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 CARMEN
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.
10 minutes outside of Kadena Gate 3
3. Is there a special name that is associated with your area? (i.e. Sunabe Seawall, Naval Kadena, Kadena Town , etc.) Noborikawa
4. What is the nearest military base near your home? Camp Shields and Kadena AB
5. What is the approximate driving time from your home to the nearest military base? 10 minutes
6. What DODDS school district is your home in? Is there a schoolbus system available? I’m assuming Kadena? (no kids for us yet )
7. What is the nearest interstate near your home? HWY 329 is nearby and access to the expressway is just 5 minutes away
8. Please describe the “feel” of your neighborhood (i.e. pet-friendly, child-friendly, safety, pre-dominantly “American” or “Japanese”, urban, rural, etc.) Pre-dominantly Japanese neighborhood, quiet area off the main roads, but close to a few restaurants and grocery store. Neighborhood is safe, many residents walk dogs in the area, and also child-friendly
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 are 2 American fast-food restaurants within walking distance, as well as a grocery store and coffee shop.
10. Please describe the style of your home (i.e. Westernized, traditional Japanese, detached family home, townhome, apartment, etc.) Single, 2 year-old American style home- 2 story
11. Please provide general information about your home such as square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, the rent, and any special amenities. Approximately 1500 sq feet, 3BR, 2 ½ bath, American appliances, separate utility room for washer/dryer, outdoor patio area, upstairs balcony.
12. Are there any special accomodations or tasks that you’ve had to do to make your home useful such as purchasing transformers, appliances, etc? Some of the outlets needed adaptors, but that was all.
13. Are there special fees associated with living off-base? Trash fees, water fees…. Basic utilities which have all been fully covered each month by our allowance
14. How is parking provided for your home? Large driveway w/ room for 3 cars (4 if you really squeeze them in!)
15. Is there any yard space or outdoor spaces provided for your home? We have a covered patio area along the side of the house, which is great for our BBQ and a small table/chairs. We also use our rooftop deck area for our larger patio furniture… great for relaxing at night! We have a small 15x15ft yard toward the front, which is easily mowed with a weedeater! J
16. What do you feel is special about your home or neighborhood – what makes it feel like “home” here on Okinawa? I love how quiet the neighborhood is and just the layout of the house. The master bedroom is very large and has a walk-in closet which is wonderful. The storage space in this house is one of the features we like. And once we moved all of our furniture in, it really feels like home 🙂
17. How do you pay the bills for utilities? Utility allowance has covered it
18. What housing agency did you utilize to find your current home? American Family Housing
19. Are you satisfied with the maintenance services provided by your housing agency? So far we have not had any maintenance problems. We have been renting since 5/08
20. Finally, what advantages and disadvantages do you feel have been your experience living off-base here on Okinawa? You immerse yourself in the culture of Okinawa and really get to experience it more. Also, living off-base in a house gives you more privacy than on-base living in my opinion.
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.