Posted by Unknown Member on May 7, 2018 at 8:01 pm

    hi! I am a disabled traveller travelling on a motorized wheelchair. do you have any idea how to get around? are the buses serving the tourist areas accessible to my wheelchair? i was advised that being in the countryside the buses are not barrier-free.


    Accessible Japan replied 6 years, 1 month ago 2 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • Accessible Japan

    May 7, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    Hello, welcome to the forum!

    Leaving big cities dramatically reduces accessibility for a number of reasons.

    • Train stations become fewer and further between – and a lot more of the stations are not wheelchair accessible.
    • Most people rely on their cars to get around so there is less infrastructure
    • While many medium sized cities have fairly well serviced bus routes, their buses are often older and are not wheelchair accessible.  They may have no accessible buses, or have only a few so you may have a situation where only every third bus is accessible or only some routes are accessible.

    Getting to the country side may also be difficult as most highway buses are not accessible.  So, unless there is a major train going to your destination, it may be hard to even go there.

    That being said, most medium sized cities likely have an accessible taxi (though, an expensive option).

    That being said, depending on where you are going and what you want to see, there may be options/routes.  If you could share more information on the sites you would like to visit, we could see what options exist.

    Are you making the plans alone, or going with a travel company?

    Hope this helps.

  • Unknown Member

    May 8, 2018 at 10:48 am

    Thank you for your reply!

    The resort i will be staying has been confirmed.: Villa Kitakaruizawa L Wing – 4 Nights
    Resort ID: SG49
    1924-172 Kitakaruizawa
    Gunma-Ken, 377-1412, Japan
    Phone: 279-845555

    so i have to make the most of my short stay in there.  My tour has to start on april 2-4 (3 days) and on april 5 i plan to transfer to Tokyo. We are tentatively a group of 7-8 so i will have a companion to assist me board the buses. my question is can my scooter (not a bulky one) be allowed to board the bus?

    I hope you will suggest the accessible places that i will visit for 3 days. I have some points of interest in mind:  Maebashi area:  Mt. Akagi, Gunma Flower Park, Agaki Nanmen Senbouzakura Festival, karuizawa Shirato Falls, Gunma Safari Park, Skybridge, Tambara Lavender Park & other sites that you will suggest.

    Thank you!

  • Accessible Japan

    May 8, 2018 at 11:44 am


    I can look into these things, but just to clarify:

    • Your tour is next year, right?
    • Are you going with a tour company?

    Thank you

  • Accessible Japan

    May 18, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    Sorry for the delay!

    Before considering getting around, even getting to your hotel looks to be very difficult.  There is a highway bus pretty much right to the hotel, but we just called the bus company and confirmed it is not an accessible bus.  The only way to ride it would be to store your wheelchair in the luggage area at the bottom of the bus and then somehow get up the stairs… not accessible at all!

    Karuizawa Station is about 22km from the hotel and, according to Google anyway, there is no public transit from the station to the hotel.

    That is what travel in the countryside is like unfortunately.

    For anyone – regardless of disability or not – using a car is the best option.  Would anyone in your group be ok with driving?  It is possible to rent an accessible car in Tokyo I believe.

  • Accessible Japan

    May 18, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    Additionally, according to the hotel website, the only access option for the area is by car.  So, even once you get there you cannot go to any attractions by car.

    If you are interested in renting a car, try this place:

    Sorry to not be of more help.

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