The complete Yokota Air Base Guide - We Are The Mighty
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The complete Yokota Air Base Guide

If a PCS to Yokota Air Base, Japan, is in your future but you don’t know where to start, don’t worry –  we’ve got you covered! Here you’ll find answers to your most-pressing questions. Are you wondering about Yokota Air Base housing and temporary lodging? Or maybe you have questions about the military and family support services that exist on the installation. After you’ve read this guide, we’re sure you’ll be excited to call Yokota Air Base home.

The United States established Yokota in 1945. It’s located in Fussa, Japan, which is one of the 26 major cities of Western Tokyo. Currently, more than 14,000 people call Yokota home. So, if your next duty assignment is taking you abroad, you can look forward to immersion in a wonderful new culture. Sweetening the deal is that when you live at Yokota, you’ll have access to the newly renovated Air Mobility Command Passenger Terminal. Hello, Space-A Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) flights!

Yokota Air Base, Fussa

BLUF: As soon as you receive your orders, you should be assigned a sponsor. A sponsor is a service member in your gaining unit. This person will help coordinate things for you on the ground until you arrive. Units do their best to match sponsors and service members by family status and rank. That’s such a plus since it means you’ll already have a buddy when you arrive.

Hercules lands at Yokota Air Base
A C-130H Hercules taxis to park on the east side of the flightline at Yokota Air Base, Japan, March 25, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse)

Reporting Procedures

Here’s what you can currently expect when you in-process at Yokota. 

First things first, make sure you get a Yokota Air Base directory! That will help save you tons of time down the road when you need to make a call but don’t have the number on hand. 

Newcomers Orientation is a requirement. Don’t even try to get out of it. Not that you would want to, either. This brief gives you everything you need to know about in-processing. You’ll also get vital community resource information. Spouses should definitely attend this brief if at all possible!

Yokota holds this orientation at the Airman and Family Readiness Center, building 535. It’s right next to the Yokota Community Center on the main base. Your reporting time will be provided when you arrive. You can also register for Newcomer’s Orientation by calling DSN 315-225-8725.

Thinking about driving while in Japan? Then you’ll need to attend the driving course brief. The AFRC holds this course every Thursday at 0900. Don’t be late! Unit Command Support Staff or sponsor must bring 374AW Form 50 to the Pass & Registration Building 993 to register you for the course. Call the Pass & Registration office at DSN 315-225-8333 for additional and up-to-date information.

Flightline at Yokota Air Base
(U.S. Air Force photo)

Directions

You’ll be traveling to Yokota Air Base by plane. Most often, an OCONUS PCS means a seat on Patriot Express. But, if you’re one of the lucky ones, you might be able to swing a commercial flight. If that’s the case, consider yourself VERY fortunate. No one ever accused PE flights of leaving on time!

If you’ve flown Patriot Express, you’ll arrive at the Air Mobility Command terminal. Expect to clear customs and claim your luggage. Someone should be on ground to greet you, too!

Transportation

Keep in mind that costs for the shuttle range from $20 to $40 depending on the airport. This is a refundable expense, so save your receipts. Cash only, no cards accepted. The bus ride from the airport can take as much as two hours. There are no stops once everyone has boarded. Plan accordingly and bring snacks and drinks. You’ll probably need them.

Flying from Narita International Airport

Tokyo Narita Airport Terminal 1 near Yokota Air Base
The night view of Tokyo Narita Airport Terminal 1. (Wikipedia)

Once you arrive at the airport, proceed to the DoD counter located in Terminal 1 and they will direct you to the location of the shuttles.

Bus Transportation from Narita International Airport

  • Departure from Narita Terminal One is at 1700 and 1900 daily.
  • Departure from Narita Terminal Two is at 1710 and 1910 daily.

Flying from Haneda International Airport

Haneda Airport near Yokota Air Base
Haneda (Tokyo International) Airport. (Wikipedia)

 Once you arrive at the airport, proceed to the DoD counter located in Terminal 1 and they will direct you to the location of the shuttles.

  • Departure from Haneda Terminal 1 & 2 is at 1600 and 1900 daily.
  • Departure from Haneda Terminal 3 is at 1615 and 1915 daily.

Travel requirements

No one said OCONUS travel is easy. In fact, it can be downright complicated. So what’s the best advice? Simply, plan your work and work your plan. Make checklists and use them! On the top of your list should be sorting out your passports. Equally important is getting your passport applications started early. Did you know you and your family need to have a Special Issuance Passport to enter Japan? It’s no cost to you but the process takes a while. Visit your local passport office as soon as you get your orders. Sometimes these things take a while. No need to pass up a chance to live in Japan because of some paperwork!

All dependents who are planning to live at Yokota need to have their passports and visas in hand prior to your final out at your losing installation.

Family members not command-sponsored will not be eligible for military benefits. Check with your local Military Personnel Section (MPS) or the Yokota MPS if you have questions. You can always call the Yokota MPS at DSN 315-225-7565.

Japanese and American flags along the main street at Yokota Air Base
374th Civil Engineer Squadron personnel mount Japanese and American flags along the main street at Yokota Air Base, Japan, May 23, 2019 in preparation for Memorial Day. Though Memorial Day is an American holiday, it is celebrated jointly at Yokota with Japan Air Self-Defense Force personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kyle Johnson/Released)

Contacts at Yokota Air Base

Yokota Air Base Address:

         374 FSS/FSH

Bldg 535, Unit 5119

Yokota AB (Fussa) Japan 00197-0001

Phone: 011-81-311-755-1100 | DSN: 315-225-1110

All Yokota phone numbers listed below are DSN numbers. That means every military installation in the world has a Defense Service Network (DSN) number. In order to place a call using DSN, you must be using a military phone on an installation. Cell phones can’t dial DSN numbers. When dialing a DSN from a CONUS installation to another CONUS installation, you don’t need the (312) area code. But if you’re calling OCONUS, you’ll need to include it.

Airman and Family Readiness Center: 225-8725

Yokota Air Base Housing: 225-3252

Finance: 225-7825

Kanto Lodge: 224-2002

Pet Care Center: 225-8906

Veterinary Clinic: 225-4363

Safety Office: 225-7233

Pass & ID: 225-8932

U.S. Air Force plane flies over Yokota Air Base
(U.S. Air Force photo)

Also, if you’re wondering about your Yokota Air Base postal code, here’s everything you need to know. You get a fancy APO mailbox on base when you’re OCONUS. Okay, it’s not that fancy but it’s a neat address to have! There you’ll be able to send and receive packages to and from the US. The Yokota Air Base zip code is 00197. 

Pro tip: Your sponsor should arrange for your mailbox ahead of time. Even more exciting, you can ship boxes to your APO. That means, they’ll be there when you arrive. Hello, favorite pillows! Save those receipts, too, because sometimes that postage purchase is reimbursable as a PCS expense.

Mission and Units               

Yokota Air Base’s mission is to deter adversaries through unrivaled force projection, agile airlift and support operations to safeguard a free and open Indo-Pacific. Read more about the installation, including info about Yokota Air Base housing.

Right now, Yokota Air Base is the home of the 374th Airlift Wing. The AF uses the 374th AW for airlift missions throughout East Asia. The 374th includes four groups – operations, mission support, maintenance, and medical.

The 374th Operations Group maintains a forward presence by providing rapid response movement of personnel, equipment, and op support in the Asia-Pacific region. It consists of the 374th Operations Support Squadron, the 36th Airlift Squadron, and the 459th Airlift Squadron.

U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft at Yokota Air Base
U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft with the 36th Airlift Squadron are parked on the flightline during a readiness week exercise at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Oct. 7, 2013. (DoD photo by Yasuo Osakabe, U.S. Air Force/Released)

 The 374th Mission Support Group is responsible for the command, control, and direction of support activities to the airwing and tenant units at Yokota, including Headquarters US Forces Japan and the Fifth Air Force.

The 374th Maintenance Group maintains several aircraft and supports intra-theater airlifts as well as distinguished visitor transport for Pacific Air Forces.

The 374th Medical Group ensures medical readiness of US Forces Japan personnel as well as maintaining War Reserve Materiel projects, including the Air Force’s largest Patient Movement Item Inventory.

Yokota also is home to the Air Forces Special Operations Command, the Air Combat Command and the Air Mobility Command. The United States Coast Guard maintains a presence at Yokota, too. It’s home to the Coast Guard Pacific Area Fourteenth District. The DoD houses the Indo-Pacific Command at Yokota, and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force calls Yokota home, too.

Yokota Air Base History

Established in 1940 as an air base for the Japanese Imperial Army, US Forces requisitioned Yokota Air Base in September 1945. During the Korean War, we staged B-29 bombers and fighter aircraft there. Since then, it’s been expanded significantly. In 1971, most fighter squadrons were transferred to nearby Okinawa. Yokota became a transport relay base. As the Vietnam War intensified, transport in the region became critical. Then, in 1974, US Forces Japan and the Fifth Air Force moved to Yokota. Since then, it’s the stuff of every loggie’s dream. Now, it serves as a logistics base for a ton of military commands. A significant moment in the base’s history came in 1983 when the first Night Landing Practice was conducted. Since then, NLP has been a regular part of life at Yokota. In 2005, Yokota Air Base became the headquarters for the Japan Air Defense Forces.

Things to Do Around Yokota Air Base

Consider yourself lucky if you’re calling YAFB home! There’s so much to do within easy driving distance. Fussa isn’t nearly as popular as other cities in Japan. That means it’s the ideal place to immerse yourself in the Japanese culture. Do all you can to get to know your host nation!

Going to Japan and checking out some of the shrines is key to a good OCONUS experinece. Be sure to check out some of the many Japanese shrines located near the base – and don’t forget to use a Yokota Air Base map to help you get around! First up, the Kumagawa Shrine. Then you might want to explore the Seiganin Temple. Nearby is the Fussa Shunmeisha Shrine.

One of the entrances to Meiji Shrine near Yokota Air Base
One of the entrances to Meiji Shrine stands surrounded by forest in Tokyo, Japan, Sept. 10, 2015. Meiji Shrine is dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his consort Empress Shoken, who ruled Japan in the late 1800 to early 1900s. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Baker/Released)

If the spiritual vibe isn’t your speed, Japan still has you covered! Take a break from life at the Tamura Shuzo-ba sake brewery. There, you’ll be able to try a variety of sake. You might also want to check out the Ishikawa Brewery too! Don’t skip out on the Fussa Tanabata Festival, where you’ll come face to face with what life is really like in this small Japanese town. Finally, the Ashikaga Flower Park is a must-visit for anyone wanting to stop and smell the roses.        

Hotels

When you’re ready to head out into the surrounding region, you’ll need a place to stay. These hotels are all fairly close to YAFB and give you a glimpse into what life is like outside base. 

  • Forest Inn Showakan
  • Parlance Hotel Tachikawa
  • Kanto Lodge
  • Hotel Nikko Tachikawa Tokyo
  • Tachikawa Grand Hotel 

Restaurants

Did someone say sushi? Here are our top picks for sushi restaurants near Yokota. 

  • Kippoushi
  • Niramanju
  • Sushi Kazu
Members of the Japanese community wait to enter this C-130 in Yokota Air Base Friendship Festival
Members of the Japanese community wait to enter this C-130 in Yokota Air Base Friendship Festival 2005. (Photo credit: Leonard V Carlson via Wikipedia)

Activities

Good news! Here at Yokota Air Base, you’ll have plenty of military and family support services to help you make this new duty station your home.

Be sure to check out the Child and Youth Services, MWR programming, and the EFMP support options. Yokota also offers a Military and Family Support Center that offers mil-fams relocation assistance and installation-specific resources.

Additionally, Yokota is well-known for its annual Friendship Festival. The festival celebrates the partnership between the US and Japan and serves as a way to strengthen ties with the local community. Look forward to aircraft displays, live music, and a variety of performances.

U.S. Paralympic Team poses in front of a C-130J Super Hercules at Yokota Air Base
U.S. Paralympic Team poses in front of a C-130J Super Hercules at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Aug. 18, 2021. Team members toured a C-130 and trained at base facilities during their stay, prior to the 2020 Summer Paralympic games in Tokyo. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Courtney Chapa)

Yokota Air Base Housing

If your entire family is PCSing to Japan with you, you’ll have an option of either government or non-government housing. There are 2,059 military family housing units available for all ranks at Yokota Air Base. This includes garden units, tower units, and Yokota Air Base apartments. The average wait time depends on the type of housing your family needs, as well as the service member’s rank, and the time of year you arrive.

Call the Housing Management Office at 011-81-425-52-2510, extension 5-9145 (Unaccompanied) and 5-9258 /5-8636 (Accompanied) or DSN: 225-9145 (Accompanied) and (Unaccompanied) 225-9258.

You can expect to stay in temporary lodging for a period of time before your housing is available. Two options for temp lodging are available at Yokota – Kanto Lodge or the Temporary Lodging Facility. Kanto Lodge operates 24-hours a day and can be reached at DSN 315-224-2000/2002.

Also, families with children might be housed at additional lodging located on the east side of Yokota AB.

If you receive housing before the arrival of your household goods, you will be issued furniture and appliances from the Furnishing Management Section. On-base quarters are furnished with all appliances, so they should not be shipped from the United States.   

Holiday tree lighting ceremony at Yokota Air Base
Staff Sgt. Andre Hayes, 374th Civil Engineer Squadron journeyman, holds his daughter during the holiday tree lighting ceremony at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Nov. 24, 2015. The lighting of the tree signals the beginning of the holiday season. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Delano Scott/Released)

Schools Near Yokota, Fussa

DoDEA maintains and operates four schools at Yokota for children of service members assigned to the base.

  • Joan K. Mendel Elementary School (formerly known as Yokota East Elementary School)
  • Yokota West Elementary School
  • Yokota Middle School
  • Yokota High School: The Home of the Yokota Panthers, the high school is one of the newest on the installation, having been completed in 2017.

Even more exciting, higher-ed opportunities for spouses and service members are available! Visit the Education Office on base for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

How far is Yokota from Tokyo?

         Yokota is 28 miles northwest of Tokyo.

How many people live in Yokota?

         US and Japanese service members make up a population of about 12,000.

What prefecture is Yokota Air Base in?

         Yokota is located in the Tokyo prefecture.

What city is Yokota Air Base in?

         Yokota Air Base is located on the island of Honshu, Japan, on the Kanto Plain. It’s at the foothills of the Okutama Mountains.

How far is Okinawa from Yokota?

         Okinawa is 2,129km (1,322 miles) from Yokota.

What is there to do on Yokota Air Base?

         While there’s not a ton to do on base specifically, the surrounding area of Fussa is breathtakingly beautiful! You’ll have no trouble finding plenty of things to do, including exploring the local culture, checking out the Hanamizu Falls in Hinohara, or even embracing the hydrangeas that bloom during the rainy season.

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