Preparing a journey to Japan

  • Preparing a journey to Japan

    Posted by arnaud69 on March 28, 2024 at 1:04 am

    Hello everyone,

    I’m disabled (MS), not yet in a wheelchair, but I’m walking more and more with the help of a cane. I have a walking range limited to about 700 meters at a time, and I’m quickly getting tired.

    I am recognised as a disabled worker, and I have a European PRM (Person with Reduced Mobility) card for public transport.

    We’re going to travel to Tokyo at the end of May, and we want to prepare for this trip as best as possible so that we can make the most of it without adding too heavy a burden on my wife, who is my caregiver.

    So, we’ve got some questions, and thought you might be able to share your experience and advice with us. Below are those questions:

    How can I prove in Tokyo that I’m disabled to get priority access (transport, shops, airports)?

    We are considering renting a wheelchair for visits and to cope with excessive fatigue.

    Do you know any websites to rent a wheelchair? Do you have any advice on a basic model?

    What are the requirements concerning medications?

    Two days are planned outside of Tokyo, in Nikko and Hakone (Mount Fuji).

    In Nikko, are visits to the Toshogu temple and Kegon Falls, and a walk around Lake Chuzenji possible in a wheelchair?

    Similarly, in Hakone, is a visit to the Hakone Jinja shrine possible in a wheelchair? Regarding a visit to the Owakudani Valley with its fumaroles by cable car, do the cabins allow wheelchair access?

    We would like to thank you all in advance for any feedback or advice you may have.

    All the best,
    Arnaud and Isabelle

    Josh Grisdale replied 2 weeks, 6 days ago 4 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • Cecilia

    March 28, 2024 at 5:04 am


    My mother (she’s 90yo) but a good 90yo and I are also looking forward to seeing as much of Tokyo/Kyoto. We are bringing our own wheelchair and would just like to have an idea/recommended itinerary. Will start April 15 and end April 19. Tried a travel agent and was charging us $4K. Would like to go Kyoto 15th/16 (osaka) then back to Tokyo and spend the rest in tokyo. Some guidance would be appreciated.

  • AsiaMarketMakers

    April 1, 2024 at 7:33 am

    I’m in the process of setting up a business for travellers with a disability. I would be happy to help you. Feel free to PM me.

  • Josh Grisdale

    April 2, 2024 at 4:48 pm

    Hello, Sorry for the delay.

    First of all, I would seriously consider either bringing a wheelchair or renting one while you are here. Japan requires a lot more walking than most people expect, and there are very few benches etc to rest on. So, having a wheelchair to ensure a seat when you need it can help. You can rent power or manual wheelchairs. You can check out:

    As for priority access, I’d suggest bringing your European PRM but keep in mind that as a “foreign” card not in Japanese, it may not be recognized. I’d suggest getting a “Help Mark” lanyard from the subway in Tokyo:

    Medications are more restricted here, so be sure to look at this:


    Toshogu is partly accessible, but expect quite a bit of pushing through gravel:

    I’m not sure about the other two, but you may want to consider using a taxi in Nikko.


    The cable cars are all wheelchair accessible but remember the entire area is quite mountainous, and there certainly can be steep areas.

    See this about the shrine:

    Hope this helps! If you have further questions, please be sure to ask – we’re here to help! (It is best to separate questions a bit so answers can be more focused)

  • arnaud69

    April 8, 2024 at 1:05 am

    Hi Josh,

    Sorry as well for the delay; quite busy at work this last weeks.

    Many thanks for your post. I’m sure it’ll help us much. We’ll visit the differents links provided and come back to the forum to share our findings or ask for some more help if required.

    • Josh Grisdale

      April 8, 2024 at 12:11 pm

      Thank you very much. Your feedback can help the next reader!

  • arnaud69

    June 1, 2024 at 11:59 pm

    Hello everyone,

    Back from Japan (especially Tokyo) last Tuesday, and delighted with what we saw and experienced.

    We hired a manual wheelchair through (thanks Josh). It was delivered and pick up by the rental agency to and from the hotel.

    The Tokyo underground is really easy to get around in a wheelchair (thanks to the lifts at almost every station).

    In Nikko, Toshogu is accessible right up to the temple. I stayed at the bottom of the steps (, but access up to there has been made easier by the ramp currently under construction, which avoids the first part of the climb up to the steps (you have to get the construction site gate opened).

    In Hakone, it is preferable to be helped to push the wheelchair, as the paths are very steep, just as in Tokyo to get up to the Tokyo Tower.

    Hope it helps, enjoy your travel to Japan.

    • Josh Grisdale

      June 2, 2024 at 12:45 pm

      Thank you for following up! Great to hear you enjoyed yourself 😄

      A new ramp at Toshogu? Did you happen to get a picture of it?

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