Okinawa Hai fallback


Does anybody have any suggestions for a good place to study Japanese?  I went to Owles Language Center in the outer reaches of Ginowan for a while and it was great, but too far.  I’m in Yomitan.  I’m looking to study either in a class (preferably) or privately with someone who:  a) knows their grammar  b) will speak to me as much as possible in Japanese (that is after all what I’m trying to learn) and c) has a somewhat communicative approach (ie. I do more talking than writing in a textbook).

Okay, so I’m picky.  Really though, any leads would be most welcomed!


  1. Japanese Course Begins TONIGHT! Well, if you are reading this on Jan. 29th. 6:30pm-8pm Tues/Thursdays (for 6 weeks?) It’s with the Kadena Family Service Center which is written up above, but which I never took, but which I’m gonna take a stab at now.

    It’s still $20 for the book. Bldg 99 (thru Kadena gate 1, take right at first light) Phone: 634-3366

  2. I have a local Okinawan friend who teaches English to local Japanese students (adults and children) and Japanese to English speaking students. Her name is Izumi Hirata and her class is located in Chatan next to Chatan High School and/or just up the road from Chatan Sports Center/Kitakaisen Restaurant.
    She currently has some set class times but is flexible in setting up new classes. Her cell phone number is 090-1179-1912. Her e-mail address is Call her for times and more information. My daughters 9 and 11 currently go to one of her classes and have alot of fun. I have also been to an adult class, the atmosphere is great and alot of fun.

  3. I’ve never taken any of them so I can’t say how they are but the Personal Services Center at the different bases do classes. Check this link to call them or for their monthly online schedule.

    You can also take classes through University of Maryland however each language course is 3 semester credits so it will be quite expensive. I took a couple of their evening courses at Camp Foster and really enjoyed it but I find that even though I’m living here in Okinawa I’m not using it very much and have forgotten a lot of what I learned. If you’re interested I think registration just started yesterday for active duty and open registration is starting on 8/13. Check the following link for class schedules, registration, etc.

  4. FYI, I just called Kadena Family Service Center and got the scoop about the Japanese classes. There are two classes offered:

    Basic Japanese: T/Th 6:30-8pm Begins Aug. 21. Fee $20 for book

    Japanese for Busy People: W/Th/F 11:30-1pm Begins Aug. 22nd. FREE!

    There’s no deadline for registering for the classes. The phone number there is 634-3366.

    Cool! Thanks again, Shelly, for the info!

  5. Shelly,

    Thanks for the information. That totally makes sense. I’m excited to learn about that one. Thanks for pointing out that it’s different from the one in the paper too. (I tried that one and it was okay…)


    I have tried that restaurant, it’s really close to my house. I thought the food was yummy!

  6. I took a class at the Kadena Family Service center (I believe that is what it is called). It’s not the one you see offered all the time in the paper. They offer a beginner and intermediate class, so you may already be past these but I know several people who were in the intermediate class with me were taking the intermediate class again just to get more experience. The class was taught by an Okinawan high school teacher who had taught the U of MD class prior to this. The class was really student driven, so that’s why people would take it again and again…it would be different each ‘semester’ even though it was the same ‘class’. Does that make sense??..hope so. Anyway, I really enjoyed it and I think I learned alot.