【Special Service &Tips】Japan Travel Guide for Tourists with Disability

Useful information that helps you when traveling in Japan with disability... Let's enjoy comfort trip with special services and tips!
Tips to Travel in Japan with Disability
Special Treatment
Some facilities have special discount on admission for guests with disability, so we highly recommend you to check it on their official websites prior to your visit. There could be some discounts for parking fee as well.
Comfortable Travel for Tourists with Disability
Many of the major travel agencies offer Accessible Tourism program and have customer service centers. You can plan your own trip with specialists who know well about barrier-free facilities and hotels that are friendly for the guests with disabilities and/or the elderly.

Some bus tour companies, such as Hato Bus, offer tours with accessible buses depending on the program so that the guests with disabilities can join and enjoy the tour on their wheelchairs. Some tours (either a half day or full day program) are planned to enjoy scenery mainly from windows without getting off the bus so that you do not need to walk around much. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the tour with a friendly, expert guide!

Hato Bus: https://www.hatobus.co.jp
Tips for Transportation
Flight / Airport
There are various services to support guests with disabilities according to their different needs in the airport. For example, you can ask for a wheelchair and assistance by airport staffs and flight attendants. If you contact them in advance to ask for supports according to your situation, your transfer will be much smoother and easier.

JAL Priority Guest Support: https://www.jal.co.jp/jalpri/
ANA's Sky Assist: https://www.ana.co.jp/ja/jp/serviceinfo/share/assist/
Train Station
Most stations have elevators to help the elderly and people with disabilities, but some stations might not. Feel free to ask station staff the elevator's location or the best route to your destination.
If you use a wheelchair, staff can help you with staircases and setting a slope to get on and off the train. You can receive the same service at the station you get off if you tell the staff which station to go. Similar supports are available when you take the buses too.

Some stations have stair-lifts or escalators that can secure a wheelchair as well.
Major JR stations and subway stations have safety gates on platforms to prevent accidents.
Both trains and buses have priority seats for the people who are elderly, with disabilities, expectant mother, and infants.
Train platforms usually have a sign of Priority Seating on the floor. You can wait at the sign and smoothly enter a car that has priority seats.
Tips to Use Bathroom
Western Style (洋式)/Japanese Style(和式) Toilets Use
You might see two types of toilets in Japan, Western style (universal, sit-down toilet) and Japanese style (squat toilet). Western style toilets would be better and recommended if you think it will be difficult to squat by yourself. For your information, there are Western style accessible bathrooms called multi-purpose bathroom as well.
Multi-purpose Bathroom (Accessible Bathroom)
Large facilities, public facilities, and stations usually have multi-purpose bathrooms that are large enough to get in with a wheelchair. These bathrooms would be helpful for those who are elderly or with infants as well.
Multi-purpose bathrooms are equipped with folding bed, stretcher lift, handrails and so on to make them more accessible and convenient. A mirror is set with a better angle and height for users with a wheelchair. Different ways of flushing are offered to accommodate people with different disabilities. You can call for help with an emergency button in case you have any trouble in the bathroom.
Other Facilities
Art Museum, Science Museum, Zoos, and Parks
Some entertainment facilities have discount for those with disability certificates from foreign countries. In addition, many facilities offer wheelchair rental service.
Most of them have slopes and elevators; however, they are sometimes difficult to find. Feel free to ask for assistance by the staffs.
For your information, small parks may not have a multi-purpose bathroom.
Restaurant, Supermarket, and Department Store
Most restaurants, supermarkets, and department stores have multi-purpose bathrooms and elevators, which make everyone comfortable to move around and enjoy their visit.
Accommodation and Onsen
There are many hotels designed to be barrier-free with rooms that have slopes, handrails, sliding doors, and no step. Recently, more and more hotels are offering bathroom and onsen that are more accessible. Some hotels even have private bathrooms as well. Check with your hotel for more detailed information.