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Old 03-08-2008, 01:26 PM
 
2 posts, read 154,916 times
Reputation: 30

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I'm married, my husband is in the U.S. Navy and we just found out about 3 weeks ago that we will be moving to Yokosuka, Japan. We won't be moving there until the end of this summer, but I have no idea how life is out there. I got a book on some of the rules are out there, but I have no idea how life is on base. If anyone who understands and knows anything that could help me out before we move would be great!
Some questions that I have are:
Is it better to live on base or off?
Is there any way I can get a job out there that is english speaking?
Is it good to have a baby out there since I just found out that I'm pregnant?
Should we bring our cars out there?
What should be left at home and what can we get out there as in stuff for our house?

Pretty much just about everything I need to know, anything would really help!
Thank you hope to hear from some people soon!
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Old 03-08-2008, 06:47 PM
 
3,408 posts, read 8,477,913 times
Reputation: 1922
Quote:
Originally Posted by FolkertNavyWife View Post
I'm married, my husband is in the U.S. Navy and we just found out about 3 weeks ago that we will be moving to Yokosuka, Japan. We won't be moving there until the end of this summer, but I have no idea how life is out there. I got a book on some of the rules are out there, but I have no idea how life is on base. If anyone who understands and knows anything that could help me out before we move would be great!
Some questions that I have are:
Is it better to live on base or off?
Is there any way I can get a job out there that is english speaking?
Is it good to have a baby out there since I just found out that I'm pregnant?
Should we bring our cars out there?
What should be left at home and what can we get out there as in stuff for our house?

Pretty much just about everything I need to know, anything would really help!
Thank you hope to hear from some people soon!
Hi, I just recently transferred to Atsugi, Japan as a married man so I can answer your questions:

Is it better to live on base or off? Since you're married, on base. They have American style housing on base for married couples, and it has heating and A/C which you will need for the Japanese climate

Is there any way I can get a job out there that is english speaking? Like the Atsugi base, there should be many openings for civilians. MWR will be my best bet.

Is it good to have a baby out there since I just found out that I'm pregnant? Yes, plenty of couples have babies and children there

Should we bring our cars out there? No, the cost of shipping cars are expensive (about $15-16K per vehicle, about the price of a new car). You can find good deals on cars on base, since many military people transfer out and need to sell their cars

What should be left at home and what can we get out there as in stuff for our house? The apartments are pretty small so I wouldn't bring too much furniture. We sold most of ours except our bed, a chair, coffee table, and entertainment center and TV.

Hope that helps. Good luck in Japan and hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
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Old 03-09-2008, 12:21 PM
 
2 posts, read 154,785 times
Reputation: 22
Hello Navy wife: I grew up on the naval base at Yokuska (1956-1961). We lived off base and on base. I think we had to wait for base housing. I remember the experience as wonderful. Off base living was as great as on base. We took our car with us, but today it sounds like its better to get one there. We had all kinds of experiences there we couldn't afford here in the States: a maid or house boy, travel usually by mass transit to Toyoko, to the base from Hyama and Kamakura, Kyoto and Hiroshima. I remember that my parents had tailored clothes made for them(including uniforms when my dad made chief) and matching clothes for us 3 girls, lots of Sunday dinners(really formal) at the enlisted men's clubs and live touring floor show entertainment. The movie theatre changed films almost daily...it was free in those days, a huge skating rink, also free, great parks on the base, and the best schools I have ever attended. I am a college professor today nearing retirement. I was ahead of my peers academically when we returned stateside. My little brother was born there on base. Be sure to keep the special paperwork you get at your baby's birth. My mom just ended up with a huge problem with social security over my 48 year old bother's citizenship, etc. Your baby is a citizen born on the base and can still run for President. For years, until my brother knew better we use to tease him that he couldn't be president because he was born in a foreign country!!! There are fireflies in the summer. There used to be the greatest fireworks display on July 4th I've yet to see one better. I know we used furniture from the base Public's Work Dept living on and off base. There was a great free wood working shop, with all the power tools, that father used and made my sisters matching elaborately carved twin beds that converted to bunks. I would love to go back someday, preferably with my mom. It is weird to not be able to drive past your old elementary school, childhood homes or church. I'd love to hear from you after you get there. Maybe you could describe what's there and what's changed. We lived in a quonset hut that had 3 bedrooms and then moved to a huge apartment building across the street from the elementary school. The bedroom that we 3 girls shared was huge. Its very warm and humid and rains lots in the summer. We didn't have air conditioning in those days, but the beach is close from everywhere since Japan is an island. The base at Yokuska is a port so the base is right on the water, too. My little sisters went to great preschool run by French and Vietnamese nuns on the base (we are not Catholic). Dental care was covered overseas as well then. We had Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts Japanese storytellers and cultural teachers that came for all grade levels. I was surprised coming stateside that all religions were so adversarial towards each other. There is one religious structure that was shared then by Protestants, Jews and Catholics. Everyone got along. There used to be a huge Marine Corps building, parade ground, etc. that a lot of activities took place there. Try to enjoy the experience. I hope your mom can come when its time for your baby's birth. I probably said too much...? Good luck. Gerri Parker

Last edited by GerriParker; 03-09-2008 at 12:23 PM.. Reason: mispelling/additional clarification
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Old 03-09-2008, 12:33 PM
 
2 posts, read 154,785 times
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Talking I grew up on that base!!!!

Oh and if a push cart vendor comes by off base yelling taco....its squid or octopus not Mexican American food! We had to buy tortillas in cans at the commissary. Wonder if that's still true?
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Old 03-10-2008, 02:04 AM
 
1 posts, read 77,438 times
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FolkertNavyWife: I am a Navy wife living in Yokosuka now. We've been here for a little over a year. We live in Negishi housing about 22 km away from the main base. There is also a housing area in Ikego about 8 km from the main base. This is in addition to the housing on the main base. Some people also choose to live out in town, either permanently or until they can get housing in their desired area. Availability is based on your husband's rank and your family size. If you are pregnant and about to have a baby, you are probably going to want to be close to the main base (and the hospital). If you can get on-base housing immediately, you will probably be better off there with an infant. Since the in-town housing is Japanese style, and therefore not well heated, it can be difficult with a baby. Japanese style housing is much smaller than American standards and is heated and cooled with in-room units (no central air/heat). This can be difficult to deal with.

Many wives here either work on base or teach English to locals. Teaching English is flexible and can pay fairly well. You can either find your own students or connect with Japanese agencies/teachers who are looking for native English speakers. You can teach the students in your home and schedule them according to your schedule. Getting a job off base is difficult if you do not speak fluent Japanese.

You should definitely leave your cars and buy one here. You can get a decent used car from about $500-$1500. These cars are in good condition even though they are usually over 10 years old. Because the Japanese car tax system makes it expensive for the Japanese to keep a car older than this, they trade in for newer cars. These trade-ins are often sold to military members because we don't have to pay the same high inspection costs for older cars that residents do. The Japanese generally take very good care of their cars, so a 10 old car has usually been well-maintained and will have lower mileage than you would expect. You will be able to take an on-base class to get your Japanese driver's license and will be able to get your car inspected and registered on base as well.

I would bring a minimal amount of furniture. Bring a small dining room set, beds, a small living room set, a small dresser or chest per person. Your US appliances will work just fine in base housing but you will need to buy transformers for them if you live off base. Definitely do not bring any large appliances like a washer or dryer. They are provided in on base housing. Housing in town may or may not come with a dryer (most Japanese hang their clothes out to dry on their porches--even in apartments), but most will come with a small washer. Kitchens in off-base housing are very small, so bring only essential small appliances. If you are on-base the kitchens are slightly larger, but may not have as much cabinet space as you are used to. Storage space is at a premium in Japanese houses and on-base housing will not have much either. The housing in Negishi has lots of storage space, but we are not close to the main base, so there is a trade-off.

If you or anyone in your family is not short and small, plan to buy all of your clothes either in the NEX (not a great selection) or online. Japanese sizes are very small for both men and women. You may want to bring baby clothes and items with you as well because the things available here might not be what you want or need.

You will have access to limited American TV through AFN. We get a decent selection of movies in the base theaters. If you can set up VOIP service with a US address (we use Vonage), it makes calling back to the US cheap and easy. You will be able to get a DSN phone in your house if you live in base housing. You will not be able to do so if you live off base. You can get decent cable (American channels) and internet service through the base. Off base you will be limited to Japanese cable channels and more expensive internet service. You can get a Japanese cell phone both on and off base. The Japanese use cell phones extensively.

Public transportation is widely available near the base. There are two train stations near the main base. Each of the other housing areas also have train access. Bus service it prevalent in almost all areas. The trains and buses are very clean and safe. You may find it easier to get around by train than by car.

Japan is wonderful and challenging at the same time. It is clean, safe, quiet, and generally lovely. It can also be foreign, difficult, insular, and challenging. The Japanese are polite, but stand-offish. They will stare at you because you look different and may physically move away from you on public transportation. They may also talk to you in public just for a chance to practice their English. This year has been different than I ever expected and I would trade it for anything. Come with and open mind and lots of patience and you will thrive.
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Old 03-23-2008, 02:00 PM
 
2 posts, read 154,916 times
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I want to say thank you to everyone who has had some idea. It's been pretty helpful for me. I will try my hardest to live on base just because I have a baby on the way and I just found out that I have to wait until the baby is born before I can move out there which is really going to suck since my husband has a good chance that he won't be there by my side and that I have to fly 15+ hours with a new born. Hopefully my doctor will be nice about it later on, but I just need to do what's best for me, my family, and our new baby that's along the way. I'm very happy and thankful for having some kind of answer with what people have told me so far. If I have any other questions, I'll put something else up. Thank you again!
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:16 AM
 
895 posts, read 2,102,423 times
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you will be fine japan is a first world top 10 HDI country (higher then US itself). Your only problem will be language.
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Old 04-10-2008, 05:18 PM
 
3 posts, read 105,903 times
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My husband is in the navy also! And we are in the Same Position! He's already on his way over to japan! And im heading over this summer!!! =]
That doesnt answer any question's though. LOL.
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Old 04-11-2008, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Alaska
9 posts, read 92,720 times
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These answers are all interesting to me. I am a Japanese, used to live in Tokyo-Yokohama area. Please try "washlet" while you are in Japan. You will find it at many public restrooms, especially for the handy-capped. Once you get used to, it is hard to live without it. Good Luck!
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Old 04-17-2008, 06:09 PM
 
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my husband is in the navy and just left on the 7th to make his way to japan and im moving over there on august 15th!!!what ships are yuor husbands on???the uss george washington??
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