Yokosuka City is located about 30 miles southwest of Japan’s capital city, Tokyo, on the east coast of the main island, Honshu. It is an industrial and residential community, with an area of about 39 square miles, and a population of about 422,441. This 579 acre naval base occupies a small peninsula jutting into Tokyo Bay. A Navy Munitions Command in nearby Urago, and off-base housing areas at Negishi and Ikego comprise another 850 acres of U.S. facilities. Japan is known as a high cost of living area but with proper planning it’s also a great place to save money. When calling from off-base, within Japan, dial 046-816-1110 for the base operator, within the Yokosuka area dial 816-1110 or, if you are calling from the U.S., dial 011-81-46-816-1110.
Completed in 1871, Yokosuka Navy Yard was built to assist with Japan’s active role in world trade. In 1944 the peak of World War II, Yokosuka Navy Yard covered over 280 acres and employed over 40,000 workers. After a peaceful surrender of the Japanese, Commander Fleet Activities, Yokosuka was established shortly after the occupation occurred in 1945. Since the Korean and Vietnam conflicts Commander Fleet Activities, Yokosuka continues to be America’s most important naval facility in the Western Pacific.
As the home of the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet, and winner of the 2009 Commander in Chief’s Annual Award for Installation Excellence, the Base, often referred to as CFAY (Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka), hosts 13 afloat commands and more than 50 other shore commands and tenant activities. CFAY’s primary mission is to provide support services to forward deployed naval forces in Yokosuka, and other units assigned in the Western Pacific.
The population of personnel assigned to or served by Fleet Activities Yokosuka is approximately 25,000. This figure includes Active Duty Members, Active Duty Family Members, Military Retirees and their Family Members, Civilian Employees, Japanese and other Employees.
Buses run fixed routes daily, from about 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The route around the base is roughly circular, clockwise and counter- clockwise, stopping at about 15 residential and business locations. Buses stop at each location about every 15 minutes during off-peak hours; about every 5-10 minutes during peak hours in the morning and afternoon. Each bus stop has a route map and a timetable showing approximate departure times for that location. There is no charge for military, DoD Civilians, family members or other base employees to use the base bus. Be prepared to show your ID card to the driver, on request. Schedule subject to change on very short notice, especially in the case of heightened force protection conditions.
The Navy Exchange provides base taxi services under contract. A small number of vehicles in the NEX Taxi fleet are designated to take passengers off base to drop off at Yokosuka Chuo, Shioiri and Yokosuka JR train stations. The basic fare is currently 570 yen (about $5.50; varies with periodic exchange rate adjustments) for the first 2 km (about 1.2 miles), which will get you between just about any two points on base (if no waiting is involved.) There is a time-based surcharge of 100yen for every three minutes if the vehicle is requested to wait, or has to wait for traffic or other delays. There is a surcharge to the basic fare between 10:00 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. During these hours the basic fare is 620 yen (about $6.00; varies.) The taxi meters show the fare in YEN amounts. Each taxi has a chart showing the conversion to dollars at the current approved rate. Fares may be paid in dollars or yen (base taxis only). Service is available 24 hours a day. (NOTE: This is a good part time job opportunity for spouses and off duty service members, as the hours can be flexible. You can apply at the taxi office after you get your US Forces Japan (USFJ) driver’s license. You must be licensed to drive an automatic transmission vehicle, and be at least 26 years old.)
There are many commercial taxi companies serving the Yokosuka City area. Empty (off-base) cabs may wait at designated taxi stands throughout town, or may be hailed from the curb. Most of the (off-base taxi) drivers do not speak English. Not all of the off-base taxis are certified to enter Yokosuka base. Access Certification is granted to individual drivers, not the whole company. If you call the dispatchers speak slowly and clearly, giving your location, name and destination. Be prepared to pay in yen only. Off base taxis are a little more expensive. The basic fare is about 710 yen (about $7.00) for the first 2 km. Basic taxi fares are posted on the outside of the car doors. Tipping of commercial (offbase) taxi drivers is not necessary, unless the driver performs an extra service such as baggage or package loading or unloading. In the event of Heightened force protection conditions, off-base taxis will not be allowed to access/enter the base.
Airport Shuttle Bus
There are several ways to sign up for the shuttle bus from Narita Airport and Yokota Airport. Reservations can be made in person, by phone or fax, or via e-mail. You are strongly encouraged to ask your sponsor to assist with this, or you can do it yourself, since you will need to provide a copy of your orders to secure “space required” reservations. Which ever way you choose, you will have to provide the following information:
The number of people in your party.
Your arriving flight number.
The date and time of your arrival (note that if you are coming from the U.S., you will lose a day due to crossing the Int’l Date Line. That means if you leave on Monday, you’ll get here on Tuesday. Please keep this in mind when giving us your arrival date. Your flight itinerary is the best reference in this case.).
However you make the initial reservation, you still have to provide the reservations clerk a clear copy of the following documents:
PCS Orders (required for all “space required” seats).
Family Entry Approval Letter (if applicable or required),
Travel document (itinerary) showing arrival date (if required).
With current technology, many military personnel are now receiving orders via e-mail. The reservations clerk will be happy to accept your orders in this format. Paper copies of orders (and any other documents) can also be scanned into PDF files at many commands through their Admin or PSD offices. The PDF files can then be sent to the reservations clerk as an e-mail attachment. Your orders (and any other required documents) can also be faxed directly to the reservations clerk, or to your sponsor.
Passengers using the Navy shuttle bus/van from Narita Airport will need to provide photo ID prior to boarding. In the event of a heightened force protection condition, two types of photo ID will be required, one of which must be a Military Identification Card, before passengers will be allowed to board the bus/van. The Navy buses to Yokosuka are scheduled to depart the parking area near Narita Terminal One at the following times daily: 3:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. These are coach buses with a maximum seating capacity of 41 passengers. The Narita shuttle buses run 365 days a year.
NEX Airport Shuttle (van) Service
The Yokosuka Navy Exchange operates a commercial Airport Shuttle (Van) Service. Inbound PCS passengers for Yokosuka are mandated to use the regular scheduled Airport Bus Service, as described above. However, if you are on PCS orders and can not use the regular bus service due to travel with a pet or some other circumstance, the NEX Airport Shuttle Service might be an option for you. The charge for this service is $150.00 from Narita airport, for van and driver. The van can take up to six passengers. To contract with the NEX Taxi chauffer service for transportation to or from one of the locations listed, call 243-4511 or visit the NEX Taxi office. Payment can be made in person by credit card, check or cash (dollars only), or by providing your credit card information to the Taxi chauffer service agent over the phone. If you are calling from the USA to contract for a pickup at Narita, please call 011-81-46-816-4511. You will be required to provide your credit card information to the Taxi chauffer service agent over the phone, as well as the names of all passengers being picked up, and if any pets will be transported.
Having a sponsor before you arrive in Japan is essential. The Sponsorship program is operated at the Command level; therefore incoming personnel that have not heard from the new command, the easiest method to coordinate sponsorship is to contact the Command Master Chief of your gaining command. If you are less than six months away from departure and have not heard from your command, get in touch with the command or contact the Fleet and Family Support Center by calling DSN 315-243-9972 or internationally 011-81-46-816-3372. In some cases you may not be sure how to contact your command, please see Sponsorship section for all major unit listing contacts for CFAY. Upon flight arrival to either Yokota AFB or Narita International Airport, members can report to the Military Liaison Counter for assistance and transportation. Refer to Topic Check-in Procedures for more details.
While en route, incoming personnel may re-direct their personal mail to their new individual command’s address. During check-in process, detailed mail instructions will be provided by your Command Sponsor.
If you are traveling with family members and expect to stay in the Navy Lodge upon arrival, you must obtain a guaranteed reservation as soon as you have a projected arrival date. Your sponsor can easily make a reservation for you and your family at the Navy Lodge. All you need to do is provide him/her with a copy of your orders and date of arrival by fax or e-mail. If your arrival date changes, be sure to change your reservation. Be sure to keep your confirmation number with you.
Pets are not allowed to live with their owners in any temporary lodging facility at or near Yokosuka Navy Base (Navy Lodge, BEQ/BOQ, local hotels.) You or your Sponsor can contact the NEX Kennel for a reservation for pet boarding. The DSN number is 315-243-4530 and the international number is 011-81-46-816-4530. The NEX Kennel is open 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, Monday – Friday. (Yes, someone is there on the weekend to care for the pets.) ALSO contact the Navy Lodge to let them know about your arrival with a pet. If you will arrive after the NEX Kennel is closed, the Navy Lodge can direct you to temporary alternate pet shelter.
Moving overseas requires careful attention to detail in planning and ensuring that you have all of the right information about every aspect of your move. For Yokosuka, there is an extensive list of things you must consider, ranging from the small size of off-base housing, to appliances, television, radio, driving, passports and visas, etc. It is essential that you connect with your local relocation program specialist before you leave. Develop a detailed plan, request a sponsor, and ensure that you are fully prepared well before your departure date. When you arrive you are required by CFAY to attend Yokosuka’s Area Orientation Brief/Intercultural Awareness Training (AOB/ICR). This combined class is offered weekly Monday through Friday, (except when there is a federal Holiday during the week), the class is mandatory for all newcomers in accordance with CFAY and CNFJ Instructions. Representatives from around the base will talk about policies, procedures and benefits associated with living in Japan; and local experts will discuss cultural issues and adjusting to your new home. For more relocation assistance please contact Fleet and Family Support Center at DSN 315-243-3372 or the International number at 011-81-46-816-3372.
Many times when you are relocating to a new area you arrive before your household goods do. CFAY Community Center offers a, “Crash Kit” which is similar to a loan closet stateside; this kit offers your basis kitchen essentials for a nominal cleaning fee. These kits are available on a first come first serve basics, think ahead when planning your express shipment, please see the loan closet section for more information. The Yokosuka Housing Welcome Center provides families with loaner furniture until their Household Goods Shipment arrives. No need to worry heavy lifting because the Welcome Center will arrange drop-off and pick-up of the loaner furniture.
Critical Installation Information
Due to limitations or non-availability of some medical and educational services, personnel who require specialized services should fully investigate the availability of such services prior to transferring to Japan. If you have orders assigning you to an aviation squadron and the orders state that your ultimate duty station is at Yokosuka, contact your detailer immediately. There are no aviation squadrons based in Yokosuka. All aviation squadrons are located at NAF Atsugi.
If you received “unaccompanied” orders to Yokosuka, please do not bring your family. You may not be eligible for certain entitlements, allowances or family services; this could cause extreme financial hardship. There are many other issues that you must consider before coming to Japan, so make having all the information you need your highest priority before departure. We are guests in Japan and we’re all ambassadors. We should conduct ourselves with honor, courage, commitment and respect to others.
Drinking and Driving in Japan — This is punishable with large amount of money and possible imprisonment for years.
Plan ahead when bringing a pet particularly a dog. The quarantine process is lengthy and shipping pets are costly. Availability for On-base housing is limited and it may cost a bit more for off-base housing that allow pets. It may delay your move.
Refrain from bringing large furniture because some Japanese housing is small.
The currency is Japanese yen. It is recommended to exchange a small amount ($100-$200) prior to arrival for use in the airport upon your arrival.