Return to
Japan With Kids Home Page

Forum Main Page
Keyword Search
New Posts
Last Week

Getting Started
Register Here
Edit Profile
Contact Admin

For Admins
Forum Software

Hospital/Clinic Questions

Japan With Kids - Forums: Health Topics: Pregnancy/Birth/Childrearing: Hospital/Clinic Questions
By Chris and Hanako Weinberger on Saturday, January 7, 2006 - 9:30 pm:


We've just learned we're having a baby and are currently living in Hiro-o. Nisseki hospital and Aiiku hospital are both very close, and we already liked Nisseki, though we have an appointment with Aiiku soon. I have a few questions I was hoping for help with (oh yeah, Japanese is not an issue for us):

1) Anybody ever have experience with Nisseki byoin in Nishi-azabu? Please describe if you do....

2) In one month, at week 19 of the 40 month pregnancy, we will be moving to Mitaka. It will become a one hour journey to the hospital. However, we can move back here (my wife's father's apartment) near the hospital for the month before the due date. It's our first pregnancy, so we're not sure if the monthly and then twice-a month commute to the hospital will be too inconvenient for the middle four+ months. Do you think we need to look for another hospital in Mitaka? We like the idea of being able to stay with my wife's parents for the month before (that will be a great help), and like Nisseki hospital, but would rather switch to Mitaka if it is going to invovle undue strain or be dangerous to be on the subway....

3)Finally, a sub-related question -- any reason we should attend maternity classes/birthing classes at the same hospital we're giving birth at? Or if we end up staying with Nisseki, can/should we just find some classes near our home in Mitaka?

Thanks for everyone's input, we've learned a lot from this site!


By Yuko Kubota on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 6:11 pm:

Congratulations, Chris and Hanako!

Since no one seems to be replying, let me share my pov, although it was 14 years ago when I was pregnant, and we're not even an expat family, but a fully Japanese one.

I think it all depends on how you are going to RAISE the newborn for the first month or so, when the mother is yet to recover.

In Japan, it's typical to stay at the mother's parents' home until the baby's 1 month check-up, so that she can feel at home and have a helping hand (mainly the grandmother of the baby) at the same time. If this would be the case with you, you should stick to a hospital near the mother's parents' home, which was exactly what I did. And I commuted for an hour from my own home to the hospital until last minutes. My husband insisted I stay with my
parents, because his occupation didn't allow him to stay close to me when I needed someone (besides, he's not good at house work :)

As for maternity classes/birthing classes (ryoushin gakkyu), there is one in every public health center (hokenjo), so you'll either want to attend the class of the hospital you are delivering, or the class at the hokenjo closest to your OWN home.

The benefit of attending the hospital class is that you get to learn about the hospital's system and facilities, which eventually gets you more practically prepared for the child's BIRTH. The benefit of attending the hokenjo class is that you get to know your local mid-wives and neighbor moms-to-be, which will be very encouraging in the early and struggling days of RAISING your first child. I happened to attend the hokenjo class.

It's not too late however to learn about the hospital after the birth, and it's not too late to learn about your local hokenjo after you come back home to raise the child, although you should attend at least one class somewhere. The hokenjo will give you a notice if you either obtain the boshi-techou (mother and child's handbook) there, or contact them and say that you're expecting a baby.

But since you'll probably make some friends from Azabu area when she is in the hospital, it might be a good idea to attend the class at the hokenjo in Mitaka, but I don't know.

Btw, upon your first time, you get the impression that it's the maternity days that are tough, but in reality, it's the first 3 months AFTER birth that is the toughest. Compared to that, giving birth was nothing to me.

By Nancy on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 7:35 pm:

Yuko, what a thoughtful post with so much information. Do you really think the first 3 months after birth were the toughest? Looking back, I have to say that raising teenagers is a real challenge. Sorry to digress but sometimes I think we need to have a section of this forum devoted to parents of teenagers. There are quite a number of us around here with these "older kids".

By Chris and Hanako Weinberger on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 9:08 pm:

Yuko, thank you so much for your considerate and extremeley helpful reply! We were really glad to hear your opinion. We think we are prepared as well as possible for the difficulty afterwards; we both have the month off of work and also have two willing (grand)parents to help out as well.

Since we are really going to Azabu just for the actual birth, it sounds like it might be best to attend classes in our own home area to establish some contacts and support there.

By the way, do you know if we will need to be registered in Mitaka to attend the hokenjo classes there? We were planning on keeping our address of record in Azabu to keep things simple, especially because the apartment in Mitaka will not be in our name.

PS-- we do have one other question. In Hanako's parents' apartment in Azabu there is no bed, only a thin futon on a carpeted floor (not tatami). Will this prove problematic when Hanako is nine months pregnant? (if so, this might be a reason NOT to go back to her parents and to search for a hospital in Mitaka, where we will have a nice bed).

Chris and Hanako

By Yuko Kubota on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 9:18 pm:

Yes, Nancy! Glad you mentioned, because my beautiful boy just started going back to school today after a whole year of skipping it during the 13th year of his life. Teenage is tough, but actually I think it's only tough in a totally different way than the first 3 months.

Anyway, when you expect a teenager's attitude in a baby, or if you expect a baby's attitude in a teenager, it only gets tougher.

The fun part however, is that the minute you think you can't handle speechless babies any more, they start saying words, and the minute you think you can't handle their words any more, they start living lives of their own.

I guess the trick is to try to move on as quickly as the growth of the child, but parents (like me) gets slower and slower as they get older!

By Yuko Kubota on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 9:32 pm:

Chris, I'm glad my info helped, and I hope you will even get better advise here from someone else.

About the registeration, it would be best if you just give the hokenjo a call.

About the futon, I always slept on beds during my pregnancy, so I can't tell, but if it turns out to be a problem, all you have to do is to buy/rent a thicker futon or one tatami mat to go under your futon, don't you think?

By Caroline on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 4:17 pm:

Chris & Hanako Congratulations!

We live in Musashino-shi and have two kids, aged 6 and 3, and we've had a similar experience so I thought I'd share a few thoughts with you.

I delivered both times at Aiiku hospital in Hiroo because I felt very comfortable with the level of care there. However, there are various options near Mitaka and I am sure others can comment. For instance, there is Mizuguchi Women's clinic, 5 min. from Kichijoji station, and Eisei Hospital in Ogikubo where doctors speak English I've heard.

I did a couple of check-ups at Mizuguchi but wasn't impressed. However, a friend of mine absolutely loved the place. So it is really a matter of going there and seing for yourself.

Admittedly Aiiku is a bit far from Mitaka but it was SO worth it for me... I had a great experience there, but then again I've heard extremely negative comments about that place too!! Hope this helps...

We took birth preparation classes in Shibuya with Brett Iimura. There were very informative and fun but I'm not sure she still gives them.

Also, I know it is customary for Japanese women to move back home before and after delivery. This was not an option for us since we're both foreigners. I can only speak for myself of course, but I think pregancy and birth is a time that should be shared with the husband and not the parents. I felt a very strong need to be close to my husband during those times.

About the first 3 months, they're not as bad as they're made out to be, I think. At least not when you live in a city like Mitaka with plenty of great services for moms. For the first child, it is much easier to relax and spend quiet time with baby and tend to his every need, than when you have a toddler around. I breastfed and attended the monthly La Leche League meetings in Shibuya and found great support there. I look back on those first few months with great joy...

Contact me by e-mail if you think I can help with anything. Happy pregnancy!

By Yuko Kubota on Friday, January 13, 2006 - 12:06 am:

Chris & Hanako, I thought I'd just add that (although I still don't think that futons can be a problem) if you simply feel you should stay in Mitaka you should.

Even Japanese specialists encourage you to return to the "father, mother and baby" unit as soon as possible, rather than to stay with the grandparents too long.

I personally regret that I followed their words by returning immediately after our 1 month check-up, since my husband couldn't help around the house as much, but if you think you can both manage it, that would be great.

One might think that by staying with the grandmother, the mother can learn a lot about childcare, but then, the way of childcare changes dramatically from time to time, and often this leads to arguments between generations.

The other difference between Japanese and Western culture may be that while say in the U.S. or England the mother stays in the hospital for an extremely short amount of time, in Japan they encourage you to stay nearly a week, and they say that you shouldn't take the baby outdoors for about a month. Whichever way you choose is up to you, but the Japanese way may prevent the baby and mother from infection, while it may get you lonely if there are not many people in the house.

Anyway, it's best for the mother of the baby to make the final decisions since she is the one with the womb and breasts.

By A.Roy on Friday, January 13, 2006 - 1:33 pm:

can someone recommend me of a good gynecologist at sanno hospital? btw does anyone have any experience with Dr. Ohshiba who probably sees at sanno hospital.


By Sarah Yasuhara on Tuesday, January 24, 2006 - 7:56 pm:

Dear Roy, I have no personal experience with Dr. Ohshiba at Sanno, but a friend saw an English speaking female Dr Ohshiba at Seibo Hospital and said she was great. Hope someone else can give you a more useful reply. Sarah

By koko on Sunday, March 19, 2006 - 9:46 pm:

Can anyone please suggest some good hospital and a doctor to consult somewhere around Tamachi(tokyo) who can speak ENGLISH well,for my friend who's having her first baby.
Your kindness would be appreciated.

By Elisa on Saturday, March 25, 2006 - 12:56 pm:

Can anyone suggest a good ob/gyn at Seibo Hospital? I am 5 month pregnant and would like to have epidural.
I am currently with Dr. Sakamoto, he is great but a bit expensive so I was thinking to switch. Any suggestion? Language is not a problem.

By Admin on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 4:16 pm:

The past three messages on fertility have been moved to the pre-existing discussion on Fertility located at:

By Gabriela Bauer on Friday, April 14, 2006 - 9:30 pm:

Hello, I am looking for a reasonably good gynecology and I am deciding between Seibo Hospital and Nichidai Itabashi Nihon University hospital. Could you please tell me about your experience?

By Jbg on Tuesday, October 2, 2007 - 1:52 pm:

any one know any hospital and gynecology at Kawasaki area, specifically near Musashikosugi ? hopfully with doctors who speaks some english as well. Pls share your experience. thank you !

By Canucklehead on Thursday, January 31, 2008 - 8:51 am:

Anyone know about any OBGYN's in the Nagoya/Mikawa area of Aichi? (I think) but am not sure that I'm pregnant (three preg tests all "faint lines"). I'd like to go to the hospital for a professional grade test, but also would like to plan ahead in case it's the real thing!! I know some Japanese, but am not fluent, my husband is Japanese, but I'd really like to feel comfortable discussing things with my practitioner. Any suggestions would be helpful!

By Star on Thursday, January 31, 2008 - 9:45 am:

Hi Canucklehead,
Please check this link!

Good luck with your hospital searching!

By Bluesky on Sunday, February 3, 2008 - 9:24 pm:

There is Hoshigaoka Maternity Hospital in Chikusa-ku in Nagoya

By Maria_scharlock on Saturday, February 23, 2008 - 6:02 pm:

Hi, my name is Maria. I am pregnant in the 15th week. I live in Yokohama/Hiyoshi and right now I go to the Shin Yokohama Women's and Children's hospital. There is one English speaking Dr., but all the other stuff speaks only Japanese. My Japanse is not that bad, what happens if my Dr. is not there at the time of the delivery...
I am thinking to make the birth reservation there. But before I am would really like to hear somebod else opinion/experiences about the hospital. Thanks for help!

By Nrk on Thursday, March 13, 2008 - 5:58 pm:

Hi All
My wife is 28 weeks pregnant and registered at Aiiku hospital. So far we are very happy with the kind of care given there. But recently I heard that it is a very expensive hospital and the cost would be much higher than we were anticipating.
Does any one have an actual idea about how much it would cost for delivery and post delivery care at Aiiku and Is it too expensive as compared to any other english speaking hospital?
We have no problem with the cost of regular check ups because most of it is covered by insurance but only a part of delivery would be covered under insurance, so I desperately need your advice in order to be mentally and financially prepared. Thanks a lot

By Rosie on Thursday, March 13, 2008 - 9:47 pm:


if its natural birth it could be btwn 300000 to 500000 yen depending on the room type and number of days you stay.if its c section it could be btn 900000 to a million yen.they want cash at discharge.I ended up going to Seibo.I had a c section for 600000 and they allowed my insurance to pay them insurance isnt japanese.
Best wishes

By Sandytyo on Wednesday, March 26, 2008 - 11:42 pm:


I have registered at Gontanda Kanto NTT hospital, can anyone tell me which gynae. is better please? cos i am thinking to change the present one who doesnt speak english..

Thanks alot!!

Add a Message

This is a private posting area. Only registered users and moderators may post messages here.