Shinkansen Green Car Question

  • Shinkansen Green Car Question

    Posted by Archie on November 17, 2023 at 12:09 pm

    Hi all! To celebrate my graduating, my family and I are planning a trip to Japan in 2024 around Mid November (Will probably ask a few more questions in the future in this group :P)

    We intend to use the bullet train to get to different parts of the country but we’re a bit lost regarding some of the accessibility protocols there.

    We know about the general protocols such as reserved and unreserved seating, as well as going to the “Green Ticket Window” to tell the drivers of your accessibility needs.

    However, my family and I would like to sit in the ‘Green Car’ section on some of our longer trips.

    I’m an ambulatory wheelchair user so I can use my crutches to walk short distances and to transfer to and from seats. As for leaving/storing my wheelchair, I usual a manual wheelchair that doesn’t fold up so, but is generally small, taking about “1 seat’s” worth of an area.

    Sadly, from the information I’ve gathered so far, it seems as if this may be impossible.

    Hoping to get some advice if there is a way we can make this request work.

    Josh Grisdale replied 7 months, 1 week ago 3 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • Josh Grisdale

    November 17, 2023 at 12:45 pm

    Sounds like an exciting trip! Please feel free to ask as many questions as you want!

    I actually used the Green Car for the first time a few months ago when I went to Karuizawa. There was wheelchair seating in the regular reserved area and the Green Car as well.

    The thing is, there is no one “Shinkansen”. Even though it is Japan Rail, the company was broken up into several regional companies, so the train lines are different. On top of that there are different types of Shinkansen trains running on each line. So, I guess I’m trying to say there is no easy answer 😛

    You can look up the train you want to take (ie the train running from Tokyo to Osaka at 11:56 is a … model) and then look at the seating map for that model and it will show where accessible seating is, where the Green Car is etc…

    So, it is very likely possible to use the Green Car.

    Unfortunately, not all models will have an accessible Green Car seat and the local green cars (private seat on a double-decker train carriage) don’t have accessible seating.

    If you are paying cash for each ride on a case by case basis, go for it! If you are planning on using the JR Pass, it gets a bit tricky since you may pay for the extra cost of the Green Car version but not be able to use it on some lines…

    But, if you check out all the routes/models in advance you could see if it might be worth it.

    Also, if you can fold your wheelchair, you could put it in the deck without complaint I thing since they do that with baby strollers etc.

    Hope this helps!

  • bram

    November 18, 2023 at 2:55 pm

    hai Josh

    where we can search about info seating plan in sinkhansen?

    and if from tokyo to narita airport use narita express, is there any wheelchair spot to? my wheelchair cant’t fold -up

    thanks ^^

  • Josh Grisdale

    November 19, 2023 at 12:29 am

    I’m not sure if there is a specific site, but once you get the train name from Google Maps for your route, usually searching for something like “nozomi seating chart” etc often brings it up. Even better is to use the Japanese for seating chart, 座席表. If you get stuck, you can ask us here too 🙂

    Here is general info on that train:

    Last time I rode it was like 15 years ago, so I had to look it up, but it seems there are spaces on cars 5 and 11.

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