Living overseas has its challenges, and a commonly agreed upon one is finding that perfect place to live. To help those of us who are curious about the different options for living on Okinawa, readers have answered some of the most frequently asked questions about on-base housing. If you live in an off-base house that has not yet been featured on this site, please contact our Submissions Manager for the template. 

Here’s a great link to access, too, if you’re on the fence as to whether to live on-base or off-base.



Diningkitchen Kitchen Full_bath Bedroom Closet_space_2 Japanese_washerdryer Upstairs_deck

Living Off A Military Base:

1.  What’s the name of the city where you reside?  Kitamae, Chatan-Cho

2.  What’s the general area? (i.e. North, Central, South Island)  Central Island

3.  Is there a special name that is associated with your area? (i.e. Sunabe, Kadena Town, Naval Kadena, etc.).  Not that I know of.

4.  What is the nearest military base to your home and what is the approximate driving time to that military base?  Camp Foster

5.  What DoDDS school district is your home zoned for?  Is there a schoolbus system available?

6.  What is the nearest highway or main road to your home?  Less than 5 minutes to the Camp Foster Commissary Gate.

7.  Please describe the “feel” of your neighborhood (i.e. pet-friendly, child-friendly, safety, spaciousness, predominantly “Japanese” or “American”, urban, rural, etc.).  There is a good mix of American and Japanese residents.

8.  Are there places of service in your neighborhood within walking distance such as restaurants, convenience stores, laundromats, bakeries,coffee shops, parks, etc.?  Araha Beach/Pirate Ship Park is within walking distance.  The entrance to the walking trail is about 5-10 minutes away.  The beach itself is more like 15-20 minutes depending on your pace.  San-A Grocery and Department Store is right across the street from the beach.  Along the way there are little shops and restaurants. There is also a Lawson’s convenience store a couple of blocks away.

9.  Please describe the style of your home (i.e. Westernized, traditional Japanese, detached family home, townhome, etc.).  Westernized home. Duplex.

10.  Please provide general information about your home such as the rent, square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, special amenities, etc.).  About 1300 sf, 3 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms.  Wood floors.  Dishwasher, American stove, Japanese refrigerator with ice maker.  We had the option to get an American washing machine and dryer from the base but opted to keep the Japanese appliances that were already installed so we wouldn’t have to wait.  Our air conditioning units also have a dehumidifier option which has been very useful.

11.  Are there any special accommodations or tasks that you’ve had to complete to make your home useful such as purchasing transformers, appliances, etc.?  We purchased one transformer that we use in the kitchen for our microwave and toaster oven.

12.  What costs are there associated with living off a military base and how do you pay for those costs?  We pay fees for water and garbage collection.  We also pay our own gas and electric as well as phone and internet.

GI Bill Pay

13.  How is parking provided for your home?  We have covered parking that can fit up to 3 cars if we squeeze in.  This is one of the things we love most about our home.  Covered parking is great for keeping our cars cool in the summertime and keeping us nice and dry during rainy season.

14.  Are there any outdoor spaces or yards provided for your home?  No yard, but we have a rooftop deck where we keep a play structure for the kids to play on.  Nice to have the but the parks are so great here that we don’t use it very often.

15.  What housing agency did you utilize to find your current home?

Joy Housing

Phone Number 098-983-7811

16.  Are you satisfied with the maintenance services that are provided for your home?  I am extremely satisfied with the service at Joy Housing.  Whenever we have had an issue they are quick to respond and the maintenance workers are very prompt.

17.  Finally, what advantages and disadvantages do you feel has been your experience living off a military base here in Okinawa?  I really love living off-base.  It makes me feel more immersed in the culture.  Even though we’re off-base we’re still quite close to all the basic places on-base that we would go to.

If you live in on-base housing OR off-base housing that has not been featured on Okinawa Hai, or in housing that has been renovated since its last post, please contact our Content Manager for the on-base housing template and instructions on how to share your little slice of Okinawa with the rest of us.


  1. Don’t you just love Joy Housing? We just recently moved from one off-base house to another. This time, we rented through Joy Housing. The customer service is excellent. They really take care of the tenants. We had a really bad experience with our previous agency (took care of the houseowner instead of us).