Behind the Blog

Saitama with kids is 10 years old today (June 14th 2018).
💖Thank you so much for your continued support 💖

Saitama with kids
My best friend and I. New Year’s day 2017. Fiona Uyema (on your right) is Ireland’s leading Japanese food expert, Japanese food author, cook and creator of “Fused” Japanese sauces available in supermarkets around Ireland.

Saitama With Kids. The blog and I! Updated in 2018.

A foreign wife to a Japanese man, living in rural Japan.  An outdoor loving, adventure seeking Stay-At-Home-Mother (and occasional WAHM!) to four beautiful children, aged between 3 and 8 years old.

insaitama.com is a not-for-profit blog, providing free information in English to people living in and/or travelling to Saitama. There are sponsored Google Adverts since 2016 and the Amazon Affiliate Program* was added on June 9th 2017. However, they do not “make” money, but contribute (marginally) to the costs of self-hosting a blog. 

*As of June 9th 2017, Insaitama.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.co.jp

In 2008 I decided I wanted to write about life in Saitama, so I started this blog as “Days of Our Lives Japan”. Yes, I know, I cringe at the name now too! I never really did do much with it until 2012. While on bed rest with my 3rd child, I decided I wanted to showcase all the wonderful play areas that are available in the prefecture of Saitama. That concept and desire have remained, but the blog and its name have continued to undergo changes (hopefully improvements!) over the years.

3 fairy ninja

When I started this blog there was very little, almost zero, information in English about this prefecture, even though we are right beside Tokyo. However, there is a wealth of information in Japanese about all the incredible things families can do, see and experience in Saitama.

One thing I really enjoy doing, no matter how busy I am, is finding new places and then visiting with my children.  When I have time I then showcase them here. I want to share the information so that other English-speaking parents know more about the vast and diverse range of play areas available in Saitama and its surrounding prefectures. I have been to over 500 play areas or tourist attractions in the last 8.5 years and there are still places to discover…

There are currently 398 published posts, 88 unpublished posts, 72 drafts and 351 events on Saitama with Kids!!

I started self hosting my blog as Saitama With Kids in 2015 and it was an absolute disaster at first. I lost around 400 followers overnight due to technical glitches or more accurately my ineptitude, but the challenge paid off in the long run. Not literally unfortunately, I’ve a way to go there yet!  My aim for 2018 and beyond is to improve and add to the information on this blog, so it will be equally useful to residents of Saitama as well as visitors to the Rugby World Cup 2019 and Tokyo Olympics 2020. * I have added Amazon Affiliates Program and Adsense in an attempt to cover the cost of self-hosting a blog. For each ad clicked I get a minimal fee (coins, not notes!).  If you have any queries about living in or travelling to Saitama that you think I might be able to help with, or if there is a topic you would like to see covered on this blog, please do leave a comment below. Thank you.

Thanks for stopping by. All comments and feedback are always welcome. 🙂

(*Kumagaya in Saitama will host some of the Rugby World Cup 2019 matches. Kawagoe in Saitama will host the golf tournament of the Tokyo Olympics 2020).

 

Saitama with kids updated in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018

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84 thoughts on “Behind the Blog”

  • mybeautfulthings

    September 9, 2012 at 14:57

    I love writing with WordPress! Good luck with your blog! 🙂

    Reply
    • Elle M N

      September 10, 2012 at 02:01

      Thank you so much!

      Reply
  • gaijinwife

    September 10, 2012 at 14:35

    Yes, please keep going. WP has been good to me so far 🙂

    Reply
    • Elle M N

      September 10, 2012 at 14:47

      Thanks gaijinwife! I’m really enjoying it I have to say, don’t know what I’m going to do when I come off bedrest and don’t have the same amount of time to blog anymore!!

      Reply
  • craftycrunchyspicy

    September 11, 2012 at 00:56

    So glad I found your blog! I am also an expat living in Asia, looking forward to reading more from you.

    Reply
    • Elle M N

      September 11, 2012 at 02:21

      Likewise!! I love all your crafts and very easy to follow your instructions. Thank you!

      Elle

      Reply
  • Cecilia

    January 25, 2013 at 08:26

    Hi!
    I have a question for you I rather ask by e-mail. (I could not find a mail address on your blog) So if you got the time I would really appreciate if you e-mailed me.
    Thank you.
    Cecilia
    (no, we do not know each other, and no I am not a crazy person or trying to sell you something. I just like your blog 😉 )

    Reply
    • Elle

      January 25, 2013 at 16:49

      Hi Cecilia,
      Thank you for your interest in my blog! And thank you for prompting me to set up a new email address just for my blog. I have just emailed you from ellemn0@yahoo.co.jp Please feel free to PM there.

      All the best,

      Lynda

      Reply
      • Elle

        March 27, 2013 at 10:38

        Hi Cecilia,
        I never heard back from you on the above email and I was wondering if you had some difficulties. Please try me at rindinsaitama@yahoo.co.uk if you can’t get me on the jp address. Thank you

        Reply
  • アバクロンビー

    April 9, 2013 at 18:41

    I enjoy, cause I found just what I was taking a look for.
    You have ended my 4 day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day.
    Bye

    Reply
    • Elle

      April 11, 2013 at 16:53

      That is good news; I am glad to hear it! 🙂 Thank you for your comment.

      Reply
  • http://www.gekiyasuairhanbaijp.com/

    May 28, 2013 at 14:34

    Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d
    like to send you an email. I’ve got some creative ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.

    Reply
    • Elle

      May 28, 2013 at 22:30

      THank you for the comment and the compliment. 🙂 I had to remove my contacts from pages as I was getting a lot of spam, but I don’t think its picked up in comments. Sorry for the inconvenience. Please try rindinsaitama@yahoo.co.uk

      Reply
  • レイバン

    May 31, 2013 at 05:18

    Hi there, You have done a fantastic job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m sure they will be benefited from this site.

    Reply
    • Elle

      May 31, 2013 at 23:28

      Thank you very much! I really appreciate such positive feedback. 🙂

      Reply
  • new_to_town

    August 31, 2013 at 21:07

    My friend just moved to sakado city and is trying to find activities for her 5 yr old without spending a fortune your blog has been a lifesaver….Please dont stop…I hope to use the email I see above to ask more questions and to get your input into other local activities. Fantastic effort outstanding information!!!!

    Reply
    • Elle

      August 31, 2013 at 21:14

      Thank you so much. Just what I needed to hear too, sometimes I wonder if I am getting to the right audience. I found it too hard to get information on this area in English online so I researched everything in Japanese first and then went to the places. Ultimately, I want to make it easier for other foreigners to get the most out of Saitama as there are lots of places to go and things to do. Thank you again

      Reply
    • Elle

      August 31, 2013 at 21:24

      PS the rindinsaitama@yahoo.co.uk is the active email (the other email listed further down is unfortunately inactive now)

      Reply
      • new_to_town

        September 7, 2013 at 11:45

        she was told that there is a public swimming pool in sakado about 40 min from kitasakado station but I dont see any information in english on the internet…Would you be able to shed any light

        Reply
        • Elle

          September 7, 2013 at 14:21

          Is she looking for an indoor or outdoor pool? And is kitasakado stn near where she lives? I have a brochure in Japanese with all the pools listed for Sakado and surrounding areas. There are plenty of outdoor pools but they close for Autumn. there are fewer indoor pools, but I should be able to find one closer to her than 40 minutes (by car?). If she is on a train line she will have a wider choice. I’ll get back to you on the Sakado pools once I find the brochure!

          Reply
        • Elle

          September 11, 2013 at 21:43

          The brochure I have seems to be a little out of date, but I found a pool in Kitasakado. http://www.swimming-school.jp/kitasakado/ Its open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 to 2200 on weekdays and 10 to 1930 on weekends. Its close to Kita sakado stn, near the Kita sakado elementary school. The address is 20-9 Izunoyama cho, Sakado city. Does this sound suitable?

          Reply
  • Kaufman's Kavalkade

    September 11, 2013 at 04:08

    Domo Arigato gozimaisu for the follow.

    My parents were stationed in Yokuska in the early to mid 60’s when my dad was in the Navy.

    They lived off-base and lived in a Japanese Modern home, complete with indoors plumbing. They enjoyed their stay greatly, and were able to see Hong Kong and others great places while there.

    Reply
    • Elle

      September 11, 2013 at 21:17

      Likewise, domo arigatou gozaimasu, or how we text this in Japan (bowing person!);

      m(_ _)m

      Yokosuka is one of the better known bases here. I pick up a radio station from there. Its soooo good to listen to radio in English!

      Reply
      • Kaufman's Kavalkade

        September 11, 2013 at 21:28

        Cool beans Mama-Sensei.

        If you have a twitter I tweet some of my favorite songs, and whatnot.

        I’ve been known to badly immitate Adrian Cronhaur in 140 characters or less.

        Reply
        • Elle

          September 11, 2013 at 21:35

          I have a twitter; I just don’t use it!! I never really got the hang of it, which I probably shouldn’t admit as an someone who worked in Social Media!! But I am intrigued, so next time I log on I will be sure to follow you there too.

          Reply
  • ThroughTheLookingGlassAndDownTheRabbitHole

    October 13, 2013 at 21:04

    I love the name of your blog 🙂 It reminds me of an American soap I used to watch with my mum when I was younger 😀

    Reply
    • Elle

      October 13, 2013 at 21:50

      I know the soap by name only, thought it was catchy enough and didn’t have the patience to wait to start the blog until I came up with something better 😉

      Reply
  • ThroughTheLookingGlassAndDownTheRabbitHole

    October 20, 2013 at 19:07

    Elle, I think your blog is awesome, so I’ve just nominated you for the Liebster award here: http://throughthelookingglassanddowntherabbithole.com/2013/10/20/liebster-nomination/. I hope you accept it and take a look, and have fun answering the questions!

    Reply
    • Elle

      October 20, 2013 at 21:08

      Thank you so much. I’ve just read your wonderful post and commented there. Just one thing; so I can choose my nominations how do you know how many followers a blog has!?

      Thanks again 😀

      Reply
      • ThroughTheLookingGlassAndDownTheRabbitHole

        October 20, 2013 at 21:29

        It was hard work, ha ha 🙂 What I did was go to the list of blogs I follow, then, when I clicked on a certain blog name a new page would open up with the number of followers at the top, and a summary of all of the posts below it. This was still on my page, and not on that blogger’s blog page.
        I hope that made sense! I’m sorry if it didn’t; explaining technical stuff is really hard!

        Reply
        • Elle

          October 20, 2013 at 22:47

          Ooops! In an attempt to follow your instructions I accidentally unfollowed your blog. LOL 😀 I re-followed it (if that’s even a word) though!!

          Reply
        • Elle

          October 20, 2013 at 22:49

          YEEEEAHHHH I finally got what you were talking about, you explained it really well actually, and I can now see how my followers each blog has. Thanks a million.

          Reply
  • outforalonglunch

    October 31, 2013 at 05:26

    Thanks for the follow and letting me find you. I love expat blogs (I’m one too in Malaysia and previously in HongKong). No doubt I’ll more about interesting places to go to in Japan from you – I’m a big kid inside! ????

    Reply
    • Elle

      October 31, 2013 at 22:40

      The Liebster Award has done more than bring extra traffic and follows, its allowed me find wonderful blogs like yours. 🙂

      Reply
  • aj vosse

    November 17, 2013 at 05:05

    Hi Elle, thanks for following OMBH… is hope you have a moment or two’s light relief when you visit. I’m again having to use my extremely limited Japanese these days so it’s good to have a cyber link to that confounding realm! 😉

    Reply
    • Elle

      November 17, 2013 at 19:47

      I can’t wait to go home. Reading your “tad mad” comment, made me realise I need to brush up on my Irish colloquialsim. I’ve been using EngRish and American for too long now. :-p It’ll come back soon enough though! がんばろう、Ganbarou!!

      Reply
  • kris

    March 17, 2014 at 19:43

    Hi Elle,

    Is it possible to send you a proposal through your email?
    I’m currently looking for bloggers all over the world.

    I would like to know if you will be interested.

    Many Thanks,

    Kris

    Reply
    • Elle

      March 30, 2014 at 20:42

      Hi Kris,
      Sorry for my delayed response, I took a bit of time off from blogging due to a busy schedule. Please feel free to contact me at rindinsaitama at yahoo.co.uk

      I look forward to hearing from you.

      Elle

      Reply
  • silverbells2012

    May 30, 2014 at 02:44

    Wish I had found your blog before I went to Saitama but we will be back!!

    Reply
    • Elle

      May 30, 2014 at 11:56

      I wish my blog came up in your searches, before you came! I have to work on that. 🙂

      Reply
      • silverbells2012

        May 30, 2014 at 15:58

        With most search terms being encrypted its hard to know how people find you!

        I doubt it was your tags which prevented me finding you, though – I was searching through ‘Tokyo’ as that is where we were actually staying.

        Reply
        • Elle

          May 30, 2014 at 16:00

          Thanks for the tip – I’ll need to sly in some more references to Tokyo for added traffic. 🙂

          Reply
          • silverbells2012

            May 30, 2014 at 16:07

            Might be worth it – before I went to Japan last month (first trip), I thought Saitama was part of Tokyo, so would never have thought to look it up separately.

          • Elle

            May 30, 2014 at 19:25

            Part of it practically is, some people do refer to it as Outer Tokyo or the suburbs of Tokyo! We are in the rural part with no train line, but we can travel into Tokyo in just under 2 hours so we can still enjoy all it has to offer. 🙂

            Thank you for all the lovely comments 🙂

          • silverbells2012

            May 30, 2014 at 21:23

            I understand where you are coming from: the best of both worlds 🙂 I’ve got that on a smaller scale, living in a village just outside a big (for Britain) city.

  • annarosemeeds

    June 1, 2014 at 06:29

    What a great reason to start blogging! Your blog is so beautiful as is your writing.

    Reply
    • Elle

      June 2, 2014 at 20:00

      You are too kind. 🙂 I have a serious case of “haste”, I write what I can when I can so I don’t give it the time it deserves and needs. Hopefully, one day I will be able to write more completely. 🙂 But your comment means the world to me, thank you. I love your style of writing and your blog presentation. 🙂

      Reply
  • David

    June 15, 2014 at 22:33

    Good Morning Elle!

    My name is David and I live in Tokyo.
    I came across your blog after looking for other foreigners living with a Japanese partner.

    I’ve recently started helping out managing the website HealthyIM.com/en/
    With over 200,000 hospitals, HealthyIM is a the biggest website that allows you to search for hospitals in Asia for free.
    You can specifically search for English speaking hospitals in Japan and review them.

    The database has over 700 English speaking hospitals in Japan!

    HealthyIM have been around for about a year,
    but there aren’t yet many reviews from expat mothers who have experienced prenatal care,
    childbirth and small children in Japan. But I think your readers would like HealthyIM,
    and in time it can grow to a great platform for expats in Japan to share information and reviews of english speaking hospitals.

    If you as an expat mother in Japan have any feedback about how to improve the site, I would love to hear it.

    Best regards,
    David

    Reply
    • Elle

      June 20, 2014 at 21:16

      Thank you for your comment David. I will check it out. 🙂

      Reply
      • David

        June 23, 2014 at 12:47

        Thank you for checking it out, and thank you for keeping on blogging 😀

        Reply
  • Yuna

    July 7, 2015 at 09:01

    Ganbatte kudasai! *one of few Japanese phrases that I know*

    Reply
    • Elle

      July 7, 2015 at 13:27

      Hehehe. Ganbarimasu 🙂

      Reply
  • afictionesse

    July 7, 2015 at 20:25

    Now I learned a new Irish word 😉 Well done!

    Reply
    • Elle

      July 7, 2015 at 20:31

      THANK YOU! <3 You are getting an honourable mention in my next blog post. I shall ping you!

      Reply
      • afictionesse

        July 7, 2015 at 20:37

        lol, no need but thanks. Looking forward for the next Tasks.

        Reply
  • Faye Elizabeth

    July 17, 2015 at 00:36

    Hi Elle! I finally had a chance to pop over and Check out your blog! It’s lovely, you’re doing a really great job and 4 kids under 5! Whoah, I applaude you lol!
    Well done 🙂 I hope WordPress treats you well!

    Reply
    • Elle

      July 17, 2015 at 14:13

      Thank you Faye. 🙂 I am glad we are connected. I am falling behind in the assignments, because I am enjoying getting to know all our classmates. 🙂 Happy blogging <3

      Reply
      • Faye Elizabeth

        July 17, 2015 at 17:22

        Indeed! There’s so little time to do it all! Keep it up though 🙂

        Reply
  • afictionesse

    July 17, 2015 at 04:55

    The theme looks better now, still a bit crowded but not as much as before. The Header Looks pale though. Do you have an image editor software like GIMP?

    Reply
    • Elle

      July 17, 2015 at 14:18

      You have just been such an amazing help aficitioness – I feel like I should pay you for consulting!! 🙂 Right, the header is too pale; but the theme automatically lightens it when it uploads it. I spent ages trying to get it darker, but I couldn’t. I don’t have GIMP. 🙁 The original image is much much darker. Maybe I should ask one of the happiness engineers.
      I need to remove or move some of the widgets, you’re dead right. THANK YOU SO MUCH . 🙂

      Reply
  • kidsofthe50sand60s

    August 19, 2015 at 17:22

    Love your blog! I have nominated you for the Leibster Award. Check out my blog to see how it works. Meryl

    Reply
    • Elle

      September 2, 2015 at 22:39

      Thank you so much for the wonderful honour Meryl, I truly appreciate it. Things have been somewhat chaotic recently and I had to take a break from blogging, but I hope to get sometime this month. I will be in touch about this. The very best of luck to you. 🙂

      Reply
  • guy@supagaijin.com

    November 27, 2017 at 14:48

    Hello,
    I do not see a “contact” or email address.
    How can you be reached directly?
    Thanks,
    Guy

    Reply
    • L M N

      November 27, 2017 at 17:44

      Hi Guy, I removed my real name, contact and email as I used to get a lot of spam. We were in contact last year over messenger (and gmail I think) under my real name “Lynda Hxxxx” ! I will drop you a PM later. 🙂

      Reply
  • Beth Yokohara

    February 14, 2018 at 14:05

    Hi there,

    I came across your blog this year on TMG in my search for Santa. I sent you an email to the email address in the comments above about WaNavi Japan, the non profit organisation I work for, that offers Earthquake Preparedness workshops to International residents in Japan along with other support services.
    I will leave my details below if you want to check out our website.
    Great blog with a lot of great info!
    Thanks

    Reply
    • L M N

      February 14, 2018 at 19:11

      Hi Beth, I am sorry – I didn’t see your email. It may have gone into my spam folder. I will check it as soon as I can. Thank you very much for your information. I have heard of WaNavi before, but I admit I don’t know much about your services. I look forward to checking out the site. Thanks again, Best, Lynda

      Reply
  • Kristi McAllister

    June 14, 2018 at 22:30

    Blogging is such a saturated medium that most people don’t stick with it. You’ve persevered though and made it ten years, which is more than the average 2! Congrats on your 10th birthday! In the blogging world, that’s quite an achievement! Kudos to you!

    Reply
    • L M N

      June 14, 2018 at 22:50

      Thank you so much Kristi. I have thought about dropping it many times, but its like my baby now!! I just have to keep nurturing and growing it. 🙂

      Reply
  • Rebecca

    June 15, 2018 at 00:55

    Cool blog! What brought you to Japan in the first place?

    Reply
    • L M N

      June 15, 2018 at 14:47

      Hi Rebecca, thank you 💖 I studied Japanese in University in Dublin and we were sent out in 3rd year for an exchange year…. I fell in love; first with the country, then with my husband 😉 Thank you so much for commenting.

      Reply
  • Ashley Stephenson

    June 15, 2018 at 03:07

    WOW! 10 years! Congrats!

    Reply
    • L M N

      June 15, 2018 at 14:47

      Thank you so much Ashley 🙂

      Reply
  • Layan Bee

    June 15, 2018 at 09:45

    wow 10 years old thats amazing! and moving to japan!? holy thats such an adventure in itself, keep up the great work

    Reply
    • L M N

      June 15, 2018 at 14:48

      Thanks a million Layan. It has been an amazing adventure and I am STILL being wowed every day over here, still lots to discover. 🙂

      Reply
  • Kate

    June 15, 2018 at 10:40

    What a fabulous initiative – love your mission to support others!

    Reply
    • L M N

      June 15, 2018 at 14:49

      Thanks a million Kate. It feels good to share 🙂 Thanks for commenting 💖

      Reply
  • Valerie

    June 15, 2018 at 13:56

    Congratulations on making it to 10 years! That is an amazing accomplishment!

    Reply
    • L M N

      June 15, 2018 at 14:50

      Thanks a million Valerie 💖 Hoping to keep it up for another 10 years, we’ll have to see though!! Thanks for commenting 🙂

      Reply
  • TST

    June 16, 2018 at 02:23

    10 years is a huge accomplishment!

    Reply
    • L M N

      June 17, 2018 at 14:13

      Thank you so much <3

      Reply

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