Invisible disability / chronic pain + priority in lines + allergy translations

  • Invisible disability / chronic pain + priority in lines + allergy translations

    Posted by _sylvie on April 21, 2024 at 4:55 am

    Hi, I’m traveling to Japan in May. I have a European Disability Card (50-79% disability). In my country I have priority access in lines (customs, station, shops, museums) so I don’t get too tired (I can’t stand for a long time) and I also have reduction on some prices. Do you know if I show my card ( it looks like that and has my name and picture on the back ) if I can have priority access in Japan too ?

    Also I’m allergic to crustaceans ans shellfish (fish is OK) and lactose intolerant : could any of you help me translate that ? Thanks


    _sylvie replied 1 week, 2 days ago 4 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • Josh Grisdale

    April 22, 2024 at 9:23 am

    Hello, sorry for the delay!

    Disability discounts/priority accesses is a really difficult issue to definitively answer. I have heard of people not needing to show ID, and others showing a translated ID from their country and being told they cannot get a discount… it really seems to come down to the place you are visiting and the staff that is working. (Japan is very by the book and the staff at tourist destinations have likely been trained to ask for ID and only shown Japanese Disability ID as the “accepted ID”. So, a newly trained staff might be worried about getting in trouble with their boss by not following the rules whereas a more senior staff would likely be more willing to say, “yeah, its ok”.)

    So, my general suggestion is to bring your ID (translated if possible) and try to use it. But, just be prepared for the possibility you may not get the discount.

    You can also get a “Help Mark” lanyard at Tokyo subways. While it likely won’t help with discounts, it may help you with getting priority seats on the train/subway (since you mention your disability is invisible).

    Here are some useful phrases, allergies at the bottom:

    Crustacean is “Kokaku-rui” in Japanese. and lactose is “Nyuto”. So, you can pop that into the pattern.

    Hope it helps!

  • Aveena

    April 23, 2024 at 4:44 am

    Greetings, I had similar questions to Sylvie, and am now wondering if there is a list of which subways may “not” have elevators or escalators. I walk with a cane and cannot maneuver the stairs. This is our thrid trip to Japan in May, but my disability has progressed. Thanks for your excellent feedback. Regards, Aveena

  • Aveena

    April 23, 2024 at 4:45 am

    Josh, I should have mentioned that we are most concerned about Tokyo, Kyoto and Nagoya.


  • AsiaMarketMakers

    April 26, 2024 at 11:07 pm

    Hi Sylvie,

    As Josh mentioned this is a really difficult one in Japan. Sometimes you have to be very assertive about what’s acceptable & what isn’t.

    I have had a range of experiences in the last few weeks. In my experience, places like Kyoto are more difficult due to being a more traditional city. However, if you explain your situation they will often listen. At Kyoto Station there is a seperate queue for foreigner taxis. This may really help! Any questions, please ask!

  • _sylvie

    May 5, 2024 at 8:27 pm

    Hi and thanks a lot for your answers. I will try to get the help mark (I’m more worried about having to queue for a long time or stand in transports than about discounts 😅). Thanks for the link to It wil be helpful for lactose intolerance (but I didn’t see the words for crustaceans / shell fish so if anyone knows how to translate it correctly …). Thanks again

    • Josh Grisdale

      May 6, 2024 at 12:05 pm


      Those words are:

      Crustacean is “Kokaku-rui”

      Seafood in general is “Gyokai-rui” but that includes fish etc

  • AsiaMarketMakers

    May 12, 2024 at 10:46 pm

    I would also suggest getting letters from your specialists at home. It makes a huge difference!

  • _sylvie

    May 14, 2024 at 4:14 am

    Thank you very much (to both of you) for your answers ! I was indeed wondering if gyokai included fish or not and .. I have my answer. Thanks again. S.

Log in to reply.

Skip to content