About things to do “In Saitama” ~ with or without kids.
2019 update: There are currently 515 published posts, and 193 posts in the pipeline, on things to do in Saitama. There are also 571 events for Saitama on insaitama.com
June 14th 2018
Saitama with kids is 10 years old today. Thank you so much for your continued support .
Things to do in Saitama: The blog and I! Updated 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, however, they do not “make” money, but contribute (marginally) to the costs of self-hosting a blog.
Things to do in Saitama
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.
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 to do, see, experience, taste etc in the Saitama prefecture.
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 the prefecture and 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…
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 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 will host some of the Rugby World Cup 2019 matches. Kawagoe will host the golf tournament of the Tokyo Olympics 2020).
Updated in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Saitama Prefecture
Saitama Prefecture is just North of Tokyo. Many of the areas of Saitama are satellite and / or commuter towns of Tokyo and thousands of people commute to work in Tokyo from Saitama daily.
Dasai is the Japanese word for lame. It has been perceived by Japanese locals for a long time that Saitama has little to do and there is little of interest and so nicknamed the prefecture Dasaitama – lame Saitama. The truth is, that there is a lot to do and we have many unique attractions that are not available in Tokyo or anywhere else in Japan.
One of the things that contributed to Saitama being nicknamed Dasaitama is that there is little the prefecture is famous for, particularly food. However, there are many attractions here that are highly acclaimed and that can’t be found anywhere else in Japan. For example, just one of the bragging rights of the prefecture is the Bonsai Village – the only bonsai village in all of Japan. We have the only Moominvalley park outside of Finland, the only Chukaman museum in Japan, the only Pocky Factory Tour, the Totoro Forests, the historic tourist town of Kawagoe, “suneori amagoi” dragon festival, the 100 Caves of Yoshimi, to name, but a few.
I love writing with WordPress! Good luck with your blog! 🙂
Thank you so much!
Yes, please keep going. WP has been good to me so far 🙂
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!!
So glad I found your blog! I am also an expat living in Asia, looking forward to reading more from you.
Likewise!! I love all your crafts and very easy to follow your instructions. Thank you!
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.
(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 😉 )
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 email@example.com Please feel free to PM there.
All the best,
I never heard back from you on the above email and I was wondering if you had some difficulties. Please try me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can’t get me on the jp address. Thank you
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.
That is good news; I am glad to hear it! 🙂 Thank you for your comment.
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.
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 email@example.com
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.
Thank you very much! I really appreciate such positive feedback. 🙂
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!!!!
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
PS the firstname.lastname@example.org is the active email (the other email listed further down is unfortunately inactive now)
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
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!
The brochure I have seems to be a little out of date, but I found a pool in Kitasakado. https://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?
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.
Likewise, domo arigatou gozaimasu, or how we text this in Japan (bowing person!);
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!
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.
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.
Cool. Look forward to seeing ya on Twitter.
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 😀
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 😉
Elle, I think your blog is awesome, so I’ve just nominated you for the Liebster award here: https://throughthelookingglassanddowntherabbithole.com/2013/10/20/liebster-nomination/. I hope you accept it and take a look, and have fun answering the questions!
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 😀
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!
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!!
Heheh I unfollow people by accident all the time 🙂 Then I just click follow again and hope they haven’t noticed 😀
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.
Yay! I’m so glad I made sense 🙂 It’s a nice change :p
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! ????
The Liebster Award has done more than bring extra traffic and follows, its allowed me find wonderful blogs like yours. 🙂
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! 😉
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!!
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.
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.
Wish I had found your blog before I went to Saitama but we will be back!!
I wish my blog came up in your searches, before you came! I have to work on that. 🙂
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.
Thanks for the tip – I’ll need to sly in some more references to Tokyo for added traffic. 🙂
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.
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 🙂
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.
What a great reason to start blogging! Your blog is so beautiful as is your writing.
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. 🙂
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.
Thank you for your comment David. I will check it out. 🙂
Thank you for checking it out, and thank you for keeping on blogging 😀
Ganbatte kudasai! *one of few Japanese phrases that I know*
Hehehe. Ganbarimasu 🙂
Now I learned a new Irish word 😉 Well done!
THANK YOU! <3 You are getting an honourable mention in my next blog post. I shall ping you!
lol, no need but thanks. Looking forward for the next Tasks.
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!
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
Indeed! There’s so little time to do it all! Keep it up though 🙂
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?
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 . 🙂
Love your blog! I have nominated you for the Leibster Award. Check out my blog to see how it works. Meryl
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. 🙂
I do not see a “contact” or email address.
How can you be reached directly?
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. 🙂
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!
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
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!
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. 🙂
Cool blog! What brought you to Japan in the first place?
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.
WOW! 10 years! Congrats!
Thank you so much Ashley 🙂
wow 10 years old thats amazing! and moving to japan!? holy thats such an adventure in itself, keep up the great work
Thanks a million Layan. It has been an amazing adventure and I am STILL being wowed every day over here, still lots to discover. 🙂
What a fabulous initiative – love your mission to support others!
Thanks a million Kate. It feels good to share 🙂 Thanks for commenting 💖
Congratulations on making it to 10 years! That is an amazing accomplishment!
Thanks a million Valerie 💖 Hoping to keep it up for another 10 years, we’ll have to see though!! Thanks for commenting 🙂
10 years is a huge accomplishment!
Thank you so much <3