PCS to Okinawa – Expenses Part 1

Planning Your Oconus Move – Costs

Planning your OCONUS move is a tremendous challenge with plenty of unknown costs and factors outside your control. Here we share some ideas and tips we wish we’d known about when we moved to help you out.

Whether you are moving to MCB Butler, Kadena AFB, Torii Station, White Beach, Camp Foster or Camp Hansen, there’s every branch on island with plenty of people who’ve done the move before you to help you out.

Here’s our rundown of top expenses and things to think about before your PCS to Okinawa:

  • Cars. Don’t even think about shipping your car from the states or your last duty station (unless it’s in Japan). Apart from the cost and the time there’s a good chance it might not be legal in Japan or require modification.
  • Cell Phone. Plenty of choice on island with providers on base for ease of sign up. Prepaid isn’t a thing in Okinawa so you’ll need a contract, be careful of your contract term if you won’t be around for long.
  • Furniture. Different branches have different weight limits, so check before you pack.
  • Clothing. Okinawa is a sub-tropical climate meaning you won’t be needing your down jacket here! Though saying that it did almost snow..once…sort of.. so depending on whether you forget something, or you don’t have much in the way of summer clothes you may need a clothes shop when you arrive.
  • Car Insurance. JCI is compulsory with all cars (Japan Compulsory Insurance) but you need additional liability insurance as per the SOFA agreement with Japan. You can buy this normally when you buy a car at the dealership.
  • Replacement Items. Don’t forget to budget for replacement items broken in the move. It will happen!
  • Household Items. Budget for items that you didn’t bother to move or didnt’ make sense like toilet brush, trash cans, curtains etc. There’s several well priced furniture shops on island including the Japanese Ikea – Nitori