Walking Impaired in Japan

  • Walking Impaired in Japan

    Posted by Nathan on September 14, 2022 at 7:12 am

    Hi! My wife as some neurological issues that come and go seemingly without rhyme or reason. The doctors aren’t sure yet what it is, but needless to say, my wife has been waiting for this trip for 2 years, we aren’t going to let it stop us. I searched on here a bit and didn’t find any posts dealing with this exactly.

    I have been to Japan many times and am familiar with many of the ways Japan is already setup for accessibility and where it lacks. https://www.accessible-japan.com/ is also a great resource.

    So here is my conundrum.

    My wife probably can’t walk long distances, or if she does, there will be rough consequences. But at the same time, she is not wheelchair bound. But there will be times where her body just can’t do it and she must sit. Somedays she may start that way, others it won’t happen until later in the day.

    She does not want to be stuck in a wheelchair for the entire trip. In my mind, I would like to keep her in one except when we reach shrines, or restaurants or venues etc. Then she can use her energy AT the locations instead of getting TO the locations.

    I think she’s going to balk at this, so any suggestions on the best way to handle a person who only needs a wheelchair part time?

    I don’t want to lug it around, but she’ll definitely need it at some point. I’ve seen the foldable transport chairs, but those aren’t really good for all day stuff. But they are light and could be conveniently carried with us possibly.

    Thanks for any insights in advance!

    – Nathan

    Nathan replied 1 year, 7 months ago 4 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • Josh Grisdale

    September 14, 2022 at 10:07 am

    Hi there!

    So, the ideal option would be to have on-the-spot wheelchair rental/lending…

    In general, rentals are for a set period and getting a rental company to deliver a wheelchair for the day would be difficult.

    However, there are some possibilities we could explore.

    Have a wheelchair ready to go when needed at your hotel

    Obviously, this will only help if your wife is feeling she needs the wheelchair before you leave your hotel in the morning.

    You could rent a wheelchair for the duration of your stay in each city, keep the wheelchair folded up in your room and take it or leave it as needed.

    Some hotels have wheelchairs available, so you may want to ask the hotels you plan on using if they have a wheelchair available. You will also need to ask if it is OK to use it for day trips as they may have one, but for using at the hotel only.

    Using wheelchairs at your destination

    A lot more tourist attractions are offering wheelchairs to visitors. So, you could try to find out if the places you plan to visit have wheelchairs available in advance and schedule around that. ie lump together the locations without wheelchairs at the destination and rent a wheelchair just those days.

    We can work together to find this information if you let us know the places you intend to visit (likely best as separate discussions).

    Work with a travel company

    If you work with a travel company like @ohayotravel they could maybe help come up with a schedule and transportation to help get you around with support when needed.

    Let’s keep this discussion going! You have been waiting for 2 years – you deserve an awesome vacation!

  • Nathan

    September 14, 2022 at 4:00 pm

    Thank you very much! I’ll be looking into some of this and will return with what we decide to go with.

  • Nathan

    September 15, 2022 at 10:04 am

    If I wanted to rent a wheelchair for the entire time I was in Japan, Nov 18th to the 28th. What would that run me?

  • Mr.Marsh

    October 15, 2022 at 3:04 pm

    I suffer similar issues and cannot bear excessive walking. Your wife may want to consider using a wheelchair for the mundane(trains, subway) and save her strength for the destinations, which may be more difficult to access via wheelchair.

  • Nathan

    October 26, 2022 at 1:22 pm

    Thank you so much for you insights Mr. Marsh. That is our plan. Keeping her in a wheelchair as much as possible to keep her energy levels reserved for attractions

  • Suecro

    November 3, 2022 at 11:07 am

    When is your trip? I’m in the same position as your wife, I recently discovered (and bought) an efoldi lite mobility scooter from England which has given me so much freedom. When I’m not using it it can be easily folded into a neat package and pulled along like a two wheeled suitcase, easier than transporting an empty wheelchair.

    I’ve used it around Australia, love the independence it gives me. My Japan trip is in March 2023, I’m expecting it to be a game changer. Not cheap but my best investment ever.

  • Nathan

    November 6, 2022 at 12:52 am

    We are travelling later this month (Late Nov). We are renting a wheelchair that I can push her in for this trip. We don’t have the time or money to get something like the eFoldi right now, but it looks fantastic!

    Thank you for the information and we will keep it in mind for the future!

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