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 on-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.


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House 013 House 019


What military base is your home located on? Camp Foster

What area of the island is your home located on (i.e. North Island, Central Island, South Island)? Central (I think!  We haven’t been here long.)

What is the name of your neighborhood in which your home is located? Kishaba Terrace; across the street from the West Pac Temp Lodging

Generally speaking, most on-base homes are approved for occupancy based on military or government rank.  If you would like, please provide the range of ranks that your home is approved for? As far as we can tell, E-7 to E-9 plus some government contractors

What DODDS school district is your home attached to?  Is there a schoolbus system available? We don’t have children so I’m not sure about that.

Please describe the “feel” of your neighborhood (i.e. pet-friendly, child-friendly, level of safety, friendly neighbors, spacious, etc.) There are kids of all ages on the streets and many, many dogs!  It’s definitely safe and we have the best neighbors.

Please describe the style of your home (i.e. detached home, duplex, apartment, age of the home, etc.) We have a detached home.

Please provide general information about your home such as square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, number of stories/levels, special amenities, etc. Our house is 3 bedroom, 2 bath.  We have a separate laundry room plus a den/office off the dining area.  The bedrooms are a little smaller than we are used to but we have plenty of room overall.

What places of services are available near your home such as restaurants, shops, commissary, playgrounds, parks, etc.? We can actually walk to the Macaroni Grill, the Foster exchange, movie theatre and post office.

How is parking provided for your home? We have a shared drive that will fit two cars.  Plus there is street parking.

Is there any yard space or outdoor spaces provided for your home? We have a nice sized yard, especially in the back.

What do you feel is special about your home or neighborhood – what makes it feel like “home” here on Okinawa? Our house backs up to 81 and we can see all the Japanese apartment buildings.  So we get the comfort of living on base with still knowing that there is another world right outside our gate!

What housing expenses are included with on-base housing (i.e. utilities, rent, appliances, etc.) All utilities except cable. Internet and phone are provided.

Are there any expenses or fees associated with on-base housing? No.

Are you satisfied with the maintenance services provided by your on-base housing organization? Yes.  I have only had to call once and they were here first thing the next morning.

Finally, what advantages and disadvantages do you feel have been your experience living on a military base here on Okinawa? When we first found out we were coming we knew we wanted to be on base at least for at first.  We both wanted to become comfortable with being in another country.  Since living here, we have decided to stay on base because we love the house, the area and our neighbors.  Plus we don’t have to pay for utilities or garbage pick up.

Please provide any COMMENTS that you feel would be helpful for others about living on-base.  Living on base on Okinawa is great.  I know some people worry that if you live on base you won’t get the “full effect” of living in another country.  But we get out in town a lot so that is all based on the family.  If you live on base and never get out to explore, you have no one to blame but yourself!  All kidding aside, any tour overseas or stateside, is what you make of it.  And we choose to love it!


  1. We were stationed on Okinawa from March 1957 until July 1959 in the Army. We lived at 1700 Kishaba Terrace, on the corner as you entered the housing area. The quarters were 3 bedrooms and 2 baths with two screened porches, one of which was our dining area. We would like to see any recent photos of the actual house. We have viewed the ones available and one is close, but we are not sure. Thank you for any memories you can restore for us. We have wonderful memories of our tour on Okinawa. We had 3 children under 6 and a full time, live-in maid was a blessing! A gardener once a week kept the lawn spotless and wonderful veggies and huge strawberries that we shared with the migratory snails on their annual trip across the island. We also had a “sew girl” who made all the children’s clothes and anything we wanted for ourselves.

  2. Just found out that my family & I will be doing a tour in Okinawa, starting late this year. I’ll be working at Futenma, so most-likely will be staying in Foster. Just wondering about the latest and greatest? Arigato!

    • Hello Bryan,
      I am in the same situation I will be moving with my family to Japan next month to work in Futenma and will probably live in foster too. I can tell you I have heard nothing but good feed back from everyone comming from there. The plan is to enjoy the place and look forward for possitive experiences.

  3. I want you all to know I was stressed about moving a large family without knowing where we were going to live, it’s AWESOME we live on KAB and most of the bases (MCT-Torri-Foster-Courtney) the homes are getting revamped so really any place is not too bad to live in! We absolutely love it in Okinawa, the weather is not that bad and air conditioners help almost every house has one. Don’t stress about the Towers either because they are remodeled or getting remodeled. Start practicing your Japanese, your gonna love it here!

  4. Hi this helps soo much we just got orders to oki and my husband the service member claims we will live in foster* Thank you for takin the time to put this info on here* I am scared of going way out there its the farthest I will have gone with my kids** I have enjoyed cali for the last 4 years and now they are shipping us way out there** its terrifying for me. to be out there alone with no friends 3 kids and husband may deploy makes me wornder what did I get myself into lol* Thank you anyways** God Bless

  5. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this. My family lived in Kishaba during the early 60’s and I have some very fond memories of Okinawa. I am the eldest of 6 and between us, we went to Zukeran (Formally Sukeran), as well as Machinato Middle School (in Quonsut huts)and even Naha High School. All in all, a wonderful place to grow up.

  6. Joy- I hope you have heard from your sponsor by now! You should be able to find a file online, I think it is a .ppt you can d/l from housing that has diagrams and sq footage listings of all the housing plans. I’m not wild about living on base and am counting down the days until I can move off-base. Otherwise, life over here is really great and I love it. I really wish I had been able to find this website before I got here- there is a ton of great info. If you need more info about anything, let me know, and I’ll post my email on here. I know I wish I had known at least one person here before I got here.

  7. Hello All! My name is Joy and my family will be arriving in Okinawa on May 28th! My children are 10 and 7 and are very excited for this new adventure. Me… I am a nervous wreck! My hubby is up for promotion so hopefully by June he will be an E7 but I am very worried of how this will affect us for housing. We have a lot of furniture and I am so afraid that the base housing will be so small that I will have to get rid of some nice things. Does anyone have the Square footage? My hubby will be working at Futemma (sp) or Foster. I’ve heard both names so I’m not sure if that makes a difference. Any info you can provide will be appreciated. We haven’t heard from our sponser yet and I am just very nervous! Thanks for any help you can give!

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  9. Hi Donna,

    Can you go to the I and I station in Albany NY?…

    You should be able to get some help there…

    We are stationed in Camp Lejeune NC, If there is anything I can do down here to help you out I will…

    I didn’t need any shots yet, only my husband needs them…I was told once we get there I will need my shots…(another thing I hate!)…

    Please e-mail me if I can help in anyway.


  10. well we are starting out TMO stuff today getting all the paperwork started. it inda stinks cause our command isnt doing to much to help us get situated (recruiting), they are all new I guess to PCS’ing families and arent giving us much help. we just found out that we need some shots and they have to be orderd and so on. Finally got info and got our passports started. It is really being left up to me and my hubby to figure this out. We have been calling our previous base to ask for help (they are in NC) so it is dragging out now we just want to be there NOW!! I am hoping and praying I can live in a detached home, We would like a tower cause they are bigger, but would also love a yard!

  11. Donna – I hear you on the cold weather…it is like 10 degrees here in West Virginia! I will definitely email you and you can keep in touch with me and Heidi since we will be there a little before you I am sure we will be experts by the time you get there! LMAO!!!!

    Heidi – good luck with the movers this time..hope it goes better! Our Air and Sea shipment gets picked up a WEEK FROM TODAY…yikes I am so not ready!

  12. Donna and Heidi,

    So jealous…miss the beautiful Adirondack mtns. and all the great lakes. (in the summertime of course) I was just talking to family in Rochester and they are freezing. Don’t miss that winter weather at all. Stay warm and have a safe flight over.

  13. Hi Donna!

    I know how it is being in the Adirondack Mountains!..I am from Galway…a very close town of Northville!…(near Well’s NY)…It gets really cold!!!…

    The packers come tomorrow morning..and we are set out to Okinawa Feb 18th…

    My husband is also a Gunny…and stationed at Hanson…We will be coming over with no kids, (all grown!) pets..just us!…
    I was tellin Sarah, and Charity it is a very sad/exciting adventure for us…Sad to leave my family, grand kids..exciting to be on a honeymoon for 3 years!…We are very young grandparents!..

    I have talked to some really great people on this site…I hope to meet you all when I get there…

    I will be there about a month earlier than you..let’s stay in touch…and I will help you in anyway I can to settled…

    You can e-mail me at heidiann_1964@yahoo
    Look forward to talking to you!


  14. We are coming from Saranac Lake, NY we are on Recruiting Duty…UUUGGHHH!! We are in the Adirondack Maountains and the winters are BRUTAL…we have been having temps in the -10 area for a few days now and it stinks…. SO we have spent 3 years not seeing each other. I am REALLY hoping we can get a single family house like the one above….Im so nervous as to what they are going to offer us!! hey email me

  15. Heidi – yeah it would have been great to have been on the same flight…oh well!! Bring lots of mints they help with the sickness.

    Thanks Charity…nice to know I might be able to walk to get some things I need.

    Alicia – I get what you mean about the high school and the walk…I will hope if we do get offered housing there it is close to the shcool.

    Michelle – glad to hear you like the area so much!! And cardboard sledding sounds like fun!

    Donna – HI!! You will get there about a month after me so keep in touch and maybe I can help you out once I am there if you need anything. Where are you coming from? My hubby is also E7 in the Marines and we have 2 kids (14 yrs and 7 months) AND he also will be on Futenma.

  16. I am also moving to Okinawa, But I will be arriving around March 15th, 09, My husband is an E-7 and we have 2 children (3 & 7). I look forward to meeting some new friends when I get there. My Hubby is in the Marines Corps and he’ll be working on Futenma

  17. FYI- the elementary school, Zukeran, is also a walking school. The only buses are for the middle school, Lester, and there are stops throughout Kishaba.

    Kishaba is a nice neighborhood. We like. Our street is relatively quiet, helps one end is blocked off. There are parks scattered around and plenty of cardboard sledding hills.

    A single house would be my first choice but there are also duplex and multiplex units in Kishaba.

    Kishaba can be within walking distance to Macaroni Grill and Whispers (inside the Westpac) too.

  18. We’re in Kishaba as well and have the same layout. It’s interesting to see the little differences though, how you have the house set up and etc! Obviously we have way more crap! 🙂

    Sarah, the high school could be a long walk or could be only a couple blocks. It just depends where in the housing area you are.

  19. Sarah/Heidi:

    You can’t walk to the commissary from here but you can walk to the exchange, movies and the market which is another little shopping area connected to the exchange. The post office is in the same area as well.

    The flight over wasn’t so bad. Just very long! 🙂

  20. Sarah & Charity! You two are great!

    Sarah, it would have been great if we were flying over on the same plane! You could have laughed at me when I turned every shade of green!.. What a memory that would be!!!…I will keep in touch with you before we leave…I have my laptop so…I can check/send e-mails…

    Charity, I will keep in touch with you also.
    I have every part of my antomy crossed that me and Sarah get a house very soon!!!…
    Us three being neighbors…sounds….GREAT!

    Charity, you can also e-mail me at
    Heidiann_1964@yahoo to talk more if you like.

    Thanks again!!

  21. Charity – thanks so much…I hope the high school isnt TOO far of a walk… I know I read if it is within a mile they dont take the bus…but a mile is a long walk for a sleep teenager in the morning! LOL!! Anyhow thanks and please keep yours eyes open for empty houses for me…we will be ther on Feb 13th! My personal email is sassypea71 AT yahoo if you want to chat more privately. I love the pics that you took and the house looks so cute. I am not a real dog lover but I can put up with that if it means we get a house. I will keep my fingers crossed for the next month that something in your area stays empty! Thanks!!

    OH forgot to ask how far is the commissary from you? Can you walk to it? Since we wont have a car at first it would be great to be able to walk to the store for things.

    Maybe you, me and Heidi will all be neighbors next month!! LOL!!

    HEIDI – I know I am not looking forward to that plane ride either. And we have the baby to consider also. Maybe I will see you at Wes Pac…we will be there Feb 13th until WHO KNOWS when we get housing. Too bad our cell phones wont work over there…but keep in touch before hand and maybe we can meet up once we are there.


  22. Hi Charity!

    Thank you so much for all your help!…We are flying out on the 18th of Feb..and will be there a couple days later…I will contact you when I am there!..
    We will be staying in the Westpac Inn…( I guess..that’s what the sponsor is doing)
    Oh girl! wish me luck on that long plane ride!!!…I hate planes!!…
    Thanks again for everything!

  23. Hi Charity!

    This is wonderful news!!….
    This whole move is so stressful!…
    The packers came for my express shipment, and were told that most of my stuff couldn’t go!…My household goods will be shipped next week….I hope that it goes easier!…
    I am very excited to get there…I just hate this waiting around, counting the days till we get on the plane!..That is killing me!!……..
    Thank you again for the good news!…
    Hopefully we can be neighbors!

  24. Hey Heidi…we are also E7 AND we arrive in Okinawa on Feb 13th!! What a small world! I would love to chat with you some more if you want…we can share any info that we have each learned. We do have 2 kids…a 14 yr old and a 7 month old. Anyway I would love to chat with you privately…let me know if you are interested.
    – Sarah

  25. Hi all!

    We will be on our way in mid Feb!…I am looking forward to it, but scared all in one…My husband is an E-7, we have no children coming with us (all are grown! another reason why I am sad about leaving the states!) animals…

    I have heard so many different stories about the waiting time frame…We would love to move into this housing area…Does anyone know the time frame for us?…

    Any information would ease me alittle…

    Thank you so much!
    We are looking forward to getting there and starting the next chapter in our lives..


  26. We live in Kishaba Terrace also, but phone is NOT included…we pay for phone, internet and cable. We love living here! We have 2 kids and a dog and are completely comfortable in our house. I have to say you have to be critter friendly, as we do tend to get geckos in the house, they slip in through the cracks in the door or run in right as you open it. I wish we had more storage, but I think that’s a universal desire in Okinawa!