PCS to Japan

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PCS to Japan

Postby Skye1013 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:58 am

Ok, so I didn't want to hijack the trip planning thread. I'll be heading to Korea around February, then I pretty much get to pick where my next base is going to be. I've already decided it will be in Japan, I just have to decide between Kadena (Okinawa, iirc), Yokota (practically inside Tokyo), and Misawa (in... Misawa.) Things I'd like to know about the areas before trying to make a decision:

Weather (cold/hot/humid/rainy/winter&summer season starts/etc.)
"Long weekend" hot spots (exciting things to do within a 5-6 hr radius so I don't have to take leave)
Sidewalk roll-up time (when does everything close? can I make a run to McD's @4am? on a Sunday?)
Good shopping locations (clothing/electronics/etc.)
Internet costs/speeds (I'd imagine being in Japan, the speeds are decent, but if it's like what I've been told about Korea... they might not necessarily offer the "good stuff" to military peeps)
General attitude of the populace towards Americans/military
Any other helpful tidbits

Also, if anyone knows of a good (preferably inexpensive) program for learning Japanese, that would be appreciated :).
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Re: PCS to Japan

Postby warden » Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:46 am

I didn't have any issue getting good internet for a reasonable price while I was in Korea, and raided with minimal latency to both US and Oceanic servers. Also, for japanese, check with your AFRC or education office-they usually offer language programs via Rosetta Stone for free, as opposed to the normal several hundred dollars.
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Re: PCS to Japan

Postby Masumi » Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:09 am

I would say tokyo if you want to be on a more tech and populated area, Misawa if you want to be able to see the shrines and more cultural side. I would say for you to go tokyo and drive to misawa to visit, most american born and raise get bored after a couple of weeks. I remember that when I had to stay with my aunt in nagoya after a few days of them showing me the shrines and the castle I started to look more at my phone and the internet.
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Re: PCS to Japan

Postby Heil » Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:21 pm

Well if the old Space A commercials on AFN were speaking the truth Misawa also offers Bitchen skiing. I preferred to call Bavaria home in between deployments.
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Re: PCS to Japan

Postby Brekkie » Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:09 am

Don't go to Oki.
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Re: PCS to Japan

Postby Skye1013 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:41 am

Based on what I've heard about the weather in Oki, it didn't seem like a place I wanted to go anyway. Tokyo seems likely to be my first choice, and Misawa my 2nd at this point, unless I hear some convincing reasons to change that view.
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Re: PCS to Japan

Postby Doz » Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:14 am

Skye1013 wrote:Weather (cold/hot/humid/rainy/winter&summer season starts/etc.)
"Long weekend" hot spots (exciting things to do within a 5-6 hr radius so I don't have to take leave)
Sidewalk roll-up time (when does everything close? can I make a run to McD's @4am? on a Sunday?)
Good shopping locations (clothing/electronics/etc.)
Internet costs/speeds (I'd imagine being in Japan, the speeds are decent, but if it's like what I've been told about Korea... they might not necessarily offer the "good stuff" to military peeps)
General attitude of the populace towards Americans/military
Any other helpful tidbits



Was at Yokota 05-09. Loved it. Although its not "inside tokyo", with traffic its a couple hours, by train about an hour (depending on where you're going).


Weather is decent with 4 distinct seasons, winters are mild, rarely snows.

Hot spots - too many to list. Tokyo of course. Mount Fuji. Many many tourist towns. We went white water rafting. Festivals, shrines etc. If you want to do stuff, there is no shortage of places to go withing 4 hours.

Sidewalk roll-up time - We would regularly stay out til 3 or 4. Trains stop running at midnite though so have to plan for that. Don't be a loud obnoxious drunk walking home at 3 and you'll be fine. No trouble finding places to eat around the night life spots.

Good shopping locations - ummm the internet? Electronics are not cheap there as people will tell you. Clothing is about the same as here, many department stores and malls. Japanese clothes are small. We did 99% of our shopping on the internet or on base.

Internet - on base its pretty similar to what we have here in the states, both cost and speed. (And btw, I played on oceanic servers with austrailian guilds to get good raid times) Not sure if you live off-base what you'll get.

General attitude of the populace towards Americans/military
- Japanese are friendly, polite, good people for the most part. Never had a negative experience myself, always enjoyed my interaction with the local people. Don't be a dick, you'll have a great time.

Any other helpful tidbits:
- Get away from the base, go out and see japan, it makes your tour 10x more enjoyable.
- You can get away with knowing no japanese language at all, but you can get rosetta stone from the base library, or take classes on base to learn some basics that will really help.
- Japanese girls like to go to the bx...take them there the next morning ;)
- Get to know the japanese civilians who you will work with, get them gifts, it will pay off to have a friend/tour guide to take you places you'd normally miss.

Edit: Someone told me a couple weeks ago, they had orders to yokota, and they were able to get rosetta stone japanese for free through the AF before they left. Didn't get any details but you might want to look in to that.
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Re: PCS to Japan

Postby Volitaire » Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:14 am

I think you have the idea down. I would def avoid Oki. Yokota is prob the best option.
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Re: PCS to Japan

Postby Doz » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:06 am

Bandit2568 wrote:I think you have the idea down. I would def avoid Oki. Yokota is prob the best option.


Rumor was, when I was there, that the Marines were leaving Okinawa (err...getting kicked out) and moving to Guam. Was this true? Would probably be a more relaxed assignment in that case.

(Not to cut down the Marines, they are awesome and do things I couldn't / wouldn't do in theater, but dealing with them back home isn't alwayts easy. When you're trained to be fearless and aggressive, it's hard to turn it off)
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Re: PCS to Japan

Postby Brekkie » Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:22 pm

Doz wrote:
Bandit2568 wrote:I think you have the idea down. I would def avoid Oki. Yokota is prob the best option.


Rumor was, when I was there, that the Marines were leaving Okinawa (err...getting kicked out) and moving to Guam. Was this true? Would probably be a more relaxed assignment in that case.

(Not to cut down the Marines, they are awesome and do things I couldn't / wouldn't do in theater, but dealing with them back home isn't alwayts easy. When you're trained to be fearless and aggressive, it's hard to turn it off)


That rumor has been around since Vietnam. There are no immediately plans to move us off.
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