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Living in Kobe with kids?

Living in Kobe with kids?

Old Mar 18th 2005, 5:16 am
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Question Living in Kobe with kids?

Hi,
There don't seem to be any threads about japan, so i hope someone out there can help. There is a possibility of my family and I moving to Kobe. We are keen but our UK families are trying to dissuade us. we have 2 sons (4 and 2) and another kiddie on the way, we just want a bit of feedback about whether Kobe and japan in general is a good place to bring up expat kids. we don't know any Japanese and are limited to our knowledge of the country but are adventurous, willing and keen to learn.
Also we will be living on one salary of about 400,000 Yen for a while, we have to pay rent etc. out of that, is it feasible for us to be thinking of moving?? I know the decision is oursbut do our families have a point?
Thanks for any advice you can give.
PS Any idea about childbirth in KObe, costs, what its like etc??????
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Old Mar 18th 2005, 6:52 pm
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Default Re: Living in Kobe with kids?

Originally Posted by Avissfamily
Hi,
There don't seem to be any threads about japan, so i hope someone out there can help. There is a possibility of my family and I moving to Kobe. We are keen but our UK families are trying to dissuade us. we have 2 sons (4 and 2) and another kiddie on the way, we just want a bit of feedback about whether Kobe and japan in general is a good place to bring up expat kids. we don't know any Japanese and are limited to our knowledge of the country but are adventurous, willing and keen to learn.
Also we will be living on one salary of about 400,000 Yen for a while, we have to pay rent etc. out of that, is it feasible for us to be thinking of moving?? I know the decision is oursbut do our families have a point?
Thanks for any advice you can give.
PS Any idea about childbirth in KObe, costs, what its like etc??????
I would suggest contacting the Japanese Embassy in the country where you live. Alternatively, you might find that they have a website and the information may be there.

I assume your employer is handling your work permit for Japan? If so, the HR dept. should be able to assist you with cost of living data for Kobe.

A search on the web for sites/messageboards for expats living in Japan will probably provide you answers to questions about childbirth in Japan.




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Old Mar 26th 2005, 1:30 pm
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Default Re: Living in Kobe with kids?

400000/month should be fine to live on.

I live not too far from Kobe and pay about 100000/month rent for a nice 2 bedroomed flat. That leaves 300000 which is about 1500 quid.
That should be fine - don't believe the myths about Japan being super expensive these myths come from several places:

1) Tokyo (which is damned expensive, but not representative of the rest of Japan)
2) People who come from countries where things are cheap (not Britain)
3) the 10 quid cups of coffee sold in places which cater exclusively to businessmen with expense accounts.

Cheese is expensive, and bread is more expensive than in the UK.

Bear in mind that when you find a new place you'll have to pay a deposit which can be between 3 and 6 months rent - and is non-refundable - don't know wether your employer can help you with this - many employers pay the housing deposit when helping foreigners move to Japan.
Not sure about childbirth costs but you should definitely sort out medical insurance before coming otherwise you could find yourself with a nasty bill.
Raising expat kids? Well Japan is very safe and very friendly - don't have kids myself but if I did I'd sure as hell rather raise them here than the UK. Education standards are higher here, but the kids are generally under a lot of pressure to succeed.
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Old Mar 26th 2005, 1:32 pm
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Default Re: Living in Kobe with kids?

Thanks, really useful and pretty much what we'd thought, especially the medical side, will have to think of something.
Still don't know if we'vegot the job so we'll see what happens!
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Old Mar 29th 2005, 6:49 am
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Default Re: Living in Kobe with kids?

I found Japanese people to be wonderful with kids. I lived quite close to Kobe for a couple of years and loved the place. If you want the expat crowd there are quite a few in that area and its reasonably easy to get hold of western food. Its close to the mountains, the sea, and as much shopping as will last you a lifetime.

Downside: so many people! Very few people speak English. You can't read the menu in most restaurants (okay, you can point at the models in the window, but you soon get tired of that). If you can afford International school your kids won't have language problems. If they go local they will have to learn Japanese. It is easier for kids - but it is still tough and will put extra pressure on them.

Japan is such a unique country I would strongly recommend studying as much as you can about the people and culture. It can be quite a shock to the system.

Go local with the food (ie don't try and live off steak and potatoes) and it can be very cheap. They have had almost zero inflation for so long, prices are now cheaper than most western countries. Anyway, think how much longer you will live if you develop a taste for fish and vegetables

Have a look at http://kto.co.jp/new/modules/news/ If you can get hold of a copy of their magazine (Kansai Time Out) it will give you a lot of information about accommodation, schools, restaurants etc etc.

I have been lucky enough to travel to a few countries and Japan is easily the most interesting place I have visited. Good luck!
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Old Mar 29th 2005, 1:08 pm
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Default Re: Living in Kobe with kids?

Hello,

I can't really help with info about Kobe. We lived in Nagoya for two years and our first child was born there in 1999. You definitley need medical insurance.I had a checkup and scan each month , I think my co-pay for that was about 10,000 yen per month & insurance picked up the rest. Also at about 5/6 months I had to have an EKG which is standard practice for pregnant women, sorry I can't remember how much that cost, but it was at least several hundred pounds. I was really impressed with the standard of medical care in Japan.

The actual birth would have cost in the region of 15,000 GBP...although I did have to have a c-section...not too sure how much that cost. Bottom line is you will need medical insurance. One point you may want to keep in mind/make inquiries about, my hospital did not provide any pain relief beyond gas and air. Also it was policy that you had to stay at the hospital for ten days after the delivery , even if you had a natural delivery.

Good luck in making your decision. Japan is an amazing country.
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Old Mar 29th 2005, 1:48 pm
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Default Re: Living in Kobe with kids?

Thanks to everyone who's advised to this question, we didn't get the job so its now a moot point. Oh well, maybe something better will turn up???
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