My Sanno Hospital Delivery Experience

Sanno Room-bed
Sanno Room Bed with baby napping in the corner

I gave birth to my son at Seibo Hospital back in January 2011. It was a nice experience aside from having to walk down the hall to take a shower and use the lavatory, and the meals were decent. When speaking to two of my friends who delivered at Sanno Hospital, they raved about the food and service so as soon as I found out that I was pregnant with my second baby I called Sanno for an appointment.

Note: Sanno Hospital is the “Ritz Carlton” of hospitals in Tokyo–it`s the hospital of choice for the Who`s Who List and celebrity scene. It`s pricey. Luckily my husband was smart enough to get international insurance before we decided to have kids so most of the cost was covered.

Sanno Room View
Sanno Room View

When I called to make an appointment at Sanno Hospital I was told that I first have to have a referral from my doctor stating that I was pregnant and that I want to be cared for at Sanno Hospital. Once I had that, I could make an appointment.

At my first visit I checked-in at reception, filled out a registration form, was given a Sanno Hospital card and headed to the OBGYN department on the 2nd floor. I handed-in my Mother and Child Handbook (boshitecho) then waited to see a doctor. The receptionist placed me with Dr. Takahashi (I had requested Dr. Oshiba–she`s the head of the OBGYN department and delivered both my friend`s babies, but she was busy with a long list of patients and would see me when I was further along in my pregnancy). Dr. Takahashi was great. She spoke fluent English and was also pregnant with her 2nd child. She asked me about my health, my previous labor and delivery then performed a pap smear. Since I didn`t have any questions, I was out of the office in about 15 min. Note: Meetings with your doctor are pretty short. If you have questions/need more information YOU HAVE TO ASK. Be proactive about your pregnancy.

At each check-up you will be asked to submit a urine sample, check your blood pressure and weight, and have an ultrasound. As your pregnancy progresses and you start to see the doctor every two weeks the check-ups will include:

One of the many delicious Sanno meals
One of the many delicious Sanno meals

• Urine test
• Blood pressure test
• Weight check
• Monitoring of foetus’ heartbeat
• Measuring the girth of your abdomen
• Ultrasound
• Internal pelvic examination


Sanno Meal-1Things to know:
– Sanno does not take women with high risk pregnancies
– Epidurals are given during business hours 9am-5pm
– Circumcisions are given at the hospital
– Translators available
– They focus on the mother`s well-being post delivery (I felt that Seibo focused more on the baby`s well-being).
*Always have your Sanno Card, Insurance card, Appointment card and Mother & Child`s Handbook with you at each check-up.

Sanno Hospital Gift
Sanno Hospital Gift

My labor and delivery went smoothly (birth story here). Immediately after the delivery I asked when I could start nursing my baby. The nurses said from the next day as they wanted me to get a full nights rest. I was surprised and requested that I nurse my baby right away and that she room-in with me. They were a bit surprised, but granted my request.

The hospital was quite busy with 24 newborns (the nurses said it was unusual to have so many babies born in a short period of time) so I wasn`t given my first choice in rooms, but was transferred as soon as one opened up. They supplied a comfortable room with a toilet and shower, delicious food (your choice of western/japanese meals), impeccable service and truly cared for my well-being and recovery. I definitely recommend Sanno Hospital.Sanno Gift Care & Gold coin



** This content was originally published on Tokyo Stroller which has now merged with Best Living Japan. We hope you enjoy the new combined site. **


Sanno Meal-7 Sanno Meals Sanno Meal-9

My Sanno Hospital Delivery Experience



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  1. Nice story and thanks for all the detail. Congratulations and best wishes with your newly expanded family!

  2. I Just discovered Sanno hospital from my google research. So glad to hear a personal experience- I worried it sounded too good to be true! What was your experience with visitors like? Staying over? How long were you required to stay in the hospital post birth?

    • tokyostroller

      Hi Lauren!
      Apology for the delayed response!
      Visitors are allowed during visiting hours. Staying there was like staying in a hotel!! Fortunately I had a normal delivery so I could leave whenever I wanted. However, I stayed a full five days. It was extremely relaxing!

  3. Awesome – my one concern is my 1.5 year old. I’m thinking he may not get to come in to the hospital at all to visit, based on what I’m reading. That’s said, but it will be ok 🙂

    Which doctor did you have? Have you heard particularly good/bad things about any?

    Also, was your husband/partner able to be there while you were going through labor and the actual delivery? I’ve heard horror stories about no one being allowed in. (Caveat – did you deliver during normal business hours?)


    • Hi Lauren!
      My son (he was 2 years old at the time) visited me every day during visiting hours!
      I delivered with Dr. Oshiba. She was great!
      Yes, my husband was with me during labor, delivery and recovery, and yes, I delivered during normal business hours.
      Feel free to email me if you have more questions.
      All the best with your second delivery!

  4. Hi,
    Your blog is very informative and helpful, will u plz tell me if there’s any good fertility clinic here, english speaking female doctor. I’m trying to concieve and couldn’t even get my preconception checkup here in tokyo :(. I want to get checked first for any kind of vaginal infections first, as they’re usually a hindrance in concieving. Plus can u plz tell aswell how to get international insurance in Japan?. Sorry for such a long msg, as u’re mother of two, a wife plus a student☺

    • Hello,
      Here is a list of fertility clinics in Tokyo. Try Sanno Hospital. They`re known for treating fertility issues and have translators. The rest on the list, I hear, are good as well. If you have time, please consult with a few doctors. You should be comfortable and trust the doctor who is treating you.

      In regards to international insurance, I googled `international insurance Japan`, contacted a number of them and chose Bupa Insurance. Please research them as care and cost vary with each provider.
      Best of luck!

  5. Thanks alot, that was helpful. As for fertility treatment I dont wanna start with bigger treatments, I mean IVF etc, fertility medications and drug will be better to start with. But i guess here everyone other fertility clinics talk of IVF, IUI etc. My sister in law got treated this way she lives in Virginia US, having a baby after 7 years :). Also even in sanno a big hospital head of Ob/Gyn dept is just MD, why it seems practice here that even without specializing in their fields, doctors are famous practitioners and HODs? It’s really difficult to live in a foreign country when u dont know its language and customs 🙁

  6. Looking for kids hospital with English translation in oimachi near shinagawa
    Would you please let me know full details and about hospital

  7. Hi I just found out i am pregnant by home PT, and we are living near sanno hospital that’s why i was searching for reviews and feedbacks about it. May i know the estimated expenses of giving birth in sanno hospital? Thank you. And i was glad to read the is experience of yours in sanno. ????

    • Hi Divine, Congratulations! How exciting! Hoping for a healthy and smooth pregnancy and delivery.
      Delivery fees vary (epidural, c-section, JNHI/Private Insurance, type of room, length of stay, etc). You can call the hospital with questions at 03-3402-3150 or you can mail me at

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