Before coming to Okinawa I was faced with the daunting task of guessing where we might be living and hoping for some answers. It’s hard to plan ahead of time for household things you may want to bring or purchase before you come. I had a personal obsession about curtains because with two children under three, who are already 5 o’clock risers, I needed to be sure I could block some of the amazing Okinawa light to buy me a few extra precious seconds of sleep and to ensure nap time remained on schedule.

Let me start off by saying we are in a renovated North Foster apartment tower which has pre-existing rails and hooks in the windows for hanging curtains. All windows are pre-treated with metal blinds; horizontal on the bedroom windows and the hanging vertical type on the patio doors.  They are sufficient to block your privacy. (Please know that not all of the apartments are the same. My neighbors do not have the rail system in their un-renovated apartments.)

Curtains full The curtain style in my apartment is the standard Japanese curtain with a hook and eye system. So, for those of you in the North Foster Towers in an apartment with pre-existing rails there is a quick and easy solution. You can buy premade light blocking curtains from JUSCO for about 2850yen a pair. Some are even cheaper.

Our balcony doors do have a rail system for hanging curtains in addition to the horizontal blinds, I have chosen not to bother with these doors. From the outside of the building I have seen many window treatments hung in other apartments, so it is possible.  It is also very easy to remove the plastic blinds, they just unhook and can be stored under a bed. Back to the bedroom curtains…

The curtains are advertised in the store as light blocking. Some have to be ordered, but there is a whole section of premade curtains. They are located on the 2nd floor near the escalators in the home section. I didn’t attempt to order anything as what they had ready to buy suited my budget.

Curtains existing

The curtains will hang onto the existing curtain bars and hooks already installed in the smaller bedrooms of the Foster Tower apartments. The curtains come WITH the hanging hooks already attached so it’s really easy. It only takes about 1-2 minutes to hang the curtains. To make the room completely black you can buy two sets of the light blocking curtains for each window. So four curtains in total, or two packages. That does the trick.

Curtains close

Where to Buy:  The selection at JUSCO isn’t fantastic but it’s not too bad. You can get a pretty basic pattern or a plain color. Max Plus also has a large selection. I used a plain white box patterned fabric for the first curtain bar closest to the window and a patterned fabric curtain for the other curtain bar. This made the room pretty much pitch black, ideal for the baby and the toddler. The second floor of the San-A market on 58 also had a very small selection of similar curtains.

Measurement Details:  To cover the windows in the bedrooms buy 100cmx178cm. The window size in the 2 smaller bedrooms from the inner part of the frame is width 175.5 cm and height 151.1. Just and FYI, the other windows are the kitchen window (if your unit has one; 153cmW x 100.3cmL), a set of sliding glass doors to the balcony (379.1cmW x 221.6cm L) and the sliding door in the master bedroom (167.6cmW x 226.1cmL). These are the dimensions from the inner part of the window and door frame.


  1. So, we’ve been on island for about 8 months,living in the Camp Shields (O’Donnel Gardens) housing area in a multiplex. We have the standard blinds, but the cat loves to destroy them, so I’d prefer to be able to get curtains up so my husband will stop worrying about possibly having to pay for the replacement blinds. We have a makeshift thing in the bedroom, two curtain rods we bought at the Kadena BX that are spring loaded and fit into the window area. They suck, because our cat loves the window sill and loves to play with the curtains, frequently bringing them down in the wee hours of the morning. It’s frustrating. We would really appreciate suggestions that don’t include damaging the walls in any way (nailing or drilling anything into them is a no no). Thanks.

  2. I should add that the premade curtains do not fit the doors in the master bedroom. The curtains in the photo are special order from MAXPLUS. Even though I don’t speak any Japanese beyond greetings, I did manage to order the right curtains for the master bedroom at Maxplus. My sales girl spoke as much English as I did Japanese. It was quite a pricy decision, (21,050yen) however, good sleep is worth it. I had the dimensions written down (170cm width by 240cm length) and we could communicate just with a diagram. I picked 99.9% light blocking (there are 4 levels, no price difference) and the twig pattern seen here in the post for the curtain. The sales clerk indicated the curtains should be 2 cm shorter on the top and the bottom as the rail is mounted on the ceiling. So I ended up ordering 180cm width by 236cm length.
    If doing it again I would get 237cm length. That way the curtain would actually touch the floor blocking every millimeter of light. However, 236cm is fine.