If so, take a moment to read this blog and plan your trip accordingly.
Yes, there are one or two seats designated for wheelchairs on every Shinkansen. Additionally, JR station staff can assist you in boarding and disembarking from the Shinkansen, but it's advisable to request this assistance in advance.
You can book:
- a seat for a wheelchair
- a place in the very last row of cabins
for your trip.
It depends on your wheelchair types and size.
So please check the wheelchair conditions you can bring on Shinkansen.
If your wheelchair is foldable with dimensions totaling no more than 250 cm (height + width + length limited to 2 meters), you can choose a reserved seat at the last row seat and place your wheelchair behind the seat.
Or if your wheelchair is NOT foldable and the size is within the regulation*, the seat for a wheelchair and place your wheelchair next to your seat would be good for you.
*Please note that the regulation for wheelchairs on the Shinkansen restricts them to dimensions of 120 cm (length or height) and 70 cm (width).
If you have a handle-type electric wheelchair (and it meets size regulations), you might be able to book a multi-purpose room depending on the Shinkansen company (e.g., JR Central, JR East, JR West, JR Kyushu, or JR Hokkaido). Check the company's conditions for more details.
You can find more accessibility details for each Shinkansen on the following pages:
- JR Central Official page for mobility scooter users (English)
- JR East Official page for Accessibility (English)
- JR West Official page for Accessibility (English)
* JR Hokkaido and JR Kyushu don't have this kind of pages in English.
When you decide to take the Shinkansen for your trip, you can reserve your seats by:
During your visit or call, you'll be asked for details like your travel date, route, desired train name/number (if any), number of tickets, wheelchair type, need for station assistance, ticket delivery preference, contact information, transit details, and more.
Though most of the wheelchair tourists from abroad visit JR Ticket Offices directly and book their seats for a wheelchair after they arrive in Japan, do you think it is convenient and feel better for you if you can reserve your seats before you leave home by phone?
Of course, yes!
But, as you can see in the following contact list, only JR East has a contact for English speakers (others have only contacts for Japanese speakers). So if you are planning to visit the eastern part of Japan (such as Sendai, Akita, Yamagata, Iwate, or Fukushima), you can call them and book your seat.
Here is a contact list.
- JR East: JR East Info Line (English)
- JR Central: JR Central Contact List (Japanese)
- JR West: JR West Contact (Japanese)
- JR Kyushu: JR Kyushu Contact (Japanese)
- JR Hokkaido: JR Hokkaido Contact (Japanese)
Just contact us!!
If you feel stressed with all the processes you should do to reserve your seats, you should contact us!
Please contact us (Shinkansen-Ticket.com) once you decide to visit Japan in your wheelchair!
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