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 DEANNA
1. What is the name of the city where you reside? Okinawa City
2. What is the general area (i.e. North Island, Central Island, South Island)? Central Island
3. Is there a special name that is associated with your area? (i.e. Sunabe Seawall, Naval Kadena, Kadena Town, etc.) Takahara
4. What is the nearest military base near your home? Kadena
5. What is the approximate driving time from your home to the nearest military base? 10-15 minutes
6. What DODDS school district is your home in? Is there a school bus system available? We don’t have kids but we see them walking down the street every day for school. There is a public bus stop down the hill.
7. What is the nearest interstate near your home? We live on 22 and 329 is just down the road.
8. Please describe the “feel” of your neighborhood (i.e. pet-friendly, child-friendly, safety, pre-dominantly “American” or “Japanese”, urban, rural, etc.) Very pet friendly, there sidewalks, its mostly Japanese but we have an American family above us.
9. Are there places of service in your neighborhood w/in walking distance such as restaurants, grocery stores, coffee shops, Laundromats, parks, bakeries, etc.? There is a McDonald’s down the hill and a small mall with a 100Yen store inside just 10 minutes walk from here. Also there is a bakery about 2 minutes down the hill.
10. Please describe the style of your home (i.e. Westernized, traditional Japanese, detached family home, townhome, apartment, etc.) Westernized duplex with American stove/oven, fridge, washer and dryer
11. Please provide general information about your home such as square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, the rent, and any special amenities. Rent is 160000 a month, 3 bedroom 1 bath duplex. It has a small front yard, an enclosed laundry room and a larger yard on the roof that we share with the one other family.
12. Are there any special accommodations or tasks that you’ve had to do to make your home useful such as purchasing transformers, appliances, etc.? Just Transformers so far.
13. Are there special fees associated with living off-base? None
14. How is parking provided for your home? We have a driveway that would probably fit two small cars, a bit of space in the front where we normally park and another two spots in the front.
15. Is there any yard space or outdoor spaces provided for your home? A yard in the front and a larger yard on the roof-both with grass.
16. What do you feel is special about your home or neighborhood – what makes it feel like “home” here on Okinawa? The duplex does not even feel like one, it feels like your own little house and you can’t hear the family upstairs. The view from the roof is awesome!
17. How do you pay the bills for utilities? GI Bill Pay
18. What housing agency did you utilize to find your current home? Koza Housing. MoMo was our realtor.
19. Are you satisfied with the maintenance services provided by your housing agency? Yes, they will come out usually the same day to fix whatever needs it.
20. Finally, what advantages and disadvantages do you feel have been your experience living off-base here on Okinawa? It’s really nice to have a more cultural experience and the roof lets you watch the busyness below without much interaction if you’re not ready for it. We take walks almost every night and it’s a great experience. The disadvantage would be the announcements before and after school, there are intercoms that play music and give an announcement about the school zones and such. At least that’s what we think they are saying. I would take that over the aircraft that fly over the base all day.
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.