Just some of the freebies

One of the big differences between Japanese maternity hospitals and Irish maternity hospitals is that there is very little you have to prepare to bring to the hospital with you. This is just some of the things that you get in the room.

Sent from my iPad

The after birth meal

The first meal after giving birth, which was brought to my room. It was delicious the reason there is no soup in the bowl is because, clumsy here spilt it.

Sent from my iPad

Do you eat while in labour?

Lunch I received during labour
Lunch I received during labour

There is a debate on Babycenter’s Facebook page this morning whether women should eat during labour.  I am quite surprised by the amount of women who said they got nothing to eat, even those who were labouring for more than 24 hours. However, I am even more surprised by the amount of women who think you shouldn’t eat anything, in case of complications and/or to prevent you feeling nauseous. I never thought about this.

My hospital provides food, if you are there during meal times.  I was for all three of my kids and for two of them I was feeling great so when the staff offered me food I accepted. For those two kids I was feeling great, because I wasn’t feeling my contractions; I went for a check up, only to be told that I was in active labour!   I only feel the contractions during transition, from about 7cm dilated, until delivery.  So I was able to eat comfortably.  On my 2nd child I particularly enjoyed the food.  Japanese hospital food is delicious.

Thanks to the debate on Babycenter I can see why in some cases it might not be a good idea to eat during labour. However, I will eat again on the next one, if I am there during a meal and the time allows. I think it is more important to keep your strength up, to help you (and the baby) on your way!

Now I am curious; did you eat while you were in labour?

Dinner I received during labour
Dinner I received during labour

Preparing for baby number 4

Am I nesting? 
Most definitely. I didn’t recognise it on my other pregnancies, but there is no denying it is here and strong on this pregnancy.

What is nesting like?
Nesting can make you want to clean places you would never normally think to clean. What bewilders me it is often unrelated to the arrival of the baby.  For example, why I had the urge to clean under the door thresholds, behind the fridge and the inside of the washing machine is beyond me.  However, I did it and many other random places in the last few weeks.  I have also done a lot of cleaning and preparing for the baby itself, such as wash a feck load of baby clothes, blankets and other necessities. I even washed the buggies and steam cleaned them…

What am I doing differently than on my other 3 pregnancies?
Steam cleaning! I don’t think I steam cleaned the buggies or car seats for the other three. This time I find I am more efficient and also more aware of things I can have prepared to make things easier when #4 arrives. For example, I have already prepared well over 20 sets of baby underwear (that ties under the arms), placed into outerwear that also ties under the arms, so it will be easy to dress the baby after a code red nappy or bath!

Japanese style baby wear.  There are no seams on the inside and there are strings under the arms to tie, so you don't have to lift over the baby's head.
Japanese style baby wear. There are no seams on the inside and there are strings under the arms to tie, so you don’t have to lift over the baby’s head. This is a vest type one placed inside an outer type.

I am also indulging myself a lot more than I did on the other three.  It is important after all that Mama is well rested before going into labour!  Today, at my maternity hospital for a checkup, I once again availed of the free hand/arm massage service, and I treated myself to lunch with a cappuccino. The latter was free as I used one of the free drink coupons you get at each Mama / maternity / antenatal class.

Lunch at the cafe in my maternity hospital
Lunch at the cafe in my maternity hospital

Only a few weeks left until the baby arrives; I plan to make the most of it. I think the nesting will continue, but so will the indulgences. 🙂

Halloween winding down in Japan

You can currently see plenty of halloween displays, food and goods for sale all over Japan, often in the least expected places, but the peak of Halloween is almost over. Halloween goods are sold as early as the end of August in Japan, but they also come off the shelves earlier than expected.  You can already see Halloween goods being discounted in some of the larger foreign stores, such as Babies-r-us, a sure indication that they will be removed shortly. Similarly, the 100 yen shops typically cease to restock their halloween wares from the middle of October.

100 yen shop halloween goods
100 yen shop halloween goods
Halloween items are only a 100 yen each
Halloween items are only a 100 yen each
Halloween goods at the 100 yen shop (approximately 1 Euro or Dollar)
Halloween goods at the 100 yen shop (approximately 1 Euro or Dollar)

Apart from the costumes and knick knacks that are sold during September in Japan, you can also buy seasonal halloween food.

Halloween Kitty Chan donuts by Mr Donuts
Halloween Kitty Chan donuts by Mr Donuts
Baskin Robbins Halloween treats
Baskin Robbins Halloween treats
Famous cake shop Fujiya's character, Peko-chan, dressed up for Halloween
Famous cake shop Fujiya’s character, Peko-chan, dressed up for Halloween
Fujiya halloween treats
Fujiya halloween treats
Peko chan halloween roll at Fujiya
Peko chan halloween roll at Fujiya
Fujiya's halloween bakes and cakes
Fujiya’s halloween bakes and cakes

Now is the time to get a snap of the various halloween displays as chances are they will be gone by Halloween day.

Halloween display in my local fishmongers!
Halloween display in my local fishmongers!
Halloween display at a maternity hospital
Halloween display at a maternity hospital
Halloween display at Mr Donuts, for taking your photo
Halloween display at Mr Donuts, for taking your photo
Halloween display for taking photos at Babies-r-us
Halloween display for taking photos at Babies-r-us

For more on Halloween in Japan

See how international families in Japan celebrate here:
http://kajapan.org/general/ka-familes-celebrate-halloween/

On this blog
Halloween goods at the 100 yen shop
Halloween parade in Kanagawa prefecture
Halloween books
Halloween easy craft

On other blogs
Halloween bentos on kajapan.org
Halloween crafts on Kajapan.org

 

The Railway Museum | SAITAMA CITY

On this the 50th anniversary of the Shinkansen (bullet train), I’d like to introduce one of Saitama’s top attractions.  Japan’s largest Railway Museum in Omiya,  鉄道博物館 is a really good place to visit with a mixed audience. There really is something for everyone, even if you aren’t “that into” trains. It is particularly a great place for a day out with young children, boys and girls, as there is plenty to do and see.  It is commutable from Tokyo, so it appeals to tourists and international families looking for something to do in the Kanto area with kids.


There is so much to say about the Railway museum, I just don’t have the time unfortunately, so this is more of a photo showcase. Please be sure to check out the website. One thing I would like to highlight is, that for those living in Saitama or Tokyo with young children who are into trains, it is really worth buying the annual pass.

URL: http://www.railway-museum.jp/
TEL: 048-651-0088
ACCESS:
By train: Take the New Shuttle from JR Omiya Station and get off at “Tetsudo-Hakubutsukan Station”. One-minute walk from “Tetsudo-Hakubutsukan Station”.
By car: 4km from Shintoshin exit of the Shuto Expressway. There are 280 parking spaces. It costs 500 yen to park for the day.
COST: 1000 yen for adults, 500 yen for school children, 200 yen for young children, free for children under 3. You can buy an annual pass, Teppa, for unlimited access and other benefits.
HOURS: 10am to 6pm, last entry 5.30pm. Closed every Tuesday and from December 29th to January 1st for holidays.

Kids / Play areas

TEPPAKU HIROBA
The ground floor has two outdoor areas. The Teppaku Hiroba can be accessed at the back of the history zone. There is also a “lunch train” there; a train that is a rest area, that you are allowed eat food in.

Shinkansen slide
Shinkansen slide
Back of shinkansen slide
Back of shinkansen slide
Train climbing frame
Train climbing frame
Shinkansen spring ride
Shinkansen spring ride
Passing trains
Passing trains

MINI TRAINS and MINI SHINKANSEN
The other outdoor area is to the left of the entrance zone. It boasts the popular mini trains that for 200 yen for upto 3 people, anyone over 6 years of age can operate themselves. You need to arrive early in the morning to book them. There is also a mini shinkansen that you can ride. It goes from outside the entrance zone to the libray and theatre.

Mini train that you can operate yourself
Mini train that you can operate yourself
Mini trains that can be operated by anyone over 6 years old
Mini trains that can be operated by anyone over 6 years old
Mini shinkansen
Mini shinkansen

LIBRARY, THEATRE and LEGO PLAY AREA
Past the mini trains is a fun area for smaller children, housing the library with books galore about trains. There is a great selection of English books. It also has a theatre which has a couple of showings of Thomas the Tank Engine episodes a day. There is a play area with blocks and a wooden Thomas the Tank Engine play station in this area too.

The library with a wall of children's English books about trains
A wall of children’s English books about trains
English books about trains
English books about trains
The Theatre which shows Thomas the Tank Engine episodes
Theatre shows Thomas the Tank Engine episodes
Lego / block play stations and a wooden Thomas the Tank Engine play area
Lego / block play stations and a wooden Thomas the Tank Engine play area

KIDS SPACE
The “kids space” is a play area for smaller children located in the entrance zone of the 2nd floor. It has rail track and trains for the kids to play with as well as a large plastic train for the kids to play in.

IMG_1625
Play rail and trains
Large play train
Large play train
Kids space
Kids space

OTHERS
There are learning zones on each floor where there are lots of interactive challenges and experiences for children and adults alike.

Remote controlled train, just one of the many activities in one of the learning zones
Remote controlled train, just one of the many activities in one of the learning zones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The history zone displays a number of period trains including steam trains. You can enter most of these trains to have a better look.

Trains in the history zone
Trains in the history zone
Inside a train
Inside a train

There is also a large model railway train city on display. It can be viewed from the “Kids space” or a special theatre.

Model train city
Model train city

There is also a panorama deck on the roof, a shinkansen viewing area on the 3rd floor, where you are allowed eat and there are some vending machines. There are a couple of restaurants within the complex. There are toilets on each floor. Some have nappy change facilities. It is well worth a visit, no matter your age, or interest in trains… I have run out of steam, if you’ll pardon the pun, but if you would like to see more information or photos, take a look at these great blog posts too: