Best way to get from a Shinjuku Hotel to Yokohama port for Cruise

  • Best way to get from a Shinjuku Hotel to Yokohama port for Cruise

    Posted by Nick on January 16, 2024 at 5:51 am

    My wife and I are staying in Shinjuku first week in May for 3 nights before we pick up the Diamond Princess in Yokohama for a cruise . How difficult is it to get there by train with a wheelchair It’s a bit daunting trying to gather all the information and taxis are so expensive. Does anyone have any experience of travelling to Yokohama from Shinjuku Station

    schroth-sensei replied 5 months ago 5 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • Don

    Member
    January 16, 2024 at 7:38 am

    There are regular direct JR train services from Shinjuku to Yokohama. Wheelchair users do not need to prebook on suburban lines. Ask at one of the ticket barriers and a staff member will take you to the correct train door for a wheelchair space on the correct platform and provide a slope (ramp). You may not be allowed to board the first train. They will phone ahead and another staff member will greet you with a slope at Yokohama. You are travelling during the main holiday season of “Golden Week’ so be prepared for vast – seriously vast – crowds, especially at Shinjuku, the world’s busiest station even at normal times. You will need to take a taxi from Yokohama station to the International Passenger Terminal for cruise ships (known locally as Osambashi pier) . If your wheelchair is the manual folding variety a regular taxi is OK, but if you have a powerchair then you will have to book an accessible taxi (sorry I have no details). If you don’t have much luggage and feel adventurous then you could alternatively take the Minatomurai Line train from Yokohama to Nihon-Odori station which is a fairly short walk to Osambashi.

    I would be most interested to hear of your experience on your return as a circular cruise around Japan is something we have thought of taking

  • schroth-sensei

    Member
    January 16, 2024 at 8:37 am

    Hello Nick!

    Don has some good answers here, I’ll just add a couple things that may help too.

    If you haven’t already, I recommend checking out Accessible Japan, specifically the train transportation section here: https://www.accessible-japan.com/wheelchair-accessible-trains-and-subways-in-japan/

    The trains, metro, subway, or commuter are all almost universally accessible. I recently spent 90-day in Yokohama and often used trains to/from Shinjuku, other than busy, it was nice and easy thanks to Station Attendants who help with the process. City Buses may be another option for the place where trains don’t quite reach (but don’t count on shuttles or sightseeing buses to be accessible). As for the Taxi information Don mentioned, this forum post may help: https://www.tabifolk.com/groups/japan/forum/topic/travel-in-wheelchair/

    I hope that helps,

    -Justin

  • Josh Grisdale

    Concierge
    January 16, 2024 at 8:57 am

    Amazing answers from Don and Justin here! Just want to add that while no pre-booking is needed, it is always best to leave plenty of time for your ride. Staff make an effort to get you on as fast as they can, but as Don mentioned you may not get on the first train, and even before that, at a large station like Shinjuku you will likely need to wait for a staff to come guide you to the train – so it may take 15-20 min to get on the train.

    Basically, don’t leave the trip too tight!

  • AlanBE

    Member
    January 16, 2024 at 4:16 pm

    We took a HAL cruise from Osambashi pier 4 years ago, but last year our Princess cruise was from the cruise terminal at a different location in Yokohama. Check it, we nearly made the mistake!

  • Nick

    Member
    January 16, 2024 at 11:08 pm

    Thank you everyone. As with every trip you take with a wheelchair it’s daunting but it never puts us off. We just gather information and get on with it. One more point . When entering Shinjuku St (or any station ) do attendants help with the purchase of tickets or is this something that has to be done first then seek help ?

  • schroth-sensei

    Member
    January 17, 2024 at 3:59 am

    Usually you purchase the ticket yourself at a ticket machine located just outside the turnstiles. They typically have touch screens with an English Language button (or multiple Language) and give some guidance in purchasing a ticket. You will need to know where you’re going and pay the fare (Yen) price to that location (if the machine doesn’t tell you the cost to the location, then a train map usually above the machines with show fare price from your current station, map apps can be useful for this too). After everyone in your group has a ticket, then you can talk with the attendant and let them know where you’re going and that you need a “slope” (i.e. help from an attendant with a ramp). They will ask you to wait by usually pointing to an area after the turnstiles, so feed your ticket through the machine into the front, and pick it up at the back of the machine, you need it at the final station. When you get to your final stop, feed the ticket in the machine and exit, you won’t get your ticket back. In some stations there may not be a turnstile for wheelchairs, in these uncommon instances you’ll typically go to a pass-through room beside the turnstiles where the attendant(s) are waiting, they will stamp and/or take your tickets there. [Note: probably not something you’ll have to worry about for your short stay, but if you or anyone reading this wants to buy a Limited, Express, Excursion, or Shinkansen (bullet train) ticket, then you would have to buy them at a major station ticketing center.]

    Here’s a video I found that shows the regular ticket process that may help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGvS7eMz8o8

    As an alternative you can also get temporary IC cards (1 for each person) such as the Welcome Suica and Pasmo Passport in my attached picture. Currently they do not have a fee, you just charge them with 1500-yen each I believe, which you can use for fare. The ones mentioned expire after 28-days and won’t refund any remaining money on them, but they can be used in many places like convenience stores, shops, and even many vending machines (which is a good way to empty one). If you do go this route, I recommend asking about them at the airport so you’ll be set up immediately (you can currently only get it at select places like Haneda or major train stations). With IC cards in hand you don’t have to know the specific amount of fare, and at the turnstile you simply touch the card to the reader to go through, and again at the exit where your fare is calculated and deducted. If you’re short on fare, look for a pink machine that says “recharge” and you can put more money (Yen) on it.

    Here’s a video from Suica (this was before the Welcome Suica version when there was a deposit, but it shows how to use it very well): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSPISZ8X6kY&t=137s

    I hope that helps,
    -Justin

  • Nick

    Member
    January 17, 2024 at 6:03 pm

    Thank You Justin. Explains everything. I feel much at ease now. After our trip I will post and explain our experiences. Many Thanks

    • schroth-sensei

      Member
      January 18, 2024 at 2:20 am

      You’re welcome Nick! I hope you have lots of fun, and yes please share your experiences afterwards!
      -Justin

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