All service members and civilian personnel are required to check in with the Housing Services Center (HSC) prior to agreeing to rent, lease, or purchase of housing. Personnel entering into rental lease agreements without negotiating them through the HSC risk being disallowed payment of housing allowances but will still be held accountable to pay for the rental lease agreement out-of-pocket. Only rental properties that are inspected, approved and listed by the HSC will be considered valid for payment of Living Quarters Allowance (LQA) and Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA).
There are several variants of two, three and four bedroom concrete town houses usually in groups of four or six. Sizes and floor plans vary. All units are provided air conditioners for each bedroom plus one each for the living room and the family room. All town houses have vinyl tile floors or carpeting. All have small fenced yards and limited storage. Many have patio covers for backyard enjoyment. Two domesticated pets (e.g., cats and dogs) are permitted.
Presently, there are 9 nine-story towers with 48 two-bedroom apartments. 7 of them (Ichiban, Niban, Sanban, Yonban, Goban, Rokuban, and Kyuban) are for Enlisted and 2 of them (Nanaban and Hachiban) are for Officers. There are 11 nine-story towers consisting of 68 three-bedroom apartments. 9 of them (Ajisai, Asagao, Ayame, Bara, Fuji, Himawari, Satsuki, Shobu, and Ume) are for Enlisted and 2 of them (Sakura and Tsubaki) are for Officers. All tower apartments have air conditioners and are equipped with attractive mini-blinds in each room. All tower apartments have tile flooring or carpeting. Each tower has a playground area equipped with modern playground equipment. All towers are pet restricted. No dogs of any size are allowed except the first and second floor units. Up to two neutered or spayed cats are allowed.
Documentation of neutering/spaying and base veterinarian registration is required to be provided to the Housing Services Center prior to cats living in a tower home. Other caged/contained animals such as birds, fish, gerbils, etc. are allowed. No exotic pets are allowed.
All pets must be registered with the Yokosuka Veterinarian.
Ikego Housing Area is a quiet location to call home. There are 853 homes which are a combination of both townhouses and tower apartments. Ikego Hills is set in forested hills in the seaside resort town of Zushi. There are three and four bedroom townhouses for officer and enlisted families. There are eight (8) tower apartments that consist of 527 three bedroom homes. Two (2) of the towers are designated non-smoking towers. Ikego Hills has a mini-mart, all hands club, pool, Child Development Center, Elementary School (grades K-5), Community Center. Sports, paintball, camping and other recreational areas are also available.
Home-to-work shuttle buses (no fee) run from Ikego Hills to Yokosuka in the morning and return in the evening, and following extra curricular events at the High School. Ikego Hills can be reached in 20 minutes by toll roads at a cost of about $3, and about 30 minutes by surface roads. Japanese public transportation is very dependable and convenient. There is a designated pedestrian gate connected to the local train station, Jinmuji Station, which gives you access to Yokohama (30 mins train ride) for shopping and sightseeing if you are traveling north and to Yokosuka if you are traveling south. The ride to Yokosuka involves changing trains and the minimum cost is about $2.50 (one way).
Most newcomers are shocked by their first look at available rental houses. Expect to see small houses averaging 720 square feet or less for a two bedroom unit. They are built with unfamiliar materials like tatami (straw mat) floors, and unfamiliar appliances or no appliances at all. Newer homes have only one or two tatami rooms; the rest have carpet, tile or hardwood floors, and some homes have no tatami.
The standard bedroom size is six tatami, about 9 ft. by 12 ft. A "large master bedroom" is eight tatami, or 12ft. by 12 ft. Houses often have narrow doors and halls, and narrower staircases (e.g., 27 inch wide doors). Therefore, queen-size box springs or king size mattresses often won't fit upstairs. Door frames are often lower, about six feet from floor to top. Oversized couches or overstuffed chairs may not fit, since dining rooms are often just one end of a living room. Closets in bedrooms seldom have bars to hang clothes, and some are divided into upper and lower sections with no place to hang long dresses or coats. Storage inside the house or outside may be limited or non-existent, and there is usually no attic or basement and no garage.
Members with large families having a four or more bedroom requirement are advised that suitable accommodations in both on and off base housing are severely limited. Sponsors in this category should seriously consider preceding the family to Japan to find appropriate accommodations.