US Navy Japan

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    Does anyone have experience with stationing at Naval hospitals in Japan? There is a good chance that my first overseas deployment will be in Japan -- so I would like to get some first hand knowledge about the bases. If I have a choice of duty stations in Japan which one is considered the 'best' i.. Yokosuka , Sasebo etc..?
    Also, I will PCS with wife and 11 y/o son, and my wife speaks Japanese.
    Thanks!

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  2. 6 Comments...

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    Don't know much, sorry. I have had friends that have been to Japan and no one ever said anything bad. The cost of living is high but if you are conservative with your money you will come out ahead as the COLA is also high.
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    I'm not too worried about finances, we have a fairly frugal but fun lifestyle. My son and I are excited, however my wife is not -- funny considering she is fluent. I think it has something to do with Hawaiian, Portuguese, and Japanese tensions in Hawaii. I'm am trying to get stationed where my son will have lots to see and do -- so I guess anywhere is Japan will suffice for that purpose.
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    A year ago I went TDY to Kadena AB (USAF), Okinawa. I developed a URI and had to go over to Camp Lester Navel hospital to be evaluated. I was inspired at how professional the ED staff was. I asked the two doctors evaluating me how they liked being AD in the Navy. They both told me they loved it. I also asked the ED nurse and corpsman the same question. I got the same reply. I'm starting an FNP program this fall and am looking at going from the guard and reserve side of the house to AD AF as an FNP. Japan is one of the regions at the top of my wish list. Okinawa has a lot to do. Lots of sports. Fishing, SCUBA, snorkeling, the Churaumi Aquarium and museums. Look into those bases I think you'll be glad you did.
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    I was a Hospital Corpsman in Yokohama, Japan for about 4 years during the late 90's. I worked at a branch clinic that was attached to Naval Hospial Yokosuka. I'm sure the hospital and base have probably changed a lot since then, but I consider it to be one of the best times of my life. I'm starting a BSN program this fall, and I'm really considering joining the nurse corps so that I might have a chance to be stationed there again.

    Yokosuka is a fairly large base, with several amenities. Back then, there was a commisary the size of a large grocery store here in the states. There was also a McDonalds, Taco Bell, and a Popeyes Chicken on base, as well as several other more nicer places. There was a good size library, a car dealership, a large gym.... Yokosuka is really like a self contained little city. I have known several people who were stationed there for a year or more and never once left base. But, if you do go to Yokosuka, I would recommend getting off base as much as possible. There are a lot of cool places to visit withing an hours train ride, such as Kamakura, Yokohama, etc.

    But, since you have a son who may be starting middle school soon, I would think about going to NAS Atsugi, if you can get orders to there. Atsugi is a smaller base about an hour from Yokosuka, and it also has a lot of amenities. From what I have heard, however, the schools at Atsugi are much better then at Yokosuka.

    Anyhow, good luck to you.
    konamomi likes this.
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    Yokosuka is still awesome! I was stationed there from 2003-2005. There is a new, huge gym by the seawall...it was completed after I left though :-(

    I'm in Hawaii now, but Japan was by far my favorite duty station...Go for it. Kinnick High School is a good school, and there are a lot of amenities and activities, as well as MWR tours and stuff for families.

    I would suggest Yoko over the other duty stations bc there is so much to do in the area. You're close to Yokohama and Tokyo...Although Sasebo is beautiful and more 'country'.
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    When I was in the Marines I was stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni Japan, there was a fairly good sized Naval medical facility there at the time. Iwakuni is a smaller base and has a small town feel to it, it was by far my best tour with the exception of NAS North Island. Japan can be really fun if you get out and see it!! I went to Japan for a 1 one year tour and stayed for 3 1/2 years, nuff said.


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