Miyako Public Transportation Accessibility

  • Miyako Public Transportation Accessibility

    Posted by Kathie on February 13, 2024 at 12:23 am

    My husband is a full time wheelchair user – he is unable to stand or walk at all, no steps. Does anyone know if the public transportation system in Miyako has wheelchair accessible buses or trams with lifts? Or are there wheelchair accessible taxis available? We are looking for a way to get from the cruise terminal to either Jodogahama or Dezaki Pier to catch the boat tour. Thank you.

    Kathie replied 2 months ago 3 Members · 9 Replies
  • 9 Replies
  • CPN Heather

    Member
    February 13, 2024 at 11:17 am

    Kathie,

    Japan cruise expert here. Miyako is a city with a population of 50,000 that rarely has cruise ships call there. You would need someone in Japan that speaks Japanese to reserve an accessible taxi for you way in advance. Have you *confirmed* that you can get on the boat tour after you get there? Cruise lines outsource shore excursions to third parties, so I would be nervous that they would not let you do it when the day came.

    I would recommend that instead of trying to piggyback on the ship’s shorex that you work with someone that can book appropriate transportation and guide you to places that are accessible. Otherwise, I fear you will end up frustrated and disappointed. Japan does not have anything like the ADA, so I would not expect public transport in places like this to be accessible. Even if it did, it would likely run infrequently and not be practical with your limited time in port. I don’t want to discourage you, but I do want to be candid to help you manage your expectations. Let me know if you need further assistance, and I wish you the best!

  • Josh Grisdale

    Moderator
    February 13, 2024 at 12:24 pm

    Hello,

    I’m not sure where the port is exactly, but Miyako station is accessible (though it seems to require a stair lift to get between platforms – https://www.ecomo-rakuraku.jp/en/station/Miyako/). If you use the station, you should give yourself extra time since they can be slow and if you need to go to another platform, you would need to go up, and then down.

    As for the buses, as Heather mentioned, accessible buses are not the norm in small cities. (They are required to only buy accessible buses now, but not required to replace the entire fleet so the transition takes a number of years.)

    I called the bus company and the buses running from Miyako Station to Jodogahama are in principle accessible “non-step” buses but the operator warned that depending on maintenance etc they do run non-accessible buses on the route as well so she suggested calling the bus line to confirm before going.*

    But the biggest issue is the one @cpnheather mentioned re: actually getting to the port from the boat. I’d be sure to confirm that first!

    There are taxis to be hired I’m sure, though they will likely need someone who speaks Japanese to reserve them. Let me know if you want me to search for a few options (though, I can’t reserve them for you.)

    (*Note: I just asked about the one bus route. Since it is between the biggest station and a tourist attraction, it likely has a higher percentage of accessible buses than other routes. So, you can’t assume all buses in the city are like that.)

    • Kathie

      Member
      February 13, 2024 at 10:00 pm

      This is very helpful! Thank you! It sounds like I will have to wait until we arrive and hope for the best. But it’s good to know it might be a possibility. We are trying to get my husband a power add on to his manual wheelchair and if we are successful, maybe we can walk/roll to the Pier, although the sidewalks could present another barrier if there are no cutouts or they are in rough shape. From what I’ve read the tour boat is accessible at Jodogahama.

    • Kathie

      Member
      February 17, 2024 at 10:17 pm

      Hello Josh – you kindly offered to look into taxis for me in Miyako. Could you find out if there are any wheelchair accessible taxis or vans. If not, are there any taxis that are larger like an SUV or are they all fairly small and low to the ground? If you are able to find any information, it would be greatly appreciated.

    • Josh Grisdale

      Moderator
      February 19, 2024 at 2:31 pm

      Hi,

      So, the usual database I use for wheelchair taxis didn’t have any listed for Miyako. But I found a list on the web, but it only has phone numbers and feels dubious: https://multi-taxi.info/list/?citylist_id=230

      The Iwate travel portal site has a page for accessible travel but it just lists hotels (https://iwatetabi.jp/barrierfree/) and is only on the Japanese version of the site and if you choose English, there is no accessibility information. However, they might be worth contacting since they could ask the people in charge of the accessible travel section, or search for you.

      E-mail [email protected] URL https://iwatetabi.jp/barrierfree/

      Sorry, but as Heather mentioned, it is a very small city…

    • Kathie

      Member
      February 19, 2024 at 11:45 pm

      Thank you – I appreciate you taking the time to look into that for us! I’ll send them an email.

    • Josh Grisdale

      Moderator
      February 20, 2024 at 8:57 am

      Please keep us updated with anything you find – it will help the next traveller!

    • Kathie

      Member
      February 20, 2024 at 10:00 pm

      Your suggestion to contact E-mail [email protected] was very helpful and I’ve already heard back from them as follows:

      I would say it would be easier to transfer via taxi from the cruise ship terminal to Desaki Pier or Jodogahama Beach, it wouldn’t take long by taxi.

      You could email or call the taxi company in Miyako city below (Advance reservation required / English service available) :

      -Kubota Taxi

      [email protected]

      TEL +81-193-67-2121

      You can borrow a wheelchair if you need, so please ask them.

      As for your information, there is an English information center around the cruise ship terminal, so please ask them if you need help.

      For any other questions about tour in Iwate, feel free to ask us.

  • CPN Heather

    Member
    February 14, 2024 at 3:27 am

    Kathie,

    The message I was trying to get across was just the opposite. As the saying goes, “If you fail to plan, plan to fail.” Waiting until you get there and hoping for the best in small town Japan just doesn’t work.

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