MemberFebruary 12, 2018 at 11:02 pm
(Sorry in advance for the long text, but i thought i need to explain our situation first)
we are visiting Tokyo in October – November 2018.
We means my wife (she is blind since 5 years) and me (i have a mild form of Aspergers). We live in Switzerland.
We both speak German and Spanish. I am able to speak French and English too.
Together we are learning Japanese since 2.5 years. Not very fast learning. We have only the -masu and -te form until now. Dictionary form will come this summer the teacher said.
We would like to see the city of Tokyo, we have various spots we would like to visit.
We have booked an Apartment for 5 weeks.
Depending on my condition maybe its possible to decide within the stay to explore another city too.
Normally i only travel by car, because i get nervous among people in public transportation.
But i dont think that would be a good idea for Tokyo. We plan to have SUICA Cards and use trains a lot.
I heard that in Japan people are good organised so it should be easier for me to travel by train.
We plan to visit Tokyo since last october.
Since then i have checked various resources and i was in contact with the local embassy of Japan here, but still i got no tips about how we could make our stay better.
So i came across the youtube video “Travelling With a Physical Disability in Japan”.
In Switzerland we got a guide dog for my wife (which we wont take to Japan) and we got a disability card for trains and buses. So we can ride trains or buses by paying just one ticket and get the caretaker a free ride. Also we have our dog, or the cane, or a “wristband” to show people that my wife is blind.
For Tokyo we dont have a clue how it should work.
If its like i think, that everything is strictly organised and enter/leaving trains has to be a fast process i am a little afraid.
So (finally) my question:
Is there something like a “disabled” SUICA to get train discount like we have in Switzerland?
Is there something to show the staff that i need to guide my wife, because she really sees nothing (everything black, no brightness/darkness)
Or is there anything else that could help us?
Is there anything we should know for visiting restaurants?
I found something about Daredemo Toire, so we will try to find them.
Is there an App for that? In Switzerland and most middle-Europe we have “Eurokey” Toilets for the disabled, it means that you need that special key and this key works on every such toilet. And theres an app to find those toilets on the map.
Is there anything else we need to know or something we could prepare before we travel?
Sorry again for the long text and i hope its enough structured, sometimes i think so much and i cant write down that properly.
I hope you can help me.
AdministratorFebruary 13, 2018 at 11:23 am
Hi @retoj, thanks for the message!
For your questions:
- Unfortunately, you may get a discount at tourist locations – but you cannot get a discount for train or bus. I believe this is because the extra cost is paid by taxes and is therefore a benefit for citizens only… Here is some information: https://www.accessible-japan.com/japan-disability-discounts/
- I don’t think you need to worry about showing anything to station staff for your wife. Do you have a special card to show she has a disability? If so you could show that.
- I think that for visiting restaurants you should be OK. Many staff speak English and you can try out your Japanese! Usually the problem with restaurants is steps / poor wheelchair accessibility.
- There used to be an app for finding toilets, but it has not been updated for years. There are two general accessibility apps you can try:
Bmaps – https://www.accessible-japan.com/bmaps-award-winning-accessibility-info-app-anyone-without-disability/
WheeLog! – https://www.accessible-japan.com/wheelog-an-accessibility-app-for-japan-and-the-world/
- No key is needed for the accessible toilets. You can almost always find one at train/subway stations, parks, and department stores.
You may also want to read some guest posts on our blog from an autistic visitor and a blind visitor:
- British Asian Autistic YouTuber – Savan in Japan! – https://www.accessible-japan.com/british-asian-autistic-youtuber-savan-in-japan/
- Traveling in Japan with a Visual Impairment – https://www.accessible-japan.com/traveling-japan-visual-impairment/
Hope this helps!
MemberFebruary 14, 2018 at 12:55 am
Hello <span class=”handle-sign”>@</span>AccessibleJapan
Thank you for taking time to reply.
The discount part i understand completely. Thank you for mentioning that.
What do we do if we have to enter or leave train and i have to guide my wife.
How does something like this work in Japan? What if we are not fast enough?
Unfortunately in Switzerland theres only a card that shows that you get “disability pension” and with that card you get discounts in Switzerland.
In the case of my wife theres no such card, because she doesnt receive “disability pension” and so we dont get any discount. Nowhere.
What we have is the public transportation card, that allows us to travel with the dog and the caregiver and her with one ticket. Thats it.
No else legitimation we got. Thats why i ask so much time in advance. If there would be a chance to get something like a card for her that would be good i think.
Attached is a photo i found on the web of this armwrist she has. We bought this one in Austria (because Switzerland has nothing like that). This we could use?
Stairs for us is no problem, as long as she can walk behind me and touch me while walking, so she knows if it goes upstairs/downstairs.
The Problem at the restaurant would more be finding the toilet, so i need to help her with that. As she sees nothing i take her to mens toilet in Switzerland.
Is there any problem doing this in Japan?
Thanks too for the 2 links to guest posts, i will go and read them now.
PS: would be cool to meet you in person when we are in Tokyo.
AdministratorFebruary 14, 2018 at 11:32 am
I don’t think you will need to worry too much about rushing into the train. If you are concerned, you may want to get on/off the train at the front so you are near the conductor. They will see you and you can be sure they will not leave with you half-way in/out.
As for the toilets, if you are going in with your wife, I sujjest you use the daredemo toilet (accessible toilet). They are located near the regular toilets and are private, so you can enter together. Here is more info:
Sure, we can meet up. Send a private message when it gets closer to the date you visit.
MemberFebruary 14, 2018 at 4:38 pm
thank you again for replying.
The article with the Daredemo Toire i read through.
I will send a private message then. Thankyou.
MemberFebruary 14, 2018 at 10:02 pm
i just searched for the bmaps application.
It is not available in the PlayStore of Switzerland.
Thats not good…
Is there a chance they will allow the download?
Switzerland is an island. we dont get anything here in app stores or movie services. 🙁
Hope you can help.
Thankyou and greetings from the island 🙂
AdministratorFebruary 14, 2018 at 10:08 pm
I’m not sure… you could try changing your Google Play Store maybe?
Or use the PC version.
Sorry, I don’t use Android…
MemberFebruary 14, 2018 at 10:11 pm
Do you know the developer?
They could change it.
To allow downloads in our country.
Its like Apple Store.
MemberFebruary 14, 2018 at 10:21 pm
i just wrote them, lets see what they do.
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