Onsite wheelchair rental for main sights in Kyoto

  • Onsite wheelchair rental for main sights in Kyoto

    Posted by 4travel on October 13, 2023 at 8:55 am

    Hi all, I found this group through accessible-japan and thanks for sharing all the information on the site! I’ll be traveling with my mom who has mobility issues (can walk but only on flat ground and not very far) to Kyoto.

    I’ve been researching the itinerary and realize Kyoto is really hilly and the main sights are somewhat challenging. We won’t have a wheelchair with us, but hoping to rent or borrow one onsite. I’ve done some research and some temples do have that (e.g. Kinkaku Ji and Rengeō-in (Sanjūsangen-dō)) but I can’t find out about other sights. Specifically, Kyomizu-dera, Tofukuji, and Eikan-dō (Zenrin-ji). Do these locations offer wheelchair rental on site at all?

    Also, after reading the post on Kyomizu-Dera, I’m still a bit concerned about how accessible it is. Would love to hear any thoughts and suggestions. Thank you all!!

    Josh Grisdale replied 7 months, 4 weeks ago 3 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • Josh Grisdale

    October 16, 2023 at 10:40 pm


    Kyoto can be very flat in the middle and very hilly around the outside! Once you get up to Kiyomizudera you can access most of the areas – but getting up the hill is quite a challenge!

    I can look up the wheelchair availability for you, but, it might be best to rent a wheelchair for the entirety of your trip. Even if there is an on-site wheelchair, you may end up waiting if it is in user already when you arrive. If you come-in and leave from Tokyo, you could likely even rent a powered wheelchair to deal with the hills!

    Might be worth considering. 🙂

  • Shey_816

    October 17, 2023 at 12:30 am

    Hi, I’d like to share my own travel experience in Kyoto with my 90-year old mother-in-law who travelled on a wheelchair. Just to let you know, we’re a family of 13, including her. Travelling every Christmas holiday is an annual thing for our family and we take her with us everywhere we go. Last December 2022, we were able to take her to Kyoto and Osaka with us. We brought her to several attractions like Biwako Valley, Kyomizu-dera, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove (and she took the Sagano Scenic Train with us!), Nishiki Market, to name a few. I mentioned these attractions as they are the most challenging ones to visit for someone on a wheelchair. Fortunately, there’s 12 of us taking turns in pushing/carrying her (but mostly the male members did the difficult part ; )). It was indeed a challenge to go up the Kyomizu-dera Shrine. The way up there is already a challenge since it’s uphill walk. Going to Biwako Valley by train if you’re on a wheelchair is next to impossible as the train station nearest Biwako Valley only have stairs and there’s no PWD restrooms! For Nishiki Market, the tip here is to travel on a regular day and try to go there early to avoid the crowd. The market is connected to Teramachi arcade and is mostly flat so it’s not really a problem. We stayed in a hotel in Karasuma area so it is quite near the attractions and bus stops. Buses in Kyoto are mostly PWD-friendly. Train stations in Kyoto are also PWD-friendly. However, the trains there are operational until 11:00pm only. Good thing I anticipated our late arrival hence I was able to arrange for a van to take us from Kansai airport to the hotel in Kyoto. Since the van’s capacity is up to 9 pax only, the remaining 3 took a bus to Kyoto. I suggest you bring your own wheelchair, aside from hygienic reasons, not all attractions have wheelchair to offer.

  • Josh Grisdale

    October 30, 2023 at 4:03 pm

    Sorry for the long delay!

    Kiyomizu-dera does NOT have a wheelchair available to borrow. Tofukuji has wheelchairs in a few places but not all areas. I couldn’t find anything for Eikando but can contact them if you like.

    Or have you decided to rent a wheelchair for the whole trip instead?

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