Moving to Japan.

  • Moving to Japan.

    Posted by Tanya on November 14, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    I’m moving to Tokyo in April next year to study and I have a lot of questions.

    How to register myself to get in the system?

    How rent a hoist? (I have never used a hoist, but since I’m moving without my brother, I need it. How would I know what kind or hoist I need?)

    How to pick a wheelchair accessible apartment? Are they expensive?

    Should I rent an electronic wheelchair or should I take mine?

    What else should I take care of begbef moving there?

    Joan Pahisa replied 5 years, 7 months ago 3 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • Accessible Japan

    November 14, 2018 at 6:59 pm


    That is so exciting!!  Actually, one of our members – @bookman – just started a one year program here as well, so he is an expert on coming here to study!  (I came here 11 years ago, so it is a lot fuzzier in my mind. 🙂 )

    I would recommend bringing your own wheelchair as you may not be able to get one quickly that would meet your needs, and renting would cost you around 30,000 yen / month.  I can introduce you to a place to rent a hoist.  Until you are registered in the system, you will need to pay for it out of pocket.

    Re: apartment, I guess it depends where your school is and how far you plan to commute – Tokyo is a very large city!


  • Tanya

    November 16, 2018 at 8:31 am

    I found out that my school is in Kita-shinjuku.

    And I wanna keep my travelling cost to the minimum

  • Accessible Japan

    November 21, 2018 at 10:28 am


    There certainly are accessible places to live (ie, but you will need your school to act as a go between and guarantor as you can’t just rent a place out of the blue here.  Is there a coordinate for international students at your school?


  • Joan Pahisa

    November 22, 2018 at 10:14 pm

    Hi Tanya,

    I came to Japan last January for one year to study Japanese. In my case the school made all the paperwork to get the hokensho (national healthcare card), which is different from the disability card (I didn’t go through all the paper work, as the school didn’t have any experience there). Once I got to Japan, I had to register at the Ward Office of my neighborhood to get the residents card sealed and the hokensho (I can’t remember if I got a provisional one at the airport).

    As for apartments, my school had some agents with whom they would have acted as guarantors, but my accessibility needs are down to no stairs, no steps and doors wide enough for the wheelchair, so their agents had a couple of “manageable” apartments. I don’t need an accessible bathroom, but even with this I didn’t have many options. One of this “manageable” apartments had a couple of steps at the entrance. I ended up with an AirBnB apartment for six months (as I could ask the accessibility info directly to the owners). Nevertheless, I’m based in Osaka, so I don’t know how things are in Tokyo, but I wouldn’t expect many differences.

    Another important aspect is to know whether your classes are in the morning or in the afternoon. I decided to rent something as close as possible to the academy to avoid rush hour, but it reduced the options even more and made the rent quite expensive.

    Anyway, I hope that you have a great stay in Japan. Don’t let the paperwork put you off!

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