Should You Bring The Kitchen Sink?

CONTRIBUTED BY DIANA MIDDLETON

Most of us have had to do this at least once in our time as military families–move out of one house into another all on our own! In the Marine Corps, we call it a D-it-Y move (ditty). This can be good or bad depending on how you look at it. If you’re like me, it’s bad, real bad (you don’t even want to know how my kitchen dishes came out one time–and I couldn’t blame it on anyone). That’s why someone invented moving companies, right? For people like me, who throw “ditty” moves out the window and hire real professionals to handle the mess!

Anyhow, Kristi wants to know if anyone has had any experience with professional moving companies on Okinawa. I know there are about a dozen moving services listed in the yellow pages, but does anyone have first hand experience with one they would like to share? Thank you!

45 COMMENTS

  1. I’m just looking for someone to come in and box up all my things (no moving needed). Any suggestions? I don’t have any big furniture, I just don’t have the time (or energy) and would like someone professional to pack up all my fragile items. Thanks in advance!

  2. I used Sakai and it was great!
    I lived in 2 bed room apartment and had about 7-8 big funitures.
    My couch was so big they had to use sub-contractors with crane to move it out through balcony. But the total cost was 73,000 Yen to move everything. If I moved during the week, they said it was cost 60,000 to move everything. It was more expensive because it was a Friday. They gave me 50 boxes and we used them all and some more. We were told to leave all the cloths in the drawers, chest, and on the closets. They moved them without taking them out and brought special storages for the clothes on hangers. They also brought special storage for the shoes so we didn’t have to pack that. They were very professional. While movers didn’t speak any English, they HQ in Osaka was on the phone any time they needed to tell us something.

    OKINAWA TRANSPORTATION Company came and gave us a quote for 100K Yen just to move big stuff…I’d stay away from them if I were you.

    • This may be a little off topic, as I was mostly searching for how to move just a small piece of furniture that I purchased from bookoo. Hank from Okimoving services may be a gem of a man, but the prices are pretty high. 4000Y is the starting rate. I wanted to move one twin bed from a 1 story about 5 minutes from my house to my 4th floor apartment… and he told me that the price would go up because of the floors. Now I understand that moving can be difficult work, but I’m aware of few others who make 50 dollars for a job that would take 20 minutes maximum.

      On the other hand, I asked another moving service and he quoted 50 dollars. Anyhow, if you’re in the same situation that I am you’re better off renting a truck.

      • The reason we have a min rate is if we didn’t, everyone would be asking for moves for 20 bucks. Of course the yen rate is better now, so your not “losing” your money on yen exchange. If I could carry everything up 3-4 flights of stairs by myself, of course I’d charge less. But having to pay another worker, plus hidden cost that most of you don’t know, yearly JCI, new tires that cost 150.00 each X 6 and a full tank every 2 days, costs add up.

        And who would think that someone would pay 100 bucks to get their fingernails done!

  3. Hello everyone I’m John from Global Van Co.,Ltd. We are a moving company that has provided service to military and DoD members for over 35 years in Okinawa and the Asia-Pacific rim. We specialize in a variety of moves for On and Off-Base Housing with an experienced crew to help you with your needs. All Estimates are FREE and with the estimates you won’t get any hidden or extra charges. Our efficient crew will have you set-up in no time whether your move is local or international Global can help.

    Professional Moving Solutions you can count on.

    For Commercial Moves call direct for your Free Estimate call
    Makoto at 090-7476-3218

    Any Questions Call our English Speaking Office at 098-936-0111

    • Global is absolutely horrible. Two times they delivered stuff to my house and both times they got the delivery days wrong. a huge part of the delivery buisness is ensuring the items are delivered on the day scheduled and they can’t even get that right.

  4. Is there anywhere on the island to rent a truck with a COVERED bed? The gas station on Kadena only has flatbed truscks that are not covered.

    • Jeremy, have you tried the other Fuji Rent a Car offices to see if they have them?

      Foster Office: 645-4577 Bldg 5644
      Futenma Office: 636-2460 Bldg 404
      Hansen Office: 623-5092 Bldg 2419
      Courtney Office: 622-6678 Bldg 4131
      Kinser Office: 637-3834 Bldg 1227

  5. I’ve just recently begun pricing out our move and figured I’d post some of the estimates I’ve received here.

    I currently live down by Futenma and am moving to Kadena, so the distance is a bit far. I am estimating about 4,000 pounds of furniture (both large and small).

    Budget: 080-3946-7617
    Estimate: 15,000 yen per 1,000 pounds (large items only)
    20,000 yen per 1,000 pounds (large and small items)
    Notes: The representative spoke very good English and was easy to work with. I have scheduled an in-person appraisal for later this month.

    Sakai: 098-951-3144
    Estimate: 50,000 yen (price will go up if I get closer to 5,000 pounds due to the need for another truck.)
    Notes: They had an English speaking representative from their headquarters in Osaka contact me. Nakajima-san spoke very good English and coordinated the estimate and appraisal appointment for me with the Okinawa branch.

    Okinawa Haiso: 098-930-0023
    Estimate: This company bases their price on the size of the furniture, therefore I could not obtain a rough estimate until the appraisal.
    Notes: The representative had some trouble understanding me (and vice versa! 🙂 ), so I handed the phone over to my Japanese speaking friend who was able to coordinate an appraisal appointment for me.

    I also contacted Art Moving (098-874-0123) but have yet to be called back. (I assume their English speaking representative wasn’t working today.)

    Looks like Budget runs a bit expensive as mentioned previously. Everyone was very professional over the phone and did their best to help me and provide a rough estimate. I hope some of this information helps! 🙂

    • Update:

      I received my appraisals by all three companies this weekend. This is to move me from Ginowan City (by Futenma) to Kadena AB. I estimate I will be moving around 1,500 pounds of furniture, however I believe that most Japanese moving companies base the price on size of the furniture and distance traveled.

      The quotes I was given are as follows:

      Sakai: 50,050 yen
      Budget: 35,000 yen
      Okinawa Haiso: I scheduled an appointment for 2 pm. I left the house at 4 pm and they still did not show. When I returned (around 7-8:30 pm), there was a business card at my door. They also tried to call me once at about 6 pm the same day. Not sure what happened there. ):

      I also checked into renting a truck and moving the items myself. It will cost me about 5-6,000 yen to rent the truck for 6 hours (including insurance).

      Wow, what a price difference! Luckily I have some really awesome friends who are willing to pitch in and help me move furniture. Looks like I’ll be renting the truck. 🙂

      Truck Rental: Fuji Rent a Car on Kadena AB, Bldg. 219 (next to H&R Block behind the gas station across from Risner). 098-959-0007
      (The trucks are manual, Japanese-style flat beds. They are small, and as Jeremy mentioned below, uncovered.)

  6. Great post and very informative this should be cleaned up and stickied with updated information for the movers and for new vistors who are searching for a post like this.

    Sean thanks for the posts I know it has been a year, however your information is pointing everyone in the right direction.

    • Thanks for the information all (especially Sean). I will call for quotes tomorrow and this site is exactly what I needed. I will post my results, quotes, and anything else I think will be useful for future movers. Thanks a million.

  7. Thanks so much for all this info. We want to move on base and were told there was no money in the budget to move us. So we called the companies mentioned and got a great competetive price from Sakai movers. They were the third estimate we received, and worked the numbers to they could compare to the other estimates, plus they are super professional. So we decided to go with them and confirmed dates when my husband gets a call that housing found money in the budget to move us.

    Yeah, we don’t have to pay someone!

    If anyone wants to get in touch with Sakai, they have an English speaking representative who is very friendly.

    Sakai
    098-951-3141
    ask for Shingo Miyahira

  8. Thanks everyone. This has been a BIG help in finding a good estimate at an honest price. Sean’s saga has been very helpful and detailed. I am also going to take a look at renting a truck.

  9. I know I’m really late to be commenting on this post, but can someone give me information on where I could just rent the moving truck?

  10. Moving company is one of few industries that expect the chip in Japan.
    We, Japanese (I guess Okinawan are same) normally give 2000 yen to 5000yen to each worker.
    You don’t need to pay it, but the services will be differ.

  11. It took me a while to find time to finish this. We are still unpacking and organizing. The move went fairly well with no broken or missing items that we know of yet. The only complaint that I have is that the movers were pretty young and weren’t very serious. They were likable but didn’t instill confidence in us. They wrapped our king mattress well when they left our old house but when it was time to negotiate the stairs they either lost of removed half of the wrapping. Part of the mattress was exposed and I didn’t care for the way that they forced it up the stairs. There were black hand prints on the mattress afterwards. Other than that I didn’t have any issues. We paid what we were quoted and they will return for the boxes when we are done unpacking. We are definitely enjoying the view and breeze here in Onna village!

  12. Sorry, I was away this weekend!!

    Meg I think they use weight/volume of furniture, distance of move and ease of access to the buildings for the quote.

    Sakai said that if they can’t get our king bed up the elevator or stairs they might need a special type of outside lift or crane for the bed. If that happens they will charge extra.

    So if you live in a building on an upper floor and you don’t have an elevator it might be more. If your amount of furniture or distance to your new place is different than ours than of course your quote will vary. I think that you should get at least two quotes and take the best offer!! It doesn’t hurt to let them know that you are shopping around either!

    We are using Art Cooperation for our move. They dropped off all of the boxes for our self pack. Two of the boxes came in nylon bags with carry straps. They are for our dishes and glasses. There are 80 regular cardboard boxes and a roll of packing tape.

    The contact numbers of the movers that we received quotes from are as follows:

    Art ~ 098-874-0123
    Sakai ~ 098-951-3144
    Okinawa Haiso ~ 098 930-0023
    Budget ~ 098-869-2222

    I was using terrible Japanese and managed to get by. I expect that they have someone with decent English but I am not certain. The guy from Budget who came for the estimate spoke English.

    We have until the 16th to pack up our stuff. I will post again once everything is done!!

    I hope this goes well!!!

    • It has been a busy two weeks!!! We are almost ready to move! The movers will be here tomorrow at 9am. I am almost ready. Thank god we have an extra couple of days in our old place to finish up. I have the special cases for the dishes ready to go. We don’t have to worry about the clothes that are on hangers, they have cardboard wardrobes and they just move the hangers into them. Saves us a big hassle. 24 hours to go!!!

      Sean

  13. Sean: So after all was said and done, what phone number do we call here in Okinawa? If we have them just move the big stuff we can assume about Y38,000?

    Thank you, Sean.

  14. Paul: You are right! For lots of people it is a great option. We did consider it but we have far too much stuff to do it in a day.

    The best quote for the large stuff is 35,000 yen and the best quote for everything was 73,000. So what it boils down to is this is the day or two of loading and unloading the truck worth 38000 yen? It is a personal choice.

  15. Thank you Diana and Shelly!! Much has happened since the last post. Sorry if this seems a little long.

    I called the headquarters of Art (0123) corporation in Osaka this morning and told them what happened. They told me they needed some time to look into it and they called me back at 4 pm this afternoon. They told me that it was a misunderstanding between Mr. Miyagi of the local Art Corporation and myself but that they will honor their original quote of 73000 yen.

    The person that I spoke with was pure gold, a shining example of what customer service should be. He apologized several times and gave us the price we were quoted. I told him that I would call him back tomorrow because we had one last company coming today and that tomorrow we will have decided. He agreed.

    The final company Sakae came today. Like Art (0123) they are Nation-wide. They quoted us 64,000 yen for large items only and 108,000 yen for the everything. It looks like we will choose Art(0123) for our move. We will speak with the headquarters tomorrow. Stay tuned for the rest of the story!!

  16. Sean, it’s not that hard. It cost me Y30,000 to move my home across town (moving company). I had them move the large items like piano, beds, desks, tv’s, couches, entertainment center. I moved the clothes and small boxes myself in my truck.

    Took one day. Piece of cake.

  17. Hey Sean, thanks for sharing all of your info. Helps narrow down my list of who to call to get a quote. I appreciate the details and considering a move to Naha, a decent quote around 100,000yen would save me even on gas money alone (driving myself/multiple trips). Again, thanks!

  18. Sean, your posts are very helpful for the topic at hand. Although it’s been a while since I was on island and wrote this article, I know that the more info you have, the better decision you can make! Keep us posted on how things turn out! I hope you get a good price with a quality company and by sharing the info, you’re helping others! Thanks!

  19. Thanks Paul for the idea!! Do you have time to help us with the move? Haha Did you read what Diana contributed above?

    Another company will be here this afternoon for another quote. Will post after their visit.

  20. My wife called the moving company again and told them that we wanted to get the boxes and accept the quote of 73,000 yen. This time she said that they should stand by their quote! Mr. Miyagi who gave us the original quote told her that he was retiring and that they will not stand by their quote. Not sure what retiring has to do with it???? He said that he asked his superior and that they would do it for 98,000 yen. My wife was way to shy to say anything else.

    It looks like 88,000 is the lowest offer so far but we will have one more quote tomorrow. Hopefully it is better than 88,000 yen!!!

  21. I wife called Art 0123 to agree to the move and ask for boxes to start our self pack. He said that he wanted to come back and look at our place again. It is very disappointing to be given a quote agreeing to hire the company only to be told they need to see our place again for a new quote! He should have done what he had to do while he was here! We have the paperwork here quoting us 73,000 yen!! Hopefully it all works out!! Standby for the rest of the story….

  22. The final moving company, ART 0123, came today and quoted us 35,000 yen.

    I also asked Okinawa Haiso and Art 0123 for a quote for all of our stuff. Okinawa Haiso was 88,000 and for Art 0123 it was 73,000 yen. We would have to pack and unpack ourselves but they provide the boxes.

    Budget is the only company that also offers container storage for those of us who are moving to a smaller house.

    I will let you know what we decide and all of the details of the move after it is finished!!

  23. The second company is called Okinawa Haiso, As far as I know they are not affiliated with this website haha. Haiso 配送 means delivery. His quote was 40,000 yen. The last company is coming on Monday. We will post their quote on Monday. If anyone knows the number for OTMS we will get their estimate as well.

  24. Budget quoted us 80,000 yen (993$) for a king bed, children’s single bed, a wardrobe, a dresser, a book shelf, washer and dryer, refrigerator, a china cabinet, a kitchen rack, television, dining table and chairs, sofa, and a photo stand. We will post two other companies estimates soon.

  25. If anyone knows the website or phone number for Okinawa Transportation Moving Services, would you please post it. I googled it but it didn’t turn up. Thank you!!

  26. I just priced a move from on base to off base (June ’11) I priced four companies and Budget was by far the most expensive. They were easily double one of the companies and still more than the other two. I went with Okinawa Transportation Moving Services. They do not speak english well but we were able to communicate well enough. They provided as many free boxes as I needed and were quite professional. I saved 101,000 yen by using this company instead of the one that everyone recommends. Hope this helps.

  27. Try InnovativeRyukyu.com or PatsSats.com, ask for Greg. He will either take care of you or point you in the right direction.

  28. Shaine – I think you can call the Foster Furniture store and ask for them. They’re the same companies that do those deliveries.
    Another option is Hank – http://www.okinawaentertainment.com – I’ve not used him to move a whole house, but he’s returned furniture for me several times. Always very prompt, communicative and works on MY schedule, even rescheduling at the last minute. It doesn’t mention moving on his site but you might ask him about it anyway.
    Good luck!

  29. I can’t fine Budget. Can anyone tell me how to find them? we are moving to a differt house on Base, and we were told to use Budget.

    Help!

  30. Just bumping this topic to see if anyone has any added information concerning moving companies here on Okinawa. Im about to move off-base in a few weeks and trying to determine if I should attempt to “self-move” versus having a company take care of this headache for me.

    Any comments will be appreciated and thanks in advance!

  31. We used Budget, too, and they were OK. They VERY late, but gave me discount to compensate. They also gave me free boxes and packing supplies even though I thought I would only use them for moving my furniture. They were fast and efficient once there. I’m not sure if this is with all companies, but I had to meet them at KAB Gate 1 to get passes for the delivery men. This was NOT disclosed to me until 20 min before I had to meet them. It was Saturday afternoon, my toddler was napping, and it was totally inconvenient! Again, this may be necessary with any company.
    They were easy to work with, but I wish I had contacted a few more companies to see if someone else could’ve done a better job maybe even for a better price. They were the first and only phone call I made b/c they were available on the day I wanted(within a week). Oh well.

  32. If you are already on island and want to move items on island, then I would recommend Budget. They have English speaking staff and did a good job for us.

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