Monday, November 21, 2016

Oh give me a home

If you are assigned to the Navy base in Yokosuka, you must live on base, provided there is housing available based on your rank, family size, and pet owner status. If nothing matches, then you have to live off base. Either way, the Navy pays for your housing, which is a really nice perk.

We watched just about all of the videos on YouTube about our base, including the housing options, but there was just no way of knowing what we would ultimately end up with until we went to the housing office and found out what was available to us on that particular day. That, for us, was our second Monday in Japan. 

Of course, we had preferences, and we discussed what we might do if we were given options. In the end, our option was a three bedroom first floor apartment in the housing detachment and move in within a few days or forfeit our housing benefit and pay out of pocket to live off base and spend the next week or more house hunting. 

3br tower unit in Yokosuka

Well, that was a no brainer. So, on Thursday of that week, without having seen the place beforehand, we moved into the Ikego housing detachment, about 6 miles/10 kilometers from main base. Originally, we had not wanted Ikego at all during all the hypotheticals we discussed before our housing brief, because of its distance from main with far more amenities and where Blake would need to go to work each day, especially since we wanted to remain car free. Instead, we were surprised by how quickly we fell in love with our new home and neighborhood!
So much better than the kitchen I had in my hobbit hole before I got married!

The leaves are starting to change now, and it's gorgeous!

There are sufficient American amenities in Ikego, a former Japanese ammunition depot,  to survive - a mini-mart, post office, gym (which we just tried out for the first time this morning and liked!), elementary school and child care centers (not that we will need either yet, but good to know), restaurant, pizza that delivers, Fleet and Family Support Center, salon (somewhere. . .), self-help center (where to go if you need to borrow tools you don't have), athletic fields, skate park, and swimming pool all within a 5-10 minute walk. The group exercise classes are in the multipurpose room of our building, so a 30 second walk away. We definitely like the dog park, and are looking forward to checking out the campgrounds and hiking trails that are just outside the gate.
Master bath
My favorite thing is there is a train station and base gate within 5-7 minutes from our door! If we lived on main base, it would easily take 20-30 minutes to get from our home to get off base and then to one of the two train stations there. Instead of being within walking distance to a busy shopping district and a few malls, we are walking distance to smaller stores and a beach! Yes, the commute to work for Blake everyday and for me to main base whenever is a little longer than we hoped, but not bad. For now, Blake takes the free shuttle in the morning and the train back in the evening, which gets him home an hour earlier than the shuttle home. 
Spare bedroom

Master bedroom, with its own balcony - thinking of turning it into a yoga space in the spring
We have quadrupled our closet space, gained a bedroom, and added about 300-500 square feet from what we had in DC. We even have two patios! Do I know what we're going to do with all this spare space? Nope! But we will figure it out, and it's okay if some of it remains empty for awhile. We did already purchase a brand new sofa that no one else has ever owned, which I feel is a very important step to adulthood. I also look forward to many baths in the rather sizable tub! Blake already found some aromatic epsom salts, because I had a nasty cold the whole week of moving in. Nothing quite kills your enthusiasm for finally moving into a new home like being sick for the first few days, but I got better and now I'm excited!

All the white on white is a little sterile for my taste, but I'm going to enjoy my semi-retirement by decorating. We've already got our eyes on a couple of rugs at the home store on main base, unless Malcolm carpets the floor with all his shedding first, though we have also already purchased a new broom and our Swiffer and mop came with our express shipment last week. If this place is going to be ours for three full years, I definitely want it to feel like home. Amazingly, just unpacking a few more things in our express shipment of unaccompanied baggage last Friday moved that home feeling up a few notches immediately! So far, the main bathroom is the most "finished" room, mostly because we're still waiting on the bulk of our household goods, but I'm sure this place will come together soon!


Myrna said...

Very nice! Lots of storage space!

Giggles said...

It's like an adventure inside an adventure figuring out how your new home base will come together.