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 DIANA MIDDLETON
What is the name of the city where you reside?Uruma City (formerly Gushikawa)
What is the general area (i.e. North Island, Central Island, South Island)? Central Island
Is there a special name that is associated with your area? (i.e. Sunabe Seawall, Naval Kadena, Kadena Town, etc.)I call it the area by the Courtney shortcut, off of Expressway Entrance #5
What is the nearest military base near your home?The house is located between Courtney and Kadena, close to McTureous
What is the approximate driving time from your home to the nearest military base?5 minutes to McT, 10 to Courtney, 15 to Kadena
What DoDDS school district is your home in? Is there a schoolbus system available?We are in the Bechtel school district and a bus system is available, however, we attend a Kadena school on a waiver, thus, no school bus transportation is available
What is the nearest interstate near your home?Expressway Entrance #5 leads you straight to the house, and we are also near Highway 75
Please describe the “feel” of your neighborhood (i.e. pet-friendly, child-friendly, safety, predominantly “American” or “Japanese”, urban, rural, etc.) Pet-friendly, child-friendly, safety (we are next to a Japanese preschool), mostly Japanese, rural area
Are there places of service in your neighborhood w/in walking distance such as restaurants, grocery stores, coffee shops, laundromats, parks, bakeries, etc.?Yes, all of the above
Please describe the style of your home (i.e. Westernized, traditional Japanese, detached family home, townhome, apartment, etc.)Traditional Japanese single family home, with large wrap around yard
Please provide general information about your home such as square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, the rent, and any special amenities.3 bedroom, 1 bath, upstairs roof for whatever use (we use it to ride scooters and bikes for the kids), wrap around yard (kids can run free without fear of cars, etc.)
Are there any special accommodations or tasks that you’ve had to do to make your home useful such as purchasing transformers, appliances, etc.?I believe all traditional Japanese homes require the use of transformers – also, I must use Japanese appliances, which means “small” – small washing machine, small dryer, small dishwasher and small oven – it’s worth it, though
Are there special fees associated with living off-base? We pay our own utilities
How is parking provided for your home?Two spaces for the house, then an empty lot up the hill for visitors
Is there any yard space or outdoor spaces provided for your home?Yes, lots of running room for the kids
What do you feel is special about your home or neighborhood – what makes it feel like “home” here on Okinawa? Owners of the house are friendly, brought us fresh vegetables from their garden when we moved in, the neighborhood kids come and play once and a while with the kids, and there is peace and quiet
How do you pay the bills for utilities?GI Bill pay
What housing agency did you utilize to find your current home?Token Housing
Are you satisfied with the maintenance services provided by your housing agency? extremely
Finally, what advantages and disadvantages do you feel have been your experience living off-base here on Okinawa?Disadvantages, kids are not next to their friends at school, we have to drive to visit with someone or they have to come here: Advantages, everything else—we love our home and we wouldn’t change a thing!
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.