Installation Overview — Misawa Air Base, Japan

Here's Everything You Need to Know About Misawa Air Base

Misawa Air Base is about 400 miles north of Tokyo on the northeastern part of the main island of Honshu. The base is located in Misawa city on the shores of Lake Ogawara in the Aomori Prefecture.

Misawa Air Base has experienced a large amount of growth over the past few years. It has modern facilities, excellent housing, and is surrounded by the natural mountainous beauty of rural northern Japan. Home to all the various branches of the U.S. military, it is a model example of the new defense concept of "jointness." Additionally, it coexists with a contingent of the Japanese Air Defense Force.


Welcome Statue
Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

The base is historically significant for a number of reasons. The world's first non-stop trans-Pacific flight was launched from the beach near Misawa on Oct. 4, 1931. Misawa's modern military history goes back to the construction of an airstrip at Misawa in 1938 by the Imperial Japanese Army. In 1942, the Japanese Naval Air Force controlled the base and used it for long-range bombers. During World War II, Misawa was primarily a Kamikaze training base.

In December 1946, the 49th Fighter Group became the first U.S. air unit stationed at Misawa. Since 1945, 16 units have served as the host unit for Misawa Air Base. The 35th Fighter Wing was originally activated as Johnson Air Base, Japan, on Aug. 18, 1948, though it carries the bestowed honors of the 35th Fighter Group which traces its origin back to Dec. 22, 1939.

The wing's mission is to protect U.S. interests in the Pacific by providing forward presence, deployable forces, and mission support. 35th Fighter Wing is the host unit and provides support for the entire Misawa Air Base community, including the Naval Air Facility and the Misawa Cryptologic Operations Center, which is comprised of the 301st Intelligence Squadron, Naval Security Group Activity, 750th Military Intelligence Company, and Company E Marine Support Battalion.


Map Misawa, Japan

Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force 

Misawa has a small domestic airport that shares the Air Base flight line. Tokyo has two international airports: Narita and Haneda. All flights from the U.S. will land at Narita, but the only flights to Misawa are from Haneda. You must arrive at Narita Airport before 2 p.m. to make the connection with the last flight from Haneda to Misawa.

Before you land at Narita, you will be given a customs and embarkation form. You will need to have this form ready along with your military ID and orders for active duty or passport for family members and civilians.

To arrange bus transportation from Narita to Haneda, go to the "Airport Limousine Bus" counter. The bus tickets cost 3,000 yen (about $30) per adult and 1,500 yen (about $15) for children 6-12. There is no charge for children under 6 years old. The Airport Limousine Bus Counter accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or cash (yen). The ticket tells you which bus stop to go to. At Terminal 1, the bus stops are No. 3 and No. 12. At Terminal 2, the bus stops are no. 5 and no. 15. The bus ride to Haneda takes two to three hours, depending on traffic. Your baggage will be checked on to the bus as you get on. Hold on to your claim ticket as you will need it when you get off at Haneda. Let the baggage checker know that your flight at Haneda is on JAL.

There is a Department of Defense Liaison Counter on the first floor to Terminal 1 at Narita. Hours are noon to 8 p.m. The DoD Liaison can assist you with transportation to your final destination, Yokota Air Base MWR bus schedules, and the transportation of pets. If you arrive at Terminal 2 and want to visit the DoD Liaison Counter, there are free buses between the terminals. The bus stops for the inter-terminal bus are no. 6 at Terminal 1 and no. 8 and 18 at Terminal 2.

If you arrive at Haneda on the Airport Limousine Bus, claim your baggage from the bus personnel. Proceed to the JAL counter to check in. After checking in, proceed to the X-ray machine and check your baggage. Hold on to your claim tickets because you will need to show them when you arrive at Misawa.

The flight from Haneda to Misawa is considered a domestic flight and has strict baggage limitations. You are limited to two bags per person and one carry-on. The weight limit for checked bags is 15 kilograms (33 pounds) each for a total of 30 kilograms (66 pounds) per person. Any bags exceeding this weight limit will incur a fee, and the maximum allowable weight for excess baggage is 45 kilograms (99 pounds). The only exception to the weight allowance is for passengers arriving from another country at Narita Airport and making their Haneda connection within 24 hours. For those passengers, the weight limit is two bags at 70 pounds each.

Main Phone Numbers

Airmen 1st Class Richard Kelly, Stephanie Tyrolt and Senior Airman Timothy Mercado
Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force; photo by: Staff Sgt. Chad C. Strohmeyer

Base Operator: DSN 315-226-1110 011-81-176-64-1110

35th Medical Support Squadron: DSN 226-6531

Air Force Dormitory: 011-81-176-64-4479/011-81-176-64-4000 DSN: 226-4479/4000

Family Home Day Care Program: 011-81-176-64-2273 DSN: 315-226-2273

Home School (IDEA): DSN 315-226-2865 CIV 011-81-176-64-2865

Housing Office: 011-81-176-64-3200/011-81-176-64-2395 DSN: 315-226-3200/2395

Misawa Air Base Dental Clinic: DSN 226-6700/6302

Misawa Inn (Lodging Office): 011-81-176-63-1100 DSN: 315-222-1100

School Liaison: 011-81-176-64-2620 DSN: 315-226-2620

Population/Major Units Assigned

Members of the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordinance Disposal
Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force; photo by: Senior Airman Jamal D. Sutter

The 35th Fighter Wing is the host unit at Misawa Air Base, Japan. The Misawa community is made up of Air Force, Navy, and Army active duty members and their families. There is also a large community of Japanese personnel working with the Japanese Air Self Defense Forces or in various support positions. The base is home to 5,200 U.S. military personnel, as well as 350 U.S. civilian employees and 900 Japanese national employees.

Temporary Lodging

The Misawa Inn offers 166 comfortable temporary living accomodatins.
Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

On-base temporary living facilities (TLF) are limited to accompanied personnel and unaccompanied personnel E-5 and above. Single E-4 and below are not eligible for TLF and must go to Consolidated Dorm Management Office in Building 671 for a dorm room assignment. TLF is authorized for 30 days, and the wait for on-base housing or search for off-base housing should not take any longer than this period. On base, TLF is normally available except in the heavy PCS season during the summer months. If unavailable, personnel can use one of the many hotels located off base.

The Misawa Inn is the main Lodging Office for the base. It is centrally located and walking distance from all the major services like the BX, commissary, post office, schools, gym, library, movie theater, bowling alley, hospital, and Family Support Center. Their office manages several buildings containing 188 rooms. They have a few rooms without kitchenettes that are the least expensive, while the rest of the rooms are apartment-style and modern with a separate bedroom, living room, and full kitchen. Small family rooms cost $24.50 a night, and large family rooms cost $32 a night because the couch and chair in the living room are pull-out beds. The Misawa Inn also has the benefit of a game room, fitness room, laundry room, indoor playrooms, and complimentary table games, movies, and coffee.

For service members arriving with pets, the Misawa Inn has 10 apartment style rooms available that allow pets. These are located in several places around the base as they are old-style base housing no longer in use. These rooms are relatively inexpensive and have a small pet fee. There is high demand for these units, and they are booked on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Personnel or their sponsors should make reservations as soon as they are clear on their arrival dates. You can make reservations by emailing or calling the Misawa Inn at DSN 315-222-0282; 011-81-176-66-0282 (fax: 315-226-2165; 011-81-176-77-2165). You must show a copy of your orders at check-in.


Misawa housing offers over 2000 modern apartments and townhouses
Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

All military members and Department of Defense civilians with command-sponsored dependents, regardless of grade, are eligible to apply for base housing at Misawa AFB. As soon as you know you are coming to Misawa, you should contact the housing office, Navy billeting or Air Force dormitory. There is a two-pet limit per household for on-base quarters. Family housing is not always immediately available upon your arrival to Misawa. Currently, the estimated waiting period for two- and three-bedroom units for all ranks is from zero to 30 days; four-bedroom units for all ranks except field grade officers is zero to 45 days; three- and four-bedroom field grade officers is 30 to 120 days. If on-base family housing is unavailable within 30 days of when you arrive, you will be placed on the wait list; you should be prepared to secure a home in the community.

Family housing units on the base are located in two separate housing areas. One housing area is located on the main base, and the second is located in the north area, which is a 10-minute drive from the main base and contains housing, Cummings Elementary School, Zeamer Child Development Center, Freedom Fitness Center, and a shopping complex.

You will want to supply your housing unit with a room fan as air conditioners are not supplied or permitted. Ceiling fans may be already installed. Early summer months are humid while the winters are dry, so it is wise to have dehumidifiers for summer and humidifiers for winter.

Air Force dormitories are available for unaccompanied or single Air Force personnel. It is mandatory for all E-4 and below to live in the dorms. Others are eligible based on space availability. Unaccompanied Air Force E-5 and above should expect to live in off-base housing. When dorms are at capacity, E-4 and below can apply for approval to move off base. There are 795 rooms that are about 280 square feet. Each one has a private room with private bath, and all rooms are fully furnished with refrigerator, microwave, desk/chair, full-size bed, armoire, and nightstand and/or wardrobe closet. For more information, contact the consolidated Dorm Manager DSN 315-226-4000.

At this time, Misawa has limited exceptional family member adaptable housing. The lack of modified housing is considered during the overseas travel clearance process for family members.


Base School/Classroom/Auditorium/Gym
Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

The Department of Defense operates three DoDDS (Department of Defense Dependents Schools) facilities that serve the children of the American military and civilian personnel stationed at Misawa Air Base: Cummings Elementary School, Sollars Elementary School, and Robert D. Edgren High School. The north area and the 800 area of housing are located in the Cummings Elementary School zone. Main base and off-base residents are in the Sollars Elementary School Zone. A school bus stops at the Misawa Inn for Cummings students living at the Navy or Misawa Inn. The School Liaison is available to answer any questions you may have concerning your child's school at DSN 315226-2624.

All students must have their immunizations updated and certified by the immunization personnel at the Misawa AB Hospital. School Officials require DoDDS Certificate of Immunization Form/DSPA 122.1 at the time of registration. This form can be obtained at the school office. Contact the Immunization Clinic at DSN 315-226-6192 for more information.

Bus service to schools is available for off-base students and middle/high school students living in the north aea. The DoDEA Pacific Transportation Management Office (PACTMO) administers school bus transportation for Misawa AB. The Misawa Student Transportation Office (STO) will register authorized students, issue bus passes and assign students to buses. Call DSN 315-226-9119 for more information on transporting students to school.

Higher educational opportunities for those in the military and working for the Department of Defense, as well as for family members at Misawa, are available through several contracted academic institutions.

Child Care

Misawa AB offers three accredited Child Care Centers and two annexes
Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

During the school year, a three-hour preschool enrichment program for children 3 years of age and older is offered at the Yoiko Child Development Center with morning and afternoon sessions. For more information or to enroll, call the Yoiko Child Development Center at DSN 315226-2419.

The School Age Program (SAP) is designed for children in grades K-6 and offers a before and after school program as well as summer and holiday camps.

Family in-home child care is available. Family Child Care Services offers full-time and part-time care, hourly care and drop-in, school age care, and shift and weekend care. Providers set their own rates. Parents may pick up a monthly Family Child Care referral list at the Airman and Family Readiness Center. The Family Child Care Services office is located in Building 697 and can be reached at DSN 315-226-2273.

Child Care for PCS (Air Force only) offers 20 hours of free child care per child to be used within 60 days of arrival to, or departure from, Misawa AB. This program is paid for by the Air Force Aid Society. The provider must be a licensed Family Child Care Provider. For more information, call the Airman and Family Readiness Center at DSN 315-226-4735.

The Yoiko CDC facility on Misawa AB is located on main base across from the Sollars Elementary School with 17 classrooms in Building 10. The center provides full-day and hourly care for children 6 weeks to 5 years of age. The CDC is open to anyone arriving at Misawa AB on orders. It includes active duty military and DoD civilians. Care for children with special needs is available based on the ability of the program to meet the needs of the child with written guidance from a physician, therapist, or other appropriate health professional.

There may be a waiting list for child care when you arrive. The waiting list depends upon the age of your child. Infant child care is the longest waiting period, due to the ratio of infants. Families may request to be placed on the waiting list by submitting a copy of their PCS orders, which indicate concurrent travel, and a copy of AF Form 2606 prior to arrival at Misawa Air Base. You may pick up the DD Form 2606 at your local CDC or call the Misawa CDC at DSN 315-226-4666 or DSN 315-226-2419 to have the form faxed or emailed to you. Once the form is completed, you may fax or email it to 315-226-2263. Sponsors with non-concurrent travel of dependents may register for childcare upon arrival at Misawa.

To enroll your child, you will need the following: updated shot record, copy of current leave and earnings statement (LES), pay stubs (if a spouse is employed), completed AF Form 357, family care plan, and a copy of your orders.

Hourly and drop-in care is based on space availability. To access this care, you must call the morning you need child care to reserve a spot.

Medical Care

Misawa's Base hospital offers quality dental and medical care.
Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

The main hospital has two levels: the main floor at ground level contains most of the outpatient clinics, dental clinic, administrative offices, and support services, and the basement level is located underground and hosts emergency services, inpatient units, surgical suites, and other essential medical services including lab and radiology. The Mental Health Clinic and Health and Wellness Center are located in two other buildings on the base.

The hospital consists of a 17-provider multi-specialty group practice outpatient clinic, a designated 25-bed low-intensity hospital, flight medicine services, and an attached dental clinic with 24 dental treatment rooms and dental laboratory. Ambulatory care is provided in 11 distinct specialty clinics and a Level III Emergency Room/Ambulance Service. The hospital has a multi-service unit, an OB/GYN unit, a level I nursery and surgical suite with two operating rooms. The range of support services available includes laboratory, radiology, pharmacy, physical therapy, and nutritional medicine services. Individuals needing information relating to medical needs can call the Tricare Service Center at 226-6000.