Reply To: Segway as disability vehicle in Japan?

  • Joan Pahisa

    August 25, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    Dear Corine,

    As far as I know, it’s not even possible to use a Segway on the streets. Last year, I tried to obtain a permit in order to use a Segway in Japan through an association for disabled people that talked with the Transportation Ministry and it was impossible to get it. Apparently, for residents, the most that you can get is a permit to be able to use it in a certain area or city ward talking to the municipality or the police in that area, but that’s not useful at all for tourism or for riding public transportation. I also have a disability and I used a Segway in Spain, but in Japan no exceptions are usually made. Segways are not considered mobility devices. Actually, the list of mobility devices allowed is really short, thus I decided to move to a wheelchair.

    Nevertheless, while spending this year in Osaka, I haven’t seen any Segway, but I’ve seen those one-wheel balancing devices, which I don’t know its name, used on the streets. They might have had those area permits…

    Hopefully Wilgo or Accessible Japan will help you find a solution. The best of luck to you and your student. Japan is really a wonderful place to visit. If you decide to risk coming with the Segway, though I can tell you that riding trains will be a real hassle, as you will need to carry the Segway if lucky, and you might be stopped by the police, which I was told trying to get the permit, put many stickers on it with the wheelchair sign.

    Best regards!

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