It is a weird feeling to pack a suitcase for roughly a month knowing the next time you come back, it will be with your baby! But pregnancy in Japan has been nothing short of an adventure and this is the final big one! With no hospital on base in Iwakuni, there are two options: have your baby out in town with a Japanese doctor and translator or travel to Tokyo a few weeks before your due date to live in the Yokosuka Stork’s Nest until you deliver. From the beginning, I knew that Tokyo was the only reasonable option for me. As a first time mom, I wanted doctors that spoke english and I wanted American medicine. So far – no regrets on that decision!At 37 weeks, we took the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Tokyo to move into the Stork’s Nest. The Stork’s Nest is free lodging connected to the hospital on the Navy Base, provided to medevaced families from bases in Japan without hospitals to live until their babies are born. It is nothing fancy but it does the job. Yokosuka is a suburb of Tokyo so there are endless opportunities to explore while walking this baby out! Not to mention, Yokosuka has a Chili’s and a Dunkin Donuts right on base 🙂 I plan to take full advantage of living in the “big city” while I can!
One of the best parts about living on mainland is how easily accessible it is to travel throughout Japan. We woke up Saturday morning and took the train from Iwakuni to Hiroshima. We walked around Peace Park and paid our respects at the A Dome, the memorial of the 140,000 people killed during the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. The memorial is very somber, but also a beautiful place of hope. It is hard to believe how this city has been rebuilt in the last 70 years.After working up an appetite, we decided that we needed to try those fluffy Japanese pancakes. Luckily, Cafe & Pancake Gram on Hondori Street is the perfect place for a tall stack! They only make 20 orders of these pancakes, three times each day. Since they always sell out, they allow people to begin lining up an hour in advance. The pancakes lived up to their hype and were the perfect midday treat.