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Shopping on US Bases

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  • Shopping on US Bases

    Just a thought...
    I know that US goods at US prices are sold at US military bases here in Japan, but is it possible for us common civilians to buy there? Does anyone know a back door system?

  • #2
    Yeah. It's in the back.


    • #3
      Nah. Impossible unless you know someone. And the someone does not have to be military, can be from the US Embassy as well.

      I went to a navy base a month ago with a friend from one of the above and there is no other way to get in. I am not an American and I had to get written permission in advance and then under go a full ID check on arrival. And once on the base I still could not get in to the supermarket part, only military or embassy ID could get in. I could go the the K-Mart like part and the fast food outlets

      But it was all worth it, as it was bloody cheap. Just got my friend to do my grocery shopping. Another thing is that they only accept US$, no yen.


      • #4
        i used to be military and before all this bull$hit with iraq it was more because i am finished with the navy even i cannot get on base and buy my beer cheap....


        • #5
          Strictly speaking base shopping is only for the military personnel and those who qualify as government civil service, such as State Department, IRS, law enforcement agencies in the federal government etc. Also strictly speaking it is illegal for a base person to buy on behalf of someone who does not qualify and if found out, that person's privledges can be revoked. Now small gifts etc. now and then are more than likely quite harmless but anything in quantity and over a long period of time might be detected with subsequent unpleasant results.

          I do believe it is still OK to go as a guest to the clubs but you will have to be registered at the gate as the other poster said.

          Getting on bases is enormously complicated these days as a result of 9/11 and checks are quite stringent usually requiring advance notice to the gate that so & so is coming to visit and he/she is my guest etc. - a real hassle from the civilian's (non-military) point of view. And you will need to have some proper ID on you.

          So you can buy your beer in a "yasui-uriba" - may be not as cheap as Bud or Coors or other American brands but there is no comparison when it comes to taste though!


          • #6
            you're exactly can get into a whole heap of trouble for blackmarketing. they keep tabs on folks who are buying things like rice, beer, soda, etc in huge quantities at the on-base grocery store (commisary). whenever you check out, you have to sign a form stating that it's for a party or what-not. if you have too many forms, they definitely investigate.


            • #7
              just spotted your thread & sorry this is a little off topic, but for those of you in tokyo, how long does it take you to get to the bases? (i'm thinking more the naval bases in yokohama/yokosuka...) i've heard it's about an hour... reason is that i'd like to work as a civilian for them, but live in tokyo. i don't know how living off-base works w/all this, so if anyone has any experience/input, i'd love to hear from you...


              • #8
                The Yokohama base is rather small and is located up in front of the "old race track stands." When you see it, you will understand what I mean. I guess the closest station is Negishi on the JR and you can catch a taxi up to the base ("beigun kichi") or "mukashi keibajo mae." It is possible to walk up the hill to the base as there is a path/stairs that literally goes up the side of the hill to Negishi-dai but you might get lost. Take the Yokosuka line or the Keikyu line to Yokohama Station and then transfer to the Negishi line. From Tokyo Station and including the transfers and taxi ride, I would imagine that it might take an hour or a little over an hour. If you check the JR map on-line, you can get a better idea of the time.

                For Yokosuka, you can also take the Yokosuka line or the Keikyu line to Yokosuka. However Keikyu line has a stop, Shiroiri Station, that is within walking distance of the base. You can walk from Yokosuka Station on the Yokosuka line but it is more of a hike but there are buses that run along the main street. Just ask at the station which bus to take and there is a stop almost in front of the main gate. Sorry, I cannot give you an exact idea of the total time it takes but it would be well over an hour.

                I cannot comment on the possibility of work or employment on the base nor about the procedures to find work. However you should realize that there are many Japanese civilian personnel who work on the bases and so I would imagine that you would be competing with them for positions that are open unless the position specifically states that the person must be a native American citizen. However I don't know on this point. Perhaps others posters may have some input.


                • #9
                  richard, thanks for the detailed response! glad it only takes about an hour...i think i could handle that... i've gotten some info on employment, so no worries about that.