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.
CONTRIBUTED BY JOSH
Josh has generously offered up some great information about his home in Hamby Town, a great location with beautiful Araha Beach and quirky restaurants off of Hwy. 58 near Camp Foster. Below is a small sample of what his home looks like. To take a peek at many more pictures, Josh has kindly provided a weblink HERE.
Yuri Mansion the view living space kitchen
LIVING OFF-BASE ON OKINAWA:
What is the name of the city where you reside? Chatan
What is the general area (i.e. North, Central, or South Island)? Central Island
Is there a special name that is associated with your area (i.e. Naval Kadena, Kadena Town, etc.)? Hamby Town
What is the nearest military base closest to your home? Camp Foster
What is the approximate driving time from your home to the nearest military base? 5 min to Gate 5 (Commissary Gate on 58); 15 min. to Gate 1 (Spot Gate on 130 near 58 intersection).
What DoDDS school district is your home in? Is there a school bus system available? Not sure. (Neighbor’s son attends Bob Hope Primary for kindergarten)
What is the nearest main road to your home? We’re a block off Highway 58; nearest expressway entry/exit is “Kitanakagusuku”
Please describe the “feel” of your neighborhood (i.e. pet-friendly, child-friendly, safety, urban, rural, etc.). Mixture of US & Japanese neighbors & visitors; less residential than commercial/recreational
Are there places of service in your neighborhood within walking distance such as restaurants, stores, parks, coffee shops, etc.? Large San-A dept store 2 blocks away, TONS of restaurants & other businesses all over the place, one of the most popular parks (Araha) literally a stone’s throw away from our balcony
Please describe the style of your home (i.e. Westernized, traditional Japanese, detached family home, townhouse, apartment, etc.). Westernized apartment
Please provide general information about your home such as square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, the rent, and any special amenities. 1400 sq ft, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, large open living/dining/kitchen area, 265K yen incl appliances (250 w/o), outside locked storage room, sliding glass doors in every room overlooking the ocean/beach (living room & both spare bedrooms)
Are there any special accommodations or tasks that you’ve had to do to make your home useful such as purchasing transformers, appliances, etc.? Transformers were provided for the brand-new US appliances (fridge, washer & dryer) just to be safe; otherwise it was electrically & otherwise ready to go for our US goods
Are there special fees associated with living off-base? I’m not sure what living on-base entails exactly (wasn’t an option to us as civilian contractors)
How is parking provided for your home? We have a parking lot beneath our building with 2 spaces per apt (20 total); upper floors have more covered/convenient spaces.
Is there any yard space or outdoor spaces provided for your home? There is a balcony on every apartment (runs the entire apt width, the longer side); the rooftop is finished with walls, electrical outlets & water spout (lovely for gatherings or relaxation); the huge Araha Park/Beach across the street is fantastic for exercise & relaxation & recreation
What do you feel is special about your home or neighborhood – what makes it feel like “home” here on Okinawa? Overlooking not only the East China Sea but also a public beach (Araha), unlike the Sunabe area; being within walking distance of everything we need; being within biking distance of the largest bases (Foster & Kadena) *sometimes we question whether we really need cars
How do you pay the bills for utilities? Gas, water & trash are paid at housing agency; Phone (including ADSL internet) & electricity are paid at the Lawson’s convenience store (about a 40 yard walk away, door-to-door)
What housing agency did you utilize to find your current home? Central Housing
Are you satisfied with the maintenance services provided by your housing agency? Completely satisfied
Finally, what advantages and disadvantages do you feel have been your experience living off-base here on Okinawa? I don’t know much about on-base living details but from what I can observe easily while on base, the quality of life seems to be far superior off-base (especially if kids aren’t a factor)
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.