori, Minato-ku, 552-0022 Osaka, (or 〒552-0022 大阪府大阪市港区海岸通1-1-10 in Japanese) if you want to put it into your navigation system.



The aquarium, named Kaiyukan (海遊館) is great for all ages and has hands-on exhibits as well as traditional glass tanks. There is a huge variety of fish and sea animals, but there is no live show or performance here (good news for some people?).

One of the most popular animals is the jinbei-zame (the whale shark)…

Are women in Japan pregnant for 10 months?

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*I wrote about this the last time I was pregnant but will post it again for good measure!

This may be the most googled question on the topic of pregnancy and Japan.

In fact, the answer is `yes` but it isn`t quite as strange as it sounds, in fact, it may possibly be more logical than the system in some other countries.
I use the word `system` because it is only way that the pregnancy is counted, not the actual length of the pregnancy that differs.
In Japan, (as in other countries), a pregnancy lasts 40 weeks (counted from the first day of the last period before conception). However Japan uses a lunar calendar rather than a wall-calendar to count the weeks/months.
Simply, According to the Gregorian calendar, where months range from 28-31 days, the average pregnancy lasts a little over nine months.
On the other hand, if you’re counting the more traditional lunar months of exactly 28 days (i.e. 4 weeks), then 40 weeks = 10 months. The Japanese belief that a pregnancy lasts ten months refers bac…

Being pregnant in Japan

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I have written about this before (here), but hopefully have some more current information now, so here goes...

Pregnancy tests.
Buying pregnancy tests 妊娠検査薬 (にんしんけんさやく, ninshin kensa yaku) is easy here, as they are available at most/all drugstores. The tests are very similar to those abroad, although most of them seem to be 99% accurate one week after a missed period. The most common brands you`ll see are these ones...
Clearblue (クリアブルー) 
Check One (チェックワン) 
P-Check (P-チェック)
do test (ドゥーテスト)

Confirm your pregnancy (first checkup).
Most ladies` clinics in Japan will be able to do this for you. I visited Oak Clinic in Namba, and know of another Clinic in Juso where the doctors have English skill.
You will most likely be given a urine test, and then an internal examination. You will probably get an ultrasound print-out with your tiny baby`s picture on it.

Visit city hall.
Once your pregnancy is confirmed, you will have to go to your local city hall/office and ask for a mother/baby handbook, called …

Maternity clothing in Japan

This time around I felt like I started showing much sooner, or perhaps because I was starting to show in summer (when clothes are a bit more revealing), I began to wear proper `maternity clothes` sooner too.


I stocked up on the basics (a pair of maternity jeans, and 3-4 short sleeved maternity t-shirts) at H and M which has a maternity section in their Shinsaibashi store, as well as a good selection online (here).

I also kept wearing my maxi skirts, so didn`t have to buy much more until the cooler weather hit! In Autumn, I bought a couple of long sleeved tops and some maternity tights/leggings on sale at H and M, some supportive maternity underwear from Wacoal and Nishimatsuya, and a cute long sleeved sweatshirt on Etsy (here).

I`ve been wearing my long cardigans (coat-igans?) from last season too, which look great with the bump!

Some other places to buy maternity clothes in Osaka (and perhaps in other parts of Japan are listed below), happy shopping!
Here goes...

CHEAP (good for basics)

Mu…

Big news!

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For those of you who know me personally, or those with an eagle-eye (and who looked closely at the 7-5-3 pics), will know that we are expecting again! Baby number two is due in the first week of February 2017 and we are most excited! Everything has gone smoothly so far and the remaining 9 weeks will fly by for sure.

So the next few posts will be all about pregnancy in Japan - some new stuff and some things that I`ll re-write and update from my last pregnancy (almost 6 years ago!).

Hope to get some input and comments from those who have been pregnant and given birth in Japan, so feel free to contact me :)





Shichi Go San (7-5-3)

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Shichi Go San (七五三) or 7-5-3 is a tradition rite of passage for Japanese children. It is usually celebrated by 3 and 7-year-old girls, and 5-year-old boys (although 3-year-old boys sometimes take part) in the middle of the month of November (it is traditionally held on the 15th but this day is not a national holiday, so most people choose a Saturday or Sunday close to the 15th of November).

The practice has remained mostly the same since the Meiji period, and children wear a hakama (for boys) or kimono (for girls) for the first time, visit shrines, and are photographed with their families. On the special day, children often receive small gifts as well as Chitose ame (千歳飴) or thousand year candy which is long and thin, to symbolize a long life.

Aiden turned 5 in April, so this year, we celebrated Shichi Go San for the first time. Our family has used the same hakama for Shichi Go San since Aiden`s uncle was 5 years old. It has a long history, and Aiden was the 7th boy to wear it which is …

KidZania Osaka - a real city for kids

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We visited KidZania in Osaka earlier this week and had such a great time. I wanted to share our experience ... check it out ...

KidZania is located in Lalaport Koshien shopping mall (at this address: 3020 LaLaport Koshien, 1-100 Hachibancho, Koshien, Nishinomiya, Hyogo 663-8178). There is plenty of parking at the shopping mall, or it can be accessed by train at the Koshien Station (East Exit) on the Hanshin Main Line (about an 8-minute walk). More information regarding access is available here (in English).

KidZania is open most days, although a reservation is usually necessary. It is incredibly popular and is often booked solid, days and weeks in advance. 

Same day tickets are available for purchase, from 7:15am for the morning shift, and from 9:30am for the afternoon shift and are sold on a first-come first-serve basis.

Check their online calendar and reservation system here (in English).

There are two shifts (you can stay for only one) each day, the morning (from 9:00am til 3:00pm) and …

I love iHerb

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I received my monthly haul from iHerb today and wanted to share my love for the company again. This time my order included yogurt bites (Aiden loves them), curry, mouthwash, a turmeric face mask, seaweed detox soap, decaf green tea bags, jojoba oil and deodorant (click the item names for links to the products). I have ordered many of these items before but am trying the mouth wash and seaweed detox soap for the first time. I hope to post some more about my favourite iHerb items soon.

If you live far away from home, you know how hard it is to find your favorite products and/or products that work for you and your body type!

In Japan it has sometimes been hard for me to find deodorant, toothpaste, hair care, skin care, vitamins and supplements etc that suit me. Since having a baby it is also hard to find products with English explanations that I can trust.

I learned about iHerb (an American online drugstore) a few years ago and have been using it ever since. They also stock lots of healthy …