Reply To: Wheelchair or Scooter Advice

  • schroth-sensei

    March 21, 2024 at 1:59 pm

    I don’t mind explaining what wheelchairs I used. My first couple trips I went with a simple manual wheelchair and a strong brother, it was a Sunrise Medical Quickie-line fitted to me but mostly stock (I typically used a motorized wheelchair at home, but at the time this was easier to manage for my brother). I visited Tokyo, Kamakura, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, and Kobe. Other than some hills in Kyoto and Nara, it wasn’t difficult for my caregiver to get me around, but it was a bit more stress on him. Recently though, 2023, I had a 90-Day stay in Yokohama and brought my Permobil Corpus F3 with many custom fitted parts, and it’s a big heavy motorized wheelchair and not a push-type. I explored all over Tokyo, Yokohama, and many surrounding areas (including way over to Lake Saiko near Mt. Fuji, Saiko Iyashi-no-Sato Nenba). So, I put quite a bit of mileage on it, and it was so much better than being stuck in manual.

    All my wheelchairs made it back okay, the worst that happened after the flight was a new scuff mark and a missing cap (that I didn’t realize until later would come off so easily), which is why you bring all removable pieces with you on board your plane.

    It sounds like a wheelchair can benefit you at home as well as on vacation, for that reason alone I would recommend talking with your healthcare rep or doctor (assuming you have one) and seeing about getting one via insurance. They may have many more choices available, and it could end up costing you less depending on your coverage. If you were to just use the wheelchair during your trip, then I would say renting may be ideal.

    I have listed some Travel planning advice in my Accessible Japan Blog post here that may help: Yokohama Life: What I Learned Living 90-days in Japan with a Disability

    We also have some preventative and helpful tips listed just in case here: Handling Wheelchair Breakdowns While Staying in Japan

    In regards to your comment about batteries, Voltage in Japan and Using Wheelchair Battery Chargers may have that information, otherwise about specific types of batteries on planes here is information from the FAA (healthcare reps. should be able to suggest a wheelchair that is safe to fly):

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