Moving to Japan

Updated on December 27, 2011
B.W. asks from Augusta, GA
13 answers

My family will be moving to Japan next April. The military is moving us there. We will be at the military base located in Toyoko. Does anyone know anything about this place?? Just looking for any information.

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answers from Stationed Overseas on

Are you moving to Yokosuka. I am moving this Dec. My husband is on the USS George Washington. Are you in the Atlanta area now. Let me know maybe we can chat.

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answers from Columbia on

Hi B.,

I have two military friends who have moved to Japan over the past few years. The first had two young sons and did a lot of research before she left. Have you checked the community center on the post/base you are stationed at the moment? I know we have something called Army Community service in the Army that has classes and information on different stations.

Good luck!



answers from Atlanta on

Go for it, i was there for ten years it's the best place to live if i had my way i would never have come back to the us i loved it.



answers from Sumter on

Dont worry! You and your family will love it in Japan. The people are wonderful and there are so many things to see. I was stationed in Okinawa but I hear that Tokyo is awesome. You will get a rare chance to experience another culture and see things that you normally might not have a chance to see. I lived in Okinawa for 3 years as an active duty Airmen, and given the chance to go back, I would! Make sure you check out what info the Army has to offer, they usually give out big info packets about the base there and where you will be going.



answers from Atlanta on

I have a friend whose husband is in the military and she is in Japan. If you email me at [email protected] I can find out from her if it would be ok to give you her email address and you can ask her all the questions you'd like as she's living there right now. She also has a son and he is 3.



answers from Atlanta on

What part of Japan are you moving to? I live in Okinawa, Japan. I may be able to give you a few tips to make your transition a great one.

Although they say that you can get almost everything you need, it is and it isn't true. Yes you can get things but at a price. Once arriving in Japan after a while I realized that there were many things that I missed and needed...little things.

Like buying lots of things from Walmart and the Dollar store. They have the 100 yen store which is like a dollar store but things are just different.

For example: Gift bags that we can get for $1.00 here and they are big you can only get small ones at the 100 yen store or you can get them on base at a hefty price.

Birthday supplies are hard to find on base, like the little trinkets to put in your gift bags for children, etc.

Clothes I think are over priced on base and because the Asian women are small there is almost nothing by way of clothing that can be bought off base. You will have to do online shopping. Walmart ships to the APO address as well as JcPenny, Target and Sears. But you know things are cheaper when in person.

The housing is small. On base and off base. They only let us bring 5,000 pounds.

While you can get things on base like furniture there are certain types of furniture that you may want to bring.
I would recommend bringing your own couch, like your living room furniture, because you can get the government issued one but keep in mind that it has been used before. I just thought of kids spills and accidents, etc. so we bought a new one when we got here. If someone had told me I would have brought my own couch from the states.

The beds: You can get a government issued one because those are not re-used. They issue a brand new mattress and box spring. You will need curtains because they are hard to come by on base and even more difficult with the sizing off base.
But since you are in the military you can get much more than I can, for free from the government especially since you will probably live on base. I am a DoDDS teacher and I live off base.

Oh I understand that it gets cold in mainland Japan unlike Okinawa, like it snows (that does not happen in Okinawa) so you will need coats, gloves, hats, etc.if you are moving to mainland. You can get those things even now from Burlington Coat Factory.

Do you have an specific questions? That may be easier. I hope that helps. I am excited for you, Japan is a WONDERFUL and SAFE place to be. I hope you are moving to Okinawa, I say it is heavenly here. So much so that we don't plan to return to the states anytime soon. We are here indefenitly. SMILE!



answers from Savannah on

Hi, I am half Japan and Filipino. I was born and raised in the Philippines, but being half Japanese, we lived in a little island off the coast of Japan, called Okinawa (Ryukyu). Tokyo is the main capital of Japan, a very populated and busy city. It is like New York City in the US. You will definitely hit a culture shock when you get there. You will be driving on the other side of the road, as vehicles are made like the European cars. Roads are narrow, plenty of public transportation. If you will be stationed in Camp Zama, which is a great community and most Japanese people around the area are already exposed to Americans. Most of them are employed on post-federally, but if suggest for you to go to Army Community Services, Bldg 86 at Ft Stewart, and ask for relocation packets. They have wealth of information, and even brochures to give you. This will be a good time for you to learn what you can about the country and area. You will not feel left out once you get there. There will be communication barrier, but you will adjust. ACS overseas offers the same programs as we do here in CONUS military wise. People are very friendly, honest and the country is very, clean. Main transportation in Mainland Japan is the bullet train. You will experience one of the best countries and people in the world, so take it as a positive one. I would love to go back home to Okinawa, and be with my family in a heart beat. We tried to get stationed there, but this is where the Army brought us. If you need more information about Japan, the culture or a little help with the language, let me know, and I will be glad to help up, until then O yasumi nasai! (good night)

signed, G. Kinjo Walker



answers from Atlanta on

I am so jealous!!! I was am army brat myself. We "almost" were assigned to Japan once (somewhere near Okinawa) and ended up in PA instead. I never felt so ripped off in my life! I remember learning about, reading about, studying Japanese, etc and really hoping for the assignment. I think you will love it there. Have a great time! Enjoy the experience. The military is pretty good about taking care of it's own. There will be other Americans there who will be there to show you around and befriend you.



answers from Waco on

i'm moving to the camp zama area in early january. does anyone have any information on rental properties or realtors that can send me information before i arrive? you can reach me at [email protected]
thanks mario



answers from Columbus on

I was stationed there when I was active duty. I was at Camp Zama Japan and although I was only 25 miles from Tokyo, driving it was almost a 2 hour trip. Yes traffic is that bad!! I went in 99 so I do not know if anything has changed since when I went but I can tell you how it was then.

The best place to live on base was the highrises, Apt type living (they do have an elevator. The other houses on Zama are duplexes. There were two other housing areas that were not on Camp Zama so there was a commute. Sagamihara (the commisary is here though) and Sagami Depot (Noone wanted to live there). Most everything is on Camp Zama except for the Commisary as stated above...there is a small one maybe 4 aisles wide on Camp Zama to get the essentials though. Huge Golf Course, Beautiful Small Base (besides the golf course)! Drive on the wrong sde of the road, insurance is out of this world crazy expensive for women, and at the time you could only get your insurance over there...I could not use USAA. I hope they changed that! I was not able to bring my car, so I had to get one when I arrived. People sale them for fairly cheap...I actually got mine for free. But I did not have a child to worry about so I was able to be a bit more patient. Normally you can find a decent car from $200-$1,000 just depends on what you are looking for. Your husband should be assigned a sponsor, be sure to have him/her start looking for a decent family car for you guys.

Well I could go on and on, if there is anything secific you want to know about just send me an e-mail and I will answer any of your questions. Just please remember its been almost 10 years since I was over there so some things could have changed.



answers from Atlanta on

I know you are going to love Japan. I lived there as a young child at Kadena in Okinawa it was about 25 years ago though. We did so much traveling and got so see so much that most young kids did not. My brother just moved back a year ago, he was stationed there. My sister in law had never left the state let alone the country. She loved it, made great friends quick. One thing i remember growing up a military brat is how everyone is in the same boat and are eager to make friends and help each other out. she had my nephew while over there and even though she had no family there she had lots of help. Best of luck!



answers from Savannah on

Well we came back from Japan a year ago. We were stationed in Yokosuka. We lived in Ikego. I had 3 kids there (now I have 4) It is really a great experience. You won't have any problems eating out with ur son, the Japanese LOVE american children. Love all children really! They are very patient. The top speed limit on regular streets is 40 Kmh which is not very fast, and on the highways the fastest speed limit is 80. You won't have any problems finding a vehicle when u get there, they make u go thru a class to learn what u need to know about the country and driving there and then u do a super easy driving test and then ur aloud to buy a vehicle. They are pretty inexpensive. You can get a good one for less than a thousand. Don't be afraid of trying new things in the food dept! I got hooked on sushi! Don't be afraid to wander out away from the base and meet the people, the farther u get away from the base the cheaper the prices at restaruants and the better the food! If u have any more questions or anything u can email me, [email protected]



answers from Atlanta on

I lived there (Yokota AirForce base) many years ago. I know about the AirForce base as well as the Army base. A little about the Naval base. They're all like small US cities and they definately make it as comfortable and americanized as possible. Like I said, it's been many years ago, but I know they have FEN(FarEastNetwork) for tv and for radio. They may have even expanded but those are where they air the popular american shows. I think at first it may be lonesome, but do not hesitate to take advantage of what the base has to offer. Lots of festivals and opportunities to meet other mothers.

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