Behind the Blog

Happy New Year 2017

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.

I wish you all a very Blessed and Happy 2017.


The blog and I! Updated in 2017.

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 2 and 7 years old.

insaitama.com is a not-for-profit blog, providing free information in English to people living in and/or travelling to Saitama. Amazon Affiliate Program* added on June 9th 2017.

*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 400 play areas or tourist attractions in the last 7 years and there are still places to discover.

I started self hosting my blog 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 2017 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).

 

UPDATED IN 2017

66 comments on “Behind the Blog

    1. Elle M N Post author

      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
  1. craftycrunchyspicy

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

    Reply
  2. Cecilia

    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
    1. Elle Post author

      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
  3. http://www.gekiyasuairhanbaijp.com/

    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
    1. Elle Post author

      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
  4. レイバン

    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
  5. new_to_town

    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
    1. Elle Post author

      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
      1. new_to_town

        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
        1. Elle Post author

          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
        2. Elle Post author

          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
  6. Kaufman's Kavalkade

    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
    1. Elle Post author

      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
        1. Elle Post author

          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
    1. Elle Post author

      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
    1. Elle Post author

      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
      1. ThroughTheLookingGlassAndDownTheRabbitHole

        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
        1. Elle Post author

          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
        2. Elle Post author

          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
  7. outforalonglunch

    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
    1. Elle Post author

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

      Reply
  8. aj vosse

    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
    1. Elle Post author

      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
  9. kris

    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
    1. Elle Post author

      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
      1. silverbells2012

        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
          1. silverbells2012

            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.

          2. Elle Post author

            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 🙂

          3. silverbells2012

            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.

    1. Elle Post author

      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
  10. David

    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
  11. Pingback: Blogging 101. The Re-Introduction. Back to Basics. | Life in Japan with 4 young children

  12. Faye Elizabeth

    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
    1. Elle Post author

      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
  13. afictionesse

    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
    1. Elle Post author

      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
    1. Elle Post author

      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

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