Disabled Veteran Unable to Attend AnimeJapan 2019
MemberDecember 28, 2018 at 12:12 pm
I am a Disabled Veteran who has developed an interest in anime and everything else in Japan. So I thought it would not be too hard to go to AnimeJapan 2019 in March and maybe take in Akihabara and a few other Tokyo places. I am even seriously learning Japanese and can get by with the vocabulary I have now for visiting I believe.
No matter which Tour agency I go to, they want me to use my own scooter and have a “tour buddy”. My scooter is provided by the VA so I do not have spare batteries and I am concerned about my charger with the 100V mains Tokyo has.
Even at the supposedly disability friendly Japan tour agency I will not name there was a whole list “of things we will not do” like assisting with luggage combined with not hiring assistants. So I could not even get what I needed at any cost. Also, I could not go on a tour because you have to be able to walk 6-9 miles so I would have to do something individually. Oh and we might be able to accommodate you once we start our accessible tours date TBD.
So if anyone has any ideas I would like to hear them. I can use a cane for moderate distances but long walks and heavy lifting is out of the question. I will be glad to share more details if anyone can help.
ModeratorDecember 28, 2018 at 4:06 pm
Great to hear about your interest in Japan.
For your battery charger, it should be OK as Japan is 100v. However, you should always check with the maker of your scooter to confirm. (Here is more information on power here: https://www.accessible-japan.com/voltage-japan-wheelchair-battery-chargers/). Also, you can rent a wheelchair or scooter here if that is easier. We can help you with that if you like.
For a tour you could try Inside Japan Tours if you are looking for a package tour. They have custom tour for people with disabilities. There is also Trip Designer that has day tours for people with disabilities.
Unfortunately, no tour company that I know of provides care assistants. Most people travel with a care assistant from their own country. There is one place that may be able to help you during your time here. Let me know and I’ll put you in touch.
Hope this helps!
MemberDecember 28, 2018 at 10:00 pm
Thanks for the info. I have an electronics degree so I will be checking my charger more thoroughly when I get a chance.
I would appreciate the info about renting a scooter there too. It might just make everything simpler. It would be even better if you could help me find a tour agency that would still work with me if I rented one.
I tried working with Inside Japan Tours. They only have individual tours for persons with disabilities right now. They mentioned Accessible Tours but have no idea yet when they are going to implement them. If you think IJT or any other agency would work with me if I rented my own sccoter and got someone from the place you mentioned, let me know.
Here I only have a housekeeper/caregiver that comes once a week for 5 hours. So I do not have a care assistant I can bring. My family and friends are pretty busy with their lives but I am Early Retired/Disabled so I am pretty flexible in what I can do.
My main problems there would be my luggage and arranging scooter compatible transportation. Since airports and most lodging can help with luggage that might not be so much of a problem because then I only need to find a way to carry my insulin/medicine bag during touring. So in some ways I do not need a care assistant but with the attitudes I have seen at tour agencies one seems more necessary. And I think a care assistant would probably be really helpful if I decided to do something on my own. So please help me get in touch with that place you mentioned.
I will keep posting what I find out here because I am sure there are other Otaku in the same boat that have just given up mostly. So please post here also any info you get for me.
ModeratorDecember 29, 2018 at 9:24 am
I sent a friend request to you. If you accept it I can send you a private message with the scooter info. I will also put you in touch with the travel companion service and a taxi service to help you from the airport to your hotel. (Sorry, I don’t want to post personal emails on a forum.)
Sorry, there are many types of tours (all-inclusive group tours, all-inclusive individual tours like IJT, and individual/group day tours). Can you tell me what your ideal tour is? For individual, all-inclusive tours I only know IJT. For day-tours, @takashi from Trip Designer can make an accessible tour for you but it is only a day tour so you would need to arrange hotel, etc.
Please keep us in the loop and post on other subjects if you like.
MemberDecember 29, 2018 at 10:28 am
I made you a friend so send away.
Since it seems that no Japan tour agency arranges International flights I have to arrange flights myself so arranging hotels would be one more step so I might look into a string of day tours also. A regular travel agency might be helpful here at this point but in the US most only have an online presence now except maybe in some major cities.
I can think of some ways I could solve this but I am not independently wealthy. So I will have to see if I can find a way that is affordable. Since I am a bachelor I live pretty comfortably here and can afford to travel myself. A vacation/travel loan is even an option if I can figure out all the costs including travel insurance and travelers checks/cash needed for contingencies since I have seen many places in Japan do not take credit card like here in the US.
ModeratorDecember 29, 2018 at 10:49 am
Cool, I’ll send the info.
Travelers checks are nearly impossible to use but credit cards are becoming more common than they used to be. Also, you can often use your bank card to get cash at most post offices as well.
MemberDecember 29, 2018 at 12:13 pm
Hmm, OK. Sounds like I will have to consider carrying more cash and keeping a cash reserve in at least one checking account.
Too bad I probably cannot open carry my pistol like I do here in Kentucky. I am working on getting concealed carry here but I can take my time due to the open carry laws here. I wonder if there is a way for a military veteran to get a concealed carry permit in Japan or at least Tokyo. I know Tokyo and Japan are normally very safe so it is more of a curiosity factor for me. Even if it were possible, it may probably be too much of a hassle.
I used to do maintenance so I normally carry knives and a multi-tool which I am planning to leave home considering what I have heard about restrictive blade lengths.
I guess I am not quite your normal disabled traveler. I might have even scared some tour agencies a bit since I am a bachelor and inquired about meet-ups, social dates, or matchmaking if I stayed a few extra days even though I pointed out it would probably take many visits to have any success. But I want to cover all the bases and it will be difficult for me to find any woman in any country to consider me with the way my health is. That is the reason I do not currently have a travel companion but many veterans especially disabled veterans end up divorced.
I hope I have not discussed any taboos here but I think they might be good discussion topics for disabled travelers let alone any traveler.
ModeratorDecember 29, 2018 at 12:24 pm
Not sure about dating stuff, but pistols are illegal in any form here. Rifles are only allowed by hunters and are heavily regulated. I am not sure about knives but I’m sure there are ones that are allowed and ones that are not… but that is out of the scope of this forum.
You might find answers to those questions on https://jref.com/
MemberMarch 15, 2019 at 9:27 am
I did some research on firearms and weapons in Japan and you are correct about pistols and rifles. But I would like to pass on to you, @AccessibleJapan and others also that it is recommended for those traveling to Japan to not carry any kind of blades at all (even multitools) out of an abundance of caution due to different interpretations by local law authorities to stay out of trouble. And it is also recommended that any blades bought in Japan be properly packaged by the store it was purchased from and to not open the package until you are out of Japan. So if something is needed by the disabled traveler in Japan to cut things, stick to reasonably sized scissors, preferably safety ones. And leave any kitchen or dining knives in the kitchens or restaurants you use them at. I thought this might be helpful advice to share.
ModeratorMarch 15, 2019 at 12:23 pm
That is really helpful information, thank you!
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