Reply To: Travel with Rio Mobility’s Firefly power attachment to manual chair

  • Accessible Japan

    June 24, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    Unfortunately, you are very likely to have problems on JR lines (subways are more forgiving).  A lady who came two years ago with a similar device had issues with the shinkansen.

    They have revised the law since them but only really dealing with “scooters” but there is a high likelihood that that may not be recognized as a “scooter” by the staff. (Japan is a land of rules and definitions, so if something doesn’t neatly fit in to the definition it more than likely becomes a “no”)

    According to JR:

    Handle-type electric wheelchairs that can be used

    • Wheelchairs with the following approximate dimensions: height and length of 120 cm, width of 70 cm.
    • In case of using a car with a deck, they’ll need to use the multipurpose room, so we should verify that the wheelchair is 180 degree turn and straight angle capable.
    • It should be able to turn a straight angle in no more than 5 direction changes on a 90 cm wide path. Also, it should be able to do a straight turn on a 100 cm path with no direction changes.
    • It should be able to do a 180 degree turn on a path of less than 180 cm width.

    In case the conditions are not met

    The facilities are designed based on the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and they have the above as requirements, as such, if the wheelchair doesn’t meet them, it cannot be used.


    Far from ideal.

    We suggest you contact JR directly and tell them your scooter specifics. You can use the following inquiry form to ask for help directly:

    Can you remove the device?  It may be easiest to remove it before using the train and then reattach it after getting off.  You should have no problem on the streets, but stores and restaurants are very cramped, so turning will be hard…

    Sorry it isn’t a positive answer, but hope this helps.

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