Mobility scooter on trains and at shrines

  • Mobility scooter on trains and at shrines

    Posted by Quest on March 4, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    Grateful to have found this useful forum.

    Will be visiting Japan with a foldable mobility scooter- folds up like a small suitcase and the battery can be removed.

    Will I have problems taking it on bullet trains if I don’t need to sit/ drive it and can just fold it like a carry on?

    When visiting places like Fushimi Inari will I be able to use it between the steps or is this a bother for other visitors?

    alliejay replied 1 year, 3 months ago 4 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • Josh Grisdale

    March 5, 2023 at 2:31 pm

    Hi, glad to have you here.

    There shouldn’t be an issue with bringing it on like that. I assume it is about the size of a suitcase when folded? (Please add a picture if possible). @therealjapan likely has good tips for bringing luggage onboard.

    As for Fushimi Inari Taisha, there is an elevator behind the shrine up to the gates, and some of the gated paths are very flat. I have been on them in my power wheelchair. We can go over details if you like but maybe starting another topic about it is better.

    • Quest

      March 5, 2023 at 2:55 pm

      Thank you.When I have chosen the scooter (trying to find something light but sturdy enough) I’ll update.

      That elevator will be a great help- didn’t know about it. Was hoping for railings around the steps.

    • Josh Grisdale

      March 6, 2023 at 11:09 am

      It doesn’t go all the way up, but just to the bottom set of gates. The gates go all the way up the mountain. So, while you get some great pics, a lot is still not accessible.

  • Rob Dyer

    March 5, 2023 at 9:48 pm

    Thanks Josh, hello @Quest!

    You can choose a reserved seat in the last row and place your wheelchair behind the seat, provided your chair’s dimensions total no more than 250 cm (height + width + length limited to 2 meters), when folded down.

    Here’s the official guidance on use of mobility scooters on trains in Japan (explains if you didn’t want to fold it down for travel):

    I suggest contacting one of the JR companies to inquire about this in more detail. Here’s a link to the accessibility page on the JR East site:

    They have a telephone service helpline dedicated to non-Japanese customers:

    There’s also this post about luggage on the shinkansen on the JRPass website – might be useful:

    Have a great trip!

  • alliejay

    March 29, 2023 at 2:27 am

    Hi All:

    Manual wheelchair user here. I have just returned from Japan and was on several Shinkansen. My wheelchair folds up and it was very easy to put it behind the last seat in the car.

    The one thing I will say is that I had not realized you really should reserve that space so we didn’t think to mention it when we were getting our train tickets. In the end, we lucked out and the space was not being used anyway, but probably best to mention it when you book your tickets at the counter/JR pass travel center.

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