Congratulations on your orders to U.S. Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station, Far East. On behalf of the Commanding Officer and staff, we would like to send a warm welcome to you! Although the information provided is not intended to be comprehensive, it is our hope that it will answer most of your basic questions. Please feel free to contact the department you will be assigned to for further information. To request a sponsor please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Before your arrival to Japan, you should have been contacted by your sponsor, but if not please contact the Communications Watch Officer (CWO) at COMM (in Japan) 046-816-7510 or 011-81-046-816-7510 (outside Japan) or DSN 243-7510.
On the next working day report, in Service Dress Uniform, to the Security Manager's Officer in building 1942 to receive a temporary access badge. Afterwards report to Administrative Officer in building B37 to start the check-in process. Bring all records, orders, endorsements, travel-related receipts, temporary address (e.g. barracks, Navy Lodge, or NGIS)
The two main points of entry into the country for military people arriving from CONUS will be the Narita Airport, which is the international commercial aviation hub for Japan, and Air Mobility Command (AMC) terminal at Yokota Air Base. Another Tokyo airport called Haneda primarily provides domestic air service within Japan although there are a few flights to and from Hawaii.
Arriving at Narita airport
You will likely arrive at the Narita airport. Once off the airplane, follow signs for baggage claim, where you will take the tram, which will take you to the exact location. Be ready to show passport, military ID, and a copy of your orders to the immigration staff. After immigration you will proceed to the baggage claim area and then to customs inspection. There are two arrival terminals at Narita Airport. If arriving on Continental or Delta Airlines you will most likely be arriving at Terminal 2. When arriving on American, United, or Northwest you will most likely be arriving at Terminal 1. Military transportation signup and departure is from a small desk DOD counter inside Terminal 1 on the lower level. There may or may not be someone present at the counter when you show up but eventually someone will arrive and they will be able to sign you up for bus transportation. Be prepared to show your ID card and give them a copy of your orders if you have extra copies or they will make a copy. Around the corner from the bus waiting area is a currency exchange booth. We would highly recommend that you obtain at least $50.00 of yen in case you need an alternate means of transportation.
There are Military Buses bringing people to and from Narita and Yokosuka. The bus schedule from Narita to Yokosuka is subject to change, however, they are generally within proximity of arrival and departure flight times. This is also a free bus, but you may be asked to pay for transportation from the airport to the base and then have to obtain reimbursement when you file a travel claim. For the return trip to the airport, the schedule can be checked at the front desk on the right as you enter PSD. All buses have 41 seats except for the last bus, each which has 8 seats. Please keep in mind bus transportation arrangements are subject to change. The bus from Narita airport will drop you off at the PSD building on base. On going through the front gate you will be expected to produce your military ID.
If you have only a small amount of baggage you may be able to walk to your housing destination. If you have a large or heavy luggage you may be better of using a base taxi. The current phone number for the base taxi is 243-4444 (+011-81-046-816-4444). The goal is to have your sponsor meet you and help you get settled.
Arriving at Yokota Airbase
After arriving at Yokota Airbase bus transportation to Yokosuka is available. It is important your sponsor check on bus transportation and advise you when and who possibly might meet you at the terminal. You will go through a customs check area at Yokota before exiting the terminal. There is a parking lot directly in front of the terminal from which bus transportation usually departs. If departing through Yokota check with PSD at Yokosuka for bus departure times. Current schedules posted at Yokota show twice weekly flights from Los Angeles to Seattle to Japan and return. There may be some intermediate stops.
Late evening arrival to Narita Airport
Should you arrive at the airport after the last bus has departed for Yokosuka, don’t panic. The Japanese are very helpful, many speak English, and being out late night is generally speaking safe. If this is your first time to Japan, your best option might be staying at an airport hotel and leaving on military bus transportation the next day. This is very expensive and will likely exceed what the Navy will reimburse you.
For the truly adventuresome there is excellent train transportation to the Yokosuka area but it will be expensive and you made need assistance in determining where and when to switch trains. You will need Yen, time, patience, and stamina. The simplest and most comfortable approach might be to go to the lower level of the airport and take the Narita Express train to Yokohama at a cost of approximately $45. At Yokohama switch to the Keikyu line and get off at the Yokosuka Chuo station (a 30-minute ride from Yokohama). Ask for help in determining which train to take. You will have to make sure you are going in the right direction and you also have to be careful about getting on the express trains. A local train will take considerably longer.
From there you can walk or take a taxi to the base. Taxis are expensive. About $6 for the first couple kilometers. Only certain taxis can go on the base. Caution, the latter will be much harder than it seems, after long tiring flights, long lines at immigration and customs, heavy luggage’s, in a foreign country at night. The best option is prevention. Make flight arrival for early afternoon to avoid if possible, unforeseen circumstances that may put you at risk for this situation. It is useful to have a few key phone numbers in case you are "lost in Japan". The phone system is quite good. You can buy a phone card for 1,000 yen so you don't have to feed the public phone coins. See the Points of Contact / Phone numbers section below.
You should have been in contact with SATO about your lodging arrangements. SATO prefers to make your lodging arrangements for you which is helpful with the time difference. Ensure you receive confirmation from them before you arrive. Obviously, the best and most logical place to stay is the BOQ/BEQ but the BOQ rooms generally have high occupancy rates. BOQ rooms are one-bedroom apartments with kitchen facilities, TV, radio, and alarm clocks. BEQs generally have availability and all are within close proximity to the hospital.
There is a Navy Lodge, but it is on the far side of the base from NCTS-FE. This may be an alternative if you are traveling with your family, but it is highly recommend confirming reservations as soon as you receive orders if you will be accompanied by family members. There is free bus transportation which travels throughout the base and taxi service at a nominal fee.
If by chance you arrive during PCS season, it is possible you may be assigned to one of the local off base hotels. Based on which hotel you stay with, it may slightly exceed your lodging allowance but regardless ensure you attain a Certificate of Non-availability (CNA), to ensure proper reimbursement.
Hotel New Yokosuka is just outside the main gate, and is only a 5-minute walk to NCTS-FE. The rooms tend to be small but tolerable for one person. Refrigerator, TV, VCR, alarm clock and a desk are provided. There is a microwave in the lobby for guests. Daily continental breakfasts are served and have been reported by prior guests as “very good”. A shuttle to the base is available every half-hour from 0600 to 0830; NCTS-FE is the near the main gate and therefore takes few minutes before you are dropped off. Tell the driver to stop at the CPO Club, which is next door to NCTS-FE. The Hotel New Yokosuka, like the BOQ, will request your name, rank, and social security number when making reservations. Additionally, you will need to provide exact arrival and departure dates.
Yokosuka Prince Hotel is also in proximity from the base with similar accommodations. The hotel has a toll free phone number from the U.S. 1-800-542-8686.
So you made it and actually arrived. If it is not too late, notify the Communications Watch Officer (DSN 243-7510/5117, Local 046-816-7510/5117) of your safe arrival. Based on when you arrive, the following morning report to NCTS-FE. Administrative requirements will be completed to include a stop at PSD (where the bus from Narita Airport dropped you off) by 0945 to be ready for the group paper work processing at 10:00 AM on Monday morning. Be sure to check with your sponsor to ensure the check-in time has not changed. Upon completion with PSD, report to your workspace at NCTS-FE, where your sponsor will take you to your work space. Appointments to meet the Command Leadership will be arranged by your sponsor / work center.
If you wish you can exchange dollars for yen at the airport as there are several banks at the airport and their currency exchange rates are often worst than what can be obtained on base. There are several banks on base. Navy Federal Credit Union and Community Savings Bank are the two closest to the hospital. Both have ATM machines. Navy Federal Credit Union dispenses dollars only but other ATM's dispense either yen or dollars. There are two "Lucky Exchanges" located off-base nearby; they typically offer the best rate.
There are food courts if you still desire the likes of Taco Bell, Popeye’s, and McDonald's. Excellent and somewhat reasonably priced Japanese food is available within a very short walk off base.
Phones and dialing
Base telephones use a 7-digit phone number just like in the U.S. To get an outside line, dial 99 and continue to dial the Japanese telephone number. If off base and you are trying to dial into the base dial 046 821 1910 and then wait for a recording, next dial the 7-digit on base number. It is useful to have a few key phone numbers in case you are "lost in Japan".
The phone system is quite good. You can buy a phone card for 1,000 yen so you don't have to feed the public phone coins. Usually the phone card dispensing machines are right next to public phones in many places in Japan. To call back home to the states you can use many of the standard big name phone cards. However one very reasonable priced way to call your family and friends back home is to obtain a phone card from a Navy Exchange, Navy lodge, and BOQ vending machine or to purchase a phone card from the personalized services section of the Navy Exchange. Often rates as low as 16 cents per minute can be obtained by using these discount services. Cards are generally available in denominations of $20, $50, and $100.
Base Telephone Numbers
Note: prefix 243 is DSN. When dialing from the US use commercial number +011-81-046-816-xxxx (Last 4#s)
Comm. Watch Officer 243-7510
Navy Lodge 243-6708 (1-800-NAVY-INN)
PSD Disbursing 243-5112/6815
Post Office 243-5536
Public Affairs 243-8658
HR & Ed/Trng 243-8516/5141
Yokota AMC 225-7111
Base Taxi 243-4444
Useful Web Links
There is excellent information about the base, the hospital, Narita Airport, and Japan on the web. Here is only a partial list to choose from. If some of the URL's don't work try a web search.
Commander Fleet Activities (CFAY) Yokosuka: www.cfay.navy.mil
Japanese Customs Service: www.customs.go.jp/english/
Narita Airport: www.narita-airport.or.jp/airport_e/index.html
Arrival and departure procedures: www.narita-airport.jp/en/flight/index.html
Transferring between terminals: www.narita-airport.jp/en/access/terminal/index.html
Yokosuka weather: https://www.metoc.navy.mil/noacy/fiveday_yoko.htm
Space A Travel: www.amc.af.mil/amctravel/index.asp
The New Sanno Hotel: www.thenewsanno.com/
Typhoon Warning Center: www.jma.go.jp/en/typh/
Keikyu railway line (frequently used to travel from Yokosuka to Yokohama and Tokyo)
Yokosuka-Chuo (Station KK59) is the train station most often used.
Yokosuka, Japan has a rainy season, typhoons, and a hot and humid summer. May, June, October, and November are excellent months to be in Japan because of the mild comfortable temperatures during those times. See the following web site for weather in Japan. www.metoc.navy.mil/noacy/fiveday_yoko.htm
Sightseeing, Points of Interest, Places to shop
Yokosuka is an excellent starting point for sightseeing in Japan. You are within 30 minutes of Yokohama and 1.5 hours of metropolitan Tokyo. The adjacent city of Kamakura (15 minutes away by train) is also an outstanding destination. Other popular tourist destinations such as Mount Fuji, Hiroshima, Sapporo, and Kyoto are definitely more distant but if you have two to three days you may be able to see some of these sights as well. Check at the BOQ and Family Service center for flyers on how to reach various tourist destinations . MWR runs regular trips to some of these destinations and can be very convenient and reasonable priced. Also check with ITT travel near the exchange for daily trips offered by other companies. There is a climbing season for Mount Fuji from spring into the summer months. Don't climb Mount Fuji if you have sickle cell trait. It is an extraneous 4 hour climb.
Travel guides for Japan are abundant at the Navy Exchange in the book section and don't forget to ask people in your department what they think about where to go. Gift shops on base include the Navy exchange and Takusan Treasures (it is next to the Navy Lodge and has irregular hours but is definitely worthwhile). A trip to the 100 yen store (the Japanese equivalent of the dollar store) is very interesting. A twice a year shopping bonanza called the Oriental Bazaar is held on base in April and October. Popular items include ceramics, furniture, oriental rugs, Japanese art prints, kimonos, and antiques from all over Asia. "Shrine sales" occur naturally at shrines in Japan and there are several popular ones that occur in Tokyo several times a month. Antiques, used items, and just plain stuff shows up at these events. The New Sanno Hotel is an excellent place to stay or visit while in Tokyo. Because it is convenient and relatively inexpensive it can be difficult to get reservations. The Hardy Barracks may be a possible alternative for cheap lodging in the Tokyo area.
Please do not hesitate to ask questions and let us know how useful this guide was to you. No doubt over time some of the information will become outdated. Let us know what is no longer valuable or true so that we can make modifications. We hope your trip to Japan and NCTS Far East is a pleasant and rewarding trip.