Beppu wheelchair accessibility

  • Beppu wheelchair accessibility

    Posted by juliafein on March 28, 2024 at 3:01 pm

    Hi all-

    I’m hoping to go to Beppu but I can’t tell if the buses are wheelchair accessible. It looks like there’s 2 bus companies and one seems accessible (Oita Kotsu) based on google images of their buses. the other company (Kamenoi) seems to only allow wheelchairs that fold and you need to “make a reservation by the day before” according to their website. Unfortunately, this company seems to be the main bus company that tourists want to use.

    Has anyone been to Beppu or know about their buses?



    Josh Grisdale replied 2 months, 1 week ago 2 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • Josh Grisdale

    March 29, 2024 at 12:43 pm

    I have not been to Beppu, but in general:

    There are “route buses” (路線バス) and highway/tourist buses (高速バス・観光バス). The highway buses/tourist buses generally have luggage space underneath and steps up into the cabin. While ones with lifts do exist, they are VERY rare. So, you would need a folding wheelchair to put with the luggage and then be able to climb the steps.

    The route buses are general buses used by residents for normal transportation. In big cities nearly all of them are “non-step” accessible buses with a small ramp the driver can put down for you.

    In smaller cities/the country, these exist but due to budget constraints the roll-out of the new accessible buses is slow. That means they may only be on some routes, or on a route but in a pattern like “every third bus” etc. (There are some older versions of accessible buses that still have two-steps in and they use a steep/long ramp that can be a bit scary!).

    I’m guessing that the reason the bus is asking you to make a reservation is because not every bus is accessible and they could accommodate you if they know your schedule. ie you say you want to get the 11:30 bus from X station on a certain date and they can adjust the bus schedule so that bus is one of the accessible ones.

    The bus company likely only has Japanese-speaking staff so you may want to ask your hotel or tour guide to call. Alternatively, you could look into hiring an accessible taxi if you are concerned about the buses.

    Hope this helps!

  • juliafein

    April 5, 2024 at 2:45 pm

    Hi Josh-

    I missed your reply! Thanks so much for getting back to me and for all the information. So helpful!

    I’ve been trying to figure out where to confirm which train stations are accessible for the JR. It’s been difficult to check in Beppu.

    Thank you so much!


    • Josh Grisdale

      April 5, 2024 at 3:02 pm

      For the stations, try this site. You can put in the name of the station and see the accessibility details.

    • juliafein

      April 7, 2024 at 7:03 pm

      I saw this website, but I didn’t know whether it was accurate. Thanks so much for sending it! Exactly what I was looking for.

      I wasn’t sure if I needed to book a wheelchair seat in advance for my longer train rides like from Tokyo to Kyoto, Kyoto to Beppu, and Beppu back to Tokyo. I know there’s seat available from your website accessible Japan but I couldn’t tell if I needed to book in advance.

      And I just wanted to say it’s been pretty daunting planning my trip to Japan, so thank you so much Josh for all your help. Accessible Japan and your responses on tabifolk have been invaluable!

    • Josh Grisdale

      April 8, 2024 at 12:10 pm


      Always glad to help! Yes, the site is pretty accurate I believe. As for booking longer trains, since accessible seating is limited, I do suggest booking in advance for Shinkansen and special express trains that have reserved seating. It is a pain, but the booking process can take longer than you might expect, so best to get it out of the way.

      Thanks for your love of the sites! It would be great if you could let others know about it as well as join groups for places you know. I really want to get other groups off the ground here.

  • juliafein

    April 7, 2024 at 8:41 am


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