Figuring out accessible travel arrangments (Powered Wheelchair rental)

  • Figuring out accessible travel arrangments (Powered Wheelchair rental)

    Posted by ktp on May 17, 2024 at 3:40 am

    Hello! Normally I’d try to search through previous threads to find my answer but everyones needs/travel itineraries are unique so I figured I’d just speed up the process and ask myself. My partner and I are traveling to Japan this August and she uses a powered wheelchair to get around — I worry that hers is too big to bring and fit into most accessible taxis, how would I best go about finding one that we can rent and take with us across the country and also make sure we get one thats the best fit for her needs/comfort — (She has muscular dystrophy, so a bad seating system for her can cause lasting pain).

    Kathie replied 1 week, 6 days ago 5 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • Mark

    May 17, 2024 at 4:07 am

    Hi KP,

    I just returned from Japan and had brought my Permobil M3 there. Powerchairs will not be too large for accessible taxis you arrange w/ the company beforehand. My first question though is whether your partner can get out of her powerchair and walk short distances? Are you looking for an electric wheelchair or manual? Japan has “universal” taxis that can accommodate standard wheelchairs and there are. a few companies that rent wheelchairs with motors (I believe they fold up but please confirm w/ company). Here is a ling to a company I found but did not use b/c I ended up bringing my Permobil. You can email them with questions.

    I used my Permobil to pretty much go everywhere within Tokyo. It has a 16 mile distance and the streets are mostly flat so me and my friend zipped around (he would walk or rent an e-bike which are everywhere). The subway system is great as well.

    I setup airport pickup with a great guy who runs this company, I highly recommend him:



    • ktp

      May 17, 2024 at 4:38 am

      Amazing, thank you! Do you by any chance know the length/width of your chair? Just want to use it as a comparison for making sure her chair can fit in the same accomodations. Did you travel outside Tokyo and use any other services?

  • ktp

    May 17, 2024 at 4:14 am

    Hi Mark!
    This is good to hear! My partner is unable to get out of her chair/walk. She has a Invacare TDX SP2. We will also be bringing a manual chair with us for any places we find we might want to go that are less accessible. Is there anything you’d recommend from your experience // accessible taxi companies you used/recommend?

  • Josh Grisdale

    May 17, 2024 at 8:43 am


    I use an Invacare Aviva RX 40 (roughly 65cm wide x 120cm long x 145cm tall with headrest). As Mark mentioned, there are London Cab-esque taxis called JapanTaxi that you can flag down in most large cities.

    However, even though they were supposedly designed to be accessible, it is pretty obvious they were made with a small manual wheelchair in mind.

    That being said, if they fold up the back bench seat I can use them in my power wheelchair BUT must remove my headrest to get in. Once in, I cannot turn to face forward and am facing the way I went up the ramp. The only remaining seat is the passenger seat.

    So, it can be done but not recommended especially if she needs neck support.

    The accessible taxis have several different types, but for a large power chair I would recommend a Toyota HiAce.

  • Oshidori-Shuttle

    May 17, 2024 at 10:14 am

    As Josh recommended, we are a care taxi company who has the HiAce.
    We can accommodate 1 powered wheelchair and 4 passengers at the most. Plus 1 or 2 oversized bags and 4-5 normal suitcases.
    Last year we did two weeks trip with this setting, start from Tokyo and round everywhere in Japan.
    If you are interested, please watch this movie on YouTube.

  • Kathie

    June 3, 2024 at 3:41 am

    If you are in the Yokohama area and in need of a taxi or a wheelchair accessible tour I highly recommend One Trail Trans Care. We recently returned from Japan and had the most amazing experience with this company. His van is large and had no problem accommodating my husband in his wheelchair, myself, 2 of our friends and all of our luggage. I highly recommend this company.

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