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Overseas Life

Japan’s Pregnancy Freebies: A How-To Guide

October 6, 2020

One of the most fun things about pregnancy is signing up for maternity and baby freebies.. and there are so many available in Japan!

Through signing up for free in-store point cards and online registrations, we were able to collect 25 free diapers of various sizes, as well as sample packs of baby wipes, cookies, soap, laundry detergent, toilet cleaning wipes, disposable nursing pads, lotion, and more!

Following are some of my favorite freebies that we signed up for so far on our pregnancy journey:

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We’re Expecting! – Pregnancy in Japan

September 24, 2020

We are happy to announce that the Haruna family is expecting a baby! The due date is March 10th, 2021.

This is our rainbow baby, a term that is used for a baby that is born after an infant or pregnancy loss. Before conceiving this child, we experienced 3 miscarriages, as well as secondary infertility, over the course of about 3 years.

Getting here has been a long, difficult road.. and pregnancy after loss can be so much harder than one with no previous losses. Add onto that the uncertainties of a pandemic, and it has the potential to be even more challenging.

Yet, I am so thankful that God has blessed us with this child, and slowly the excitement has been growing.

In addition to new medical restrictions due to the pandemic, there are also many differences between giving birth in Japan vs. the U.S. If you are pregnant in Japan or just interested in the process and differences, please read more below!

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Isolation or Opportunity?

May 18, 2020

These days Masashi and I discovered the show Win the Wilderness on Netflix, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The TV mini-series is about a survival-based competition between 6 couples for the right to inherit the property and legacy of a husband and wife in rural Alaska.

The Ose family was the last to stake and successfully file a homestead claim in the U.S. in 1986, under the Federal Homestead Act. They moved to the Alaskan wilderness over 30 years ago and built a homestead by hand, where they lived until finalizing their retirement in 2019.

While watching the Win the Wilderness program, it was interesting to consider about what it must be like to live in such an isolated location. Particularly during this time of mandated social distancing, the concept of thriving in conditions of isolation is intriguing.

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Create Social Distance Without Boredom

March 15, 2020

The new phrase of the month seems to be social distancing.

As school closures and event cancellations increase, communities are implementing “social distancing” as a means to reduce the rate of the spread of COVID-19.

Last week cases of the coronavirus were found in a city where we work (a 1.6 hour drive from our home), prompting us to shut down the classes we teach there on Saturdays for at least one month. Services at a church we attend in the same city are now available only through internet streaming.

See here: Simulations of Quarantine vs. Social Distancing

For some, the idea of reduced crowds and fewer social obligations is a welcome one. For others, it might feel just the opposite! Precautionary measures may seem drastic or inconvenient, but one of the biggest complaints I have heard from others is boredom.

However, regardless of whether you are outgoing or withdrawn, there are ways to make the most of time at home, as well as to prioritize mental health.

Below I have shared a list of fun and practical ideas of things you can do this spring while practicing social distancing.. without binging on Netflix!

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The Coronavirus: Wisdom & Fear

March 5, 2020

What was previously described in Japan as the year of the Tokyo Olympics is quickly becoming defined as the year of the Coronavirus!

The Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a contagious respiratory illness that is spreading across the globe. As of the writing of this post, more than 95,000 people have been infected, and for thousands, it has been lethal. Although estimates differ regarding just how deadly the virus can be, some hover around 3.4 to 4%, which is higher than influenza and the common cold. 

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Creating a Routine That Works

February 6, 2020

Those who know me well know that I like “doing all the things”, maintaining a healthy life, being organized, and making the most out of time.

Since Masashi and I run our own business, finding a balance between work and home is absolutely essential! We want to create and maintain a home culture based on our values and beliefs – and we believe that with the right amount of planning, any family can choose to do this!

The way we do this is through creating a routine that works.

Do you desire to create a routine that will keep your home organized? If so, let’s get started!

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Country Life in Rural Hyogo

January 30, 2020

Masashi and I have lived in the countryside for nearly two years.

Living in a small town in the countryside vs. a big city can be very different, no matter what part of the world you are from. However, there are certainly some things that set the rural mountain villages of Japan apart from the big cities like Tokyo!

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Cost of Housing in Japan

January 5, 2020

I’ve heard it said that Japan is a very expensive place to live.. and while that may be true compared to low-cost countries such as Thailand, living in Japan does not have to be overwhelmingly expensive! It really depends on where you live, your lifestyle, effective budgeting, and your line of work.

Perhaps you are planning on moving overseas, or simply wonder how much it costs to live abroad.

While we feel that living in the countryside is one of the best housing options, Masashi and I have both experienced a variety of living conditions in Japan. You can read about our experiences and the pros and cons of different accommodations below.

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Christmas and Shogatsu in Japan

December 26, 2019

This post was originally published at The Haruna Family Blog.

With Christmas ending and our winter vacation just beginning, I’ve been remembering my first Christmas in Japan before I was married. That first year, I didn’t really know what to expect. 

Many people think of Christmas as being universally celebrated, but it still feels somewhat new in Japan.

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Welcome

December 24, 2019

Hello there! My name is Hannah, and The Haruna Home is a site for sharing about our international family, what it’s like to live overseas as an immigrant, and country life in rural Japan.

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