Reply To: Disabled parking

  • alison

    March 31, 2018 at 11:56 pm

    The reply from Accessible Japan is pretty much correct from my experience in traveling a lot by car with a Japanese person who is disabled.  Disabled parking spaces at stores/tourist sights in Japan are usually only enforced by the honor system.

    Your disabled parking permit from the US will likely have no validity in Japan.  Since it is a valuable document and you don’t want to lose it, it would make more sense to pick up an extra wheelchair sticker/magnet before you visit or buy one at the 100 yen shop (dollar store) when you arrive in Japan.   Some users with disabilities will put a blue wheelchair sticker or a blue clover sticker (used indicate that the driver is disabled) on their vehicle to identify to others that they have a reason to use the parking space, but it is not mandatory.

    If your disability is easy for others to identify (use a walking aid, wheelchair etc) it is unlikely anyone will hassle you while using the disabled parking  spot, even without a sticker.  Even if your disability is less visible to others most Japanese will not engage in confrontation, but you may have more peace of mind if you display a sticker.  Also, as a tip, if you have an extra wheelchair sticker handy it is helpful to show it to the parking lot attendants when you enter the parking lot and they will immediately direct you to the disabled parking area.

    The other document (“in use by someone with difficulty walking”) is an official piece of paper distributed by the prefectural police department to those with mobility difficulties and from what I understand it is only valid within that particular prefecture. It is also my understanding that that document is only available to residents of Japan with disability identification called “Shogaisha Techo”障害者手帳 (which foreign visitors do not possess and can not be interchanged with other foreign issued disability ID). This document which goes by the name of 除外対象使用中 “Jogai taisho shiyochu” in Aichi Prefecture is show in the picture below.  It allows the users to park in areas that are usually off-limits or without having to pay for metered parking etc. in certain areas.


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