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Tips for travelers with disabilities or wheelchairs in Kyoto: A guide to an accessible itinerary.

Where should I go? What should I do when traveling to Kyoto with a disability or wheelchair?


Traveling with a wheelchair or a handicap can be challenging, but with careful planning and preparation, it can be an enjoyable experience for everyone in your group. Here are some tips to help you plan and enjoy your trip, particularly in Kyoto.

One of the first things to do when planning a trip with a handicapped person is to research which places are accessible in Kyoto, such as temples and food markets. You can also call the hotel, restaurant, or tourist attraction to ask about their facilities for the handicapped. Hotels in Japan will most likely be able to speak English, but the staff at temples and shrines will struggle to communicate so make to do research beforehand!

When packing for a day trip, make sure to bring any necessary equipment such as a wheelchair, walker, or other mobility aids. Hotels may assist you in renting you certain equipments if you need.

When selecting the  hotel, make sure it has accessible rooms that are suitable for your needs. Look for features such as wider doorways, grab bars in the bathroom, and roll-in showers. Some hotels may also offer additional services such as wheelchair rentals or shuttle services. Try emailing them to see if they can accommodate your needs.

If you plan on renting a car, look for a rental company that offers wheelchair-accessible vehicles. These vehicles are designed with special features such as a lowered floor, ramp or lift, and tie-downs to secure the wheelchair. A spacious vehicle will definitely be the safer option, but be aware that some streets in Kyoto are extremely narrow so driving a large car may require excellent driving skills.

Consider using a travel agent or a tour guide who specializes in handicapped travel if you’re unsure about how to plan your trip. They can help you plan your itinerary, book accessible restaurants, and arrange for any necessary equipment.

It’s always important to be prepared for emergencies, especially when traveling with someone who has special needs. Make sure you have a plan in place in case of an emergency, such as a medical emergency or a breakdown of equipment.

Finally, remember to be patient and understanding. Traveling in Japan can be challenging due to the language barrier, but it can also be a rewarding experience. With the right planning and preparation, you can have a wonderful trip and create lasting memories.


Here are some handicap accessible spots in Kyoto:
  1. Kiyomizu-dera Temple: One of Kyoto’s most famous temples, Kiyomizu-dera is equipped with wheelchair accessible ramps and restrooms.
  2. Nijo Castle: This UNESCO World Heritage site is wheelchair accessible with designated parking spots and ramps.
  3. Kyoto Tower: The observation deck of this popular tourist attraction is wheelchair accessible.
  4. Kyoto National Museum: The museum has a wheelchair rental service and is equipped with accessible restrooms and ramps.
  5. Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine: This famous shrine has wheelchair accessible paths to the lower levels.
  6. Arashiyama Bamboo Grove: The pathways through the bamboo grove are flat and easily accessible by wheelchair.
  7. Nishiki Market: The market has wheelchair accessible entrances and restrooms.
  8. Gion District: The streets of Gion are flat and easy to navigate by wheelchair.
  9. Togetsukyo Bridge: The bridge has a wheelchair accessible pathway.
  10. Sanjusangendo Temple: The temple has wheelchair accessible ramps and restrooms.


Kyoto is known to be a handicap-friendly city to visit due to its efforts to improve accessibility in recent years. The city has implemented various measures to make its tourist attractions, public transportation, and accommodations more accessible for people with disabilities.

One of the key features of Kyoto’s handicap accessibility is its public transportation system. Many buses and subway stations have elevators, ramps, and other accessible features. In addition, the Kyoto City Bus company has introduced a “Kyoto City Easy Access Bus” that is designed specifically for people with disabilities. The bus has a low floor, a ramp for wheelchair users, and ample space for mobility aids.

Kyoto also has many tourist attractions that are wheelchair accessible, including temples, gardens, and museums. Many of these attractions have made improvements to their facilities to accommodate people with disabilities, such as installing ramps and wider doorways.

Furthermore, Kyoto has a growing number of hotels and accommodations that are designed with accessibility in mind. Many of these hotels have rooms with wider doorways, grab bars in the bathroom, and roll-in showers. Some hotels also offer wheelchair rentals and shuttle services.

Overall, Kyoto’s efforts to improve accessibility have made it a more welcoming city for people with disabilities. The city’s public transportation system, tourist attractions, and accommodations have been designed with accessibility in mind, making it easier for people with disabilities to enjoy the city’s rich culture and history.

Enjoy your trip!

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