There are mainly 4 ways to move around Japan.
2 Shinkansen (Bullet train/Super express train)
In this page, I will explain 1 Shinkansen (Bullet train/Super express train) from a standpoint of accessibility below.
Shinkansen is a super express train/ bullet train.
There are mainly two type of tickets.
1 Non-reserved seat
2 Open seat
The price depends on how far you will go, 2 Open seat is more expensive than Non-reserved seat by around 320 yen to 1,340 yen.
※Some Shinkansen have exclusive seat.
For instance, Nozomi, the name of Shinkansen, has “Green-sha(グリーン車)”.
Green-sha have comfortable seats. The price of the ticket is a little expensive.
multipurpose room（多目的室:Tammokuteki-shitsu. ）
You can use multipurpose room, universally designed room, by reserving in advance. We call the multipurpose room 多目的室(Tammokuteki-shitsu.) You can reserve the room one month before you use, but you need to make a call on them directly or go to JR ticket office. If you do not reserve the room for wheelchair in advance, you might have to wait over a few hours.
Seats for wheel chairs
Sinkansen has some seats for wheelchairs. You also can reserve the seats one month before you use, but you need to make a call on them directly or go to JR ticket office. If you do not reserve the seats for wheelchair in advance, you also might have to wait over a few hours.
Other way is to use the train coupling part, which is like a wide aisle and has bathrooms and entrances. If you are OK to use the area, you can use the area without reservation.
Asking the train staff if they can help you is necessary. There are gaps between the train and platform, and some entrance is too small to allow you getting on the train. Telling the train staff that you need help, so that you would not encounter any problems.
The way of getting on Shinkansen
The way of getting on Shinkansen is the same as that of the trains I described. (Refer to Transportation – train- )
The different points are shown below.
〇Reserving the seats in advance is recommended.
〇The train cars that you would use might be designated.
The official cautions are below. (Reference is JR East)
available electric wheelchairs
・Wheelchairs that can be brought on board must be no more than 120 cm in length/height and no more than 70 cm in width.
・When you use the train cars having decks, the electric wheelchairs must be able to turn around 180 degrees at the aisle whose width is within 180 cm. You also must be able to turn at the right angle corner whose width is 90 cm by five times and turn at the right angle corner whose width is 100 cm without cutting the wheels.
Passengers using wheelchairs are requested to approach a station staff member. The staff member will escort you to the platform and help you get on or off the train.
If you use a wheelchair, you may not be able to board the train depending on the type of wheelchair you use, the train you wish to ride and the station. So be sure to check with us before you buy your ticket.
Wheelchairs that can be brought on board must be no more than 120 cm in length/height and no more than 70 cm in width.
It may take some time to escort you to the platform, so please come to the station a little early.
* Please call us for more detailed information.
・Station staffs help you and put a board over the gap between the train and platform to get on/off the train.
・Please move around by yourself. Speed of the wheelchair must be slower than 2 km/hr and follow the instruction from the station staff. ・Please do not use the undecided route. Please be careful to the other passengers and facilities.
・Please apply the brakes on the platform. Please keep certain space from the edge of the platform and park your wheelchair parallely to the rail ways so as not to fall own to the rail ways.
・If something trouble to the train and/or the time you use the train is crowded, you might not be able to use it. We apologize previously.
Please refer to “旅客営業規則” of other rules.
(The available station)
・You just can use the electric wheelchair in the case that the stations you use are accessible. (The station you transfer the train should be accessible as well.)
・Please reserve the seats/room from one month at 10 AM to 2 days before you use the train.
・When you use the train, you need to tell the station staff at the station you start travelling that you will use the wheelchair. They make sure the condition of the trains and stations.