Moving to Japan

Melissa - posted on 01/10/2011 ( 2 moms have responded )

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Hey ladies! We are moving to Japan~Yokota AB, near Tokyo, this summer. My husbands only been active duty for 2.5 years. We've moved a ton, and he's changed jobs.
This will be our first overseas excursion. When we move my girls will be 4.5 and almost 2, plus we were wanting to be pregnant this summer(this was our plan before finding out about the move)
Any advice about Japan, moving overseas, getting pregnant just before moving to a new country. I will gladly take it all! I am very nervous for this move. I'm stressed about dividing my goods, and de-junking!
I need an expert! How do I de-stress? How do I countinue with normal life, and plan for a move at the same time?

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Stevie - posted on 01/12/2011

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Hi! Although we have no been posted overseas as of yet, we were supposed to be stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany this past December, but my overseas screening determined my efmp status unfit for departure at that time, unfortunately. BUT I have been to Japan on several occasions. :]



I can't say much about how it is with kids. I can only imagine how it would be now with my toddler. I was 12 the last time I went. I fully enjoyed all of my trips there and wish my grandmother was well enough to go again so my son and husband could experience it too. I am very envious of you! Of course, the 14 hour flight will probably be the most stressful part. Pack what you need to live during the flight and if you stay at any hotels and let the rest be done by military travel. They are supposed to come pack up your house and get everything to your new destination.



But as for Japan. I think you will REALLY enjoy it. Try to go out and experience everything as much as you can, Tokyo is a trip, well, a couple trips when talking literally. Try to find out when rush hours are (when people go to work and when they come home from work) and avoid traveling the roads and subways AT ALL COSTS, it will be so stressful if you try to take a subway or drive or even walk through these rush hours. They are much worse that American rush hours, no matter where you are in America. This is due to the overpopulation per square mile. I will never forget seeing rush hour in Tokyo. It was madness, and with my son, I would be totally petrified. If you are out and about, just go into a McDonalds or something right before it starts and just wait it out or plan accordingly. But my grandmother grew up in Yamagata, which is the countryside and it is absolutely beautiful there. Everyone is SO friendly. When I was little, random old Japanese people would stop and give me money in the grocery store because I had blonde hair and they really love Americans! They also have an extremely low crime rate. My 4th grade teacher lived there for years and said she once left her purse on the bench while waiting for a subway during rush hour, she remembered later on after getting on the train, and when she came back nearly two hours later, it was still there sitting on the bench, untouched. The little towns are so quaint and sweet and almost innocent like. Just walking down any street in Japan is like an adventure. They have digustingly HUGE malls too. One has a working ferris wheel on top of it! I think that was in a city somewhere near Tokyo, I can't remember exactly, like in the suburbs. They also had a game center called Never Never Land right next to the mall where they had photobooths and grabber machines with high quality toys that you could EASILY win, unlike the trick machines here in the states. I won at least 1 out of every 2-3 times. Sometimes every single time I would win, depending on what it was and if anything was at a good angle. I really miss it and just thinking about it, your kids will enjoy it so much and hopefully be able to have cherished memories like I do. It's such an amazing experience for anyone. Just keep thinking about what it will be like once you get there and keep pushing through the stuff.



The apartments there are ALL very, very small. Japan is extremely overpopulated and anything bigger than a loft/studio will cost a pretty penny, but housing is hard to come by, any type of housing is quite expensive. They live very minimally in the cities. All of the family I have that lives in the cities had won their apartments through pachinko. Even though they were small, they were still beautiful. Sleeping on the floor was really nice even though most people in America look down upon it. The family members I have that live in the country-side have very large homes. One of my aunt & uncles owned a huge bed and breakfast which was so beautiful and had their own house with land and free range chickens in the backyard, but was a few miles from the b&b. I wish I knew the name of it, I would definitely recommend it. I will have to ask my grandmother. She was one of seven children, so we did alot of traveling across the country when we would visit. I'm not sure how big the housing is on base, but I've heard in other posts that it is small, but that might be big compared to Japan's standards. So I would just prepare to eliminate, donate, sell, and/or trash everything you don't need or really want to bring with you. It could save you alot of time when you get there. If you can, I would call housing over there and find out how big your place will be so that you can have a better picture of what it will look like and how everything will fit.



Well, enough of my advice, I better leave some space for other commenter's. lol. I hope you got some good gold nuggets of useful information out of all that. Have a safe flight and stay in Japan. Enjoy yourself! God bless!

Ashley - posted on 01/11/2011

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When you find all this out let me know =] Good luck with everything!!! Just take it all one step at a time

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