Concerned about wheelchair accessibility when riding the Shinkansen?
Take a moment to explore this blog for insights to help plan your trip smoothly.
In the past, the number of dedicated wheelchair seats on each Shinkansen was extremely limited, typically around two seats per train.
However, in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics scheduled for 2020 (which ultimately became a spectator-less event...), efforts were made to increase the number of wheelchair seats to approximately 10 per Shinkansen.
This enhancement has created a more accessible environment for individuals using wheelchairs to travel on the Shinkansen.
JR station staff offers valuable assistance for a seamless Shinkansen experience when boarding and disembarking for wheelchair users. Their support includes guiding through station facilities, providing ramp or elevator assistance during boarding, and ensuring a safe exit from the train.
To optimize this assistance, it is highly advisable to proactively request help in advance, allowing staff to cater to specific needs and ensuring a comfortable and efficient journey.
You have two booking options:
Your choice depends on your wheelchair's type and size, so make sure to check the allowed dimensions for Shinkansen travel.
For non-foldable wheelchairs meeting regulations* (max dimensions of 120 cm in length or height and 70 cm in width), consider reserving a designated wheelchair seat and placing your wheelchair next to yours.
*Note: Wheelchair regulations on the Shinkansen restrict dimensions to 120 cm (length or height) and 70 cm (width).
If your foldable wheelchair fits within 250 cm (height + width + length limited to 2 meters), you can reserve a seat in the last row and stow your wheelchair behind it.
For detailed accessibility information on each Shinkansen, visit the following pages:
You can reserve your seats by:
Although many wheelchair tourists visit JR Ticket Offices upon arrival, reserving seats by phone before leaving home can be more convenient.
JR Central and JR East have an English-speaking contact.
However, making a sudden call to an unfamiliar railway company in a foreign country to reserve wheelchair-accessible seats might be quite challenging.
In such situations, feel free to reach out to us.
We'll happily arrange your seats and deliver them to your preferred location in Japan or abroad.
Contact us at Shinkansen-Ticket.com when you're ready to explore Japan with ease!
Regular seats used on Reserved cars and Unreserved cars of Shinkansen. Consider it as "economy class" seat.
Better seats with more space than ordinary seats. All Green Seats are reserved only. Consider it as "business class" seats.
Your seat is reserved and secured when you book your tickets. Head to the station with a peace of mind.
Seats are the same as Ordinary Seat.
Better seats and free blankets. Popular among Japanese business persons, executives and people who
Know as "First Class" of Shinkansen seats. Only available on Hokuriku and Tohoku Shinkansen lines.
You can take any open seats in unreserved cars of any train on the departure date. (No departure time will be indicated on your tickets.)
The best seat type if your priority is the cost and are traveling during less-crowded season/time.
For further information and photos, please visit official page at http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/ticket/types.html