Reply To: Onsite wheelchair rental for main sights in Kyoto

  • Shey_816

    October 17, 2023 at 12:30 am

    Hi, I’d like to share my own travel experience in Kyoto with my 90-year old mother-in-law who travelled on a wheelchair. Just to let you know, we’re a family of 13, including her. Travelling every Christmas holiday is an annual thing for our family and we take her with us everywhere we go. Last December 2022, we were able to take her to Kyoto and Osaka with us. We brought her to several attractions like Biwako Valley, Kyomizu-dera, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove (and she took the Sagano Scenic Train with us!), Nishiki Market, to name a few. I mentioned these attractions as they are the most challenging ones to visit for someone on a wheelchair. Fortunately, there’s 12 of us taking turns in pushing/carrying her (but mostly the male members did the difficult part ; )). It was indeed a challenge to go up the Kyomizu-dera Shrine. The way up there is already a challenge since it’s uphill walk. Going to Biwako Valley by train if you’re on a wheelchair is next to impossible as the train station nearest Biwako Valley only have stairs and there’s no PWD restrooms! For Nishiki Market, the tip here is to travel on a regular day and try to go there early to avoid the crowd. The market is connected to Teramachi arcade and is mostly flat so it’s not really a problem. We stayed in a hotel in Karasuma area so it is quite near the attractions and bus stops. Buses in Kyoto are mostly PWD-friendly. Train stations in Kyoto are also PWD-friendly. However, the trains there are operational until 11:00pm only. Good thing I anticipated our late arrival hence I was able to arrange for a van to take us from Kansai airport to the hotel in Kyoto. Since the van’s capacity is up to 9 pax only, the remaining 3 took a bus to Kyoto. I suggest you bring your own wheelchair, aside from hygienic reasons, not all attractions have wheelchair to offer.

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