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Kyoto 2 days with mum in wheelchair

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Wolverhampton...
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Kyoto 2 days with mum in wheelchair

Hi, I wonder if anyone could give us some advice as we will be travelling with my mum and she is in her wheelchair (she is able to walk but can only last for 5 mins or so). We will have to carry her in her wheelchair if there are any steps or stairs, 4 of us in total.

Day 1 - arrive in Kyoto at 6pm, will have a night walk in Gion area.

Day 2 – start at 9am, visit Kiyomizudera, walk along Higashiyama District & Path of Philosophy, then in the afternoon, Nishiki market, Nijo castle & Kinkaku-ji

Day 3 - Fushimi Inari Shrine in the morning then heading back to Tokyo in the afternoon

Any advice for the above itinerary? Would it be too heavy for us? Is it alright to visit Fushimi Inari with her? If not we might need to leave her on her own at some places or someone will have to accompany her, which is not ideal really :(.

Any comments will be appreciated, many thanks.

Derrick

Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: Kyoto 2 days with mum in wheelchair

I can only provide some comments - my experience was taking my father to Kyoto when he had some mobility issues. Kiyomizu and Fuhimi Inari involve walking up long hills, including stairs; it's not a matter of a few stairs. Theoretically I think you could take a taxi to the top of Kiyomizu, but I was never able to figure it out. Kinkakuji is easy to get in, but hard to circumvent, which is what most people do.

The popular sites on the Eastern side of Kyoto are all hilly; I encourage you to look at secondary sites that are flatter. There are a lot of relatively unknown temples and gardens that are quite exquisite; here are a few examples of ones that are relatively flat that I have first-hand experience (I am sure there are many more):

Tofukuji, Sanjyusangendoo, Murin-an garden, Nijo-jo, Kinkakuji, Arashiyama, Kennin-ji

Taxis are relatively affordable in Kyoto, so please give them a try.

Tokyo and California
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for Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Shinjuku, Japan
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2. Re: Kyoto 2 days with mum in wheelchair

GaijinMike gave you a good advice. Kiyomizu and Fushimi Inari are almost impossible with a wheelchair. Nishiki Market will be very hard too as it gets sushi packed very often.

As suggested, by Mike, go to sites that are relatively flat and use taxis whenever possible.

Tokyo, Japan
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3. Re: Kyoto 2 days with mum in wheelchair

Its also quite dangerous for wheelchair since Higashiyama is uphill & pretty steep hill / stairs. Since u did not mentioned travel date, do note that nowadays Kyoto is very tourist packed, so relatively difficult for you to plan in so many plcs if you move with an elder in wheelchair.

Another option is to join local travel plan to Kyoto, this will save time moving around for your group & well-known for service,believe tour guide will keep your mum company while u visit around, it also more comfortable for everyone

New Zealand
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4. Re: Kyoto 2 days with mum in wheelchair

While researching for my forthcoming trip to Japan, I found this page

higashiyama-kanko.jp/pickup/index_eng.html

which gives routes around Higashiyama for wheelchair users. It even has taxi access instructions for Kiyomizu.

Wolverhampton...
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5. Re: Kyoto 2 days with mum in wheelchair

hi guys, many thanks for your info, really appreciated. I gathered from your response that it would not be easy for us to visit those famous places in Kyoto with a wheelcair. We are going in the begining April, so Kyoto would be packed and crowded! I will need to re-plan our itinerary.

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: Kyoto 2 days with mum in wheelchair

Besides Kyoto, where were you planning on going? Combined with a trip to Nara, I think it is still doable as long as you have a good attitude to meet the challenges. My impression is that anywhere in Japan is not wheelchair friendly compared to the U.S. where I live (not sure about the UK).

Unfortunately I recommend skipping the hilly areas but there are plenty ofr attractions elsewhere in the city.

Nara, Japan
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7. Re: Kyoto 2 days with mum in wheelchair

Oh no, don’t think twice about hitting Higashiyama, which, IMO, is too nice to miss out on. Well, am not intending here to play devil's advocate; on the contrary, this is from the bottom of my heart:

Kiyomizu is a bit hard to access all right: cabs can’t take you all the way up to its vermillion gate like they used to. But it’s quite manageable for you to push a wheelchair from where you get off. Kiyomizu is becoming more and more wheelchair-friendly if you ask me: you get ushered in by the personnel stationed at the main hall gate that is used exclusively for handicapped visitors; once inside, small ramps are lined abreast of short stairs; there’s a restroom equipped for wheelchair users also. Take a look at Higashiyama Walk by JNTO in here:

tic.jnto.go.jp/eng-pdf/…

See a 3-fork from where the dotted line starts to swing north and thus makes a kinda like intersection? That’s where Sannenzaka Slope (flanked by colorful souvenir/curio shops and restaurants/cafes) makes its way down to Ninenzaka Slope and beyond, where the terrain becomes almost flat and the slope switches to another cobblestone-studded lane called Nene’s Road, which route takes you to Maruyama Park and father north. This is what we call Kiyomizu-Gion Corridor, a fun place for everyone to be.

No, I’m not suggesting you go through the long flight of stairs down there with someone in wheelchair. You may want to backtrack to where you’ve left a cab from so you can catch another here and ride to Nene’s Road detouring around the hill.

Um, not sure if you like this, but there’s a rickshaw company called Ebisuya, who have been running their business around here quite some time. See how they are in the rotating pics: http://www.ebisuya.com/

Their FAQ say they have some bilingual rickshaw boys available. Believe it or not, I do see them manage well at the slopes. Ask whether or not Yasuei Fujiwara is still around; he was a great bilingual rickshaw man, when/if you’re inclined to contact them.

Have a blast!!

Edited: 1:02 pm, February 22, 2013
Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: Kyoto 2 days with mum in wheelchair

You can enter Maruyama Park by road or from Chion-in. It is beautiful. Kyoto Botanical Gardens is good. Kyoto

Zoo is another idea and there you can see a'tanuki' or raccoon dog whom you see in statue form all over Kyoto carrying a sake barrel and wearing a hat. He stands outside man businesses to bring good luck.

Kiyomizudera is up a steep hill and is a killer without pushing a wheelchair !!!

Be careful in the narrow Gion streets at night. They are narrow and with vehicles around it is better to walk with a local guide if you don't know the area and don't speak Japanese Gion Corner accommodates wheelchairs and does cultural demonstrations every night. There are plenty of wheelchair taxis in Kyoto.

The word for wheelchair is kurumaisu the 'ai' is pronounced like 'eye'. 'Kuruma' means car and 'isu' means chair. It will be a good word to remember.

The tourist information centre at the Kyoto train station complex can help you a lot. There are lots of retired Japanese people who speak English and love to do volunteer guide work with the tourist info centre. You just pay their fares , entrance fees to places (usually not much) and buy their meals.

Please research all of this online. The more preparation you do now, the better it will be when you get there. Get good maps as well. You can always point to a place name that way.

The locals are friendly and polite and very helpful.

Wolverhampton...
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9. Re: Kyoto 2 days with mum in wheelchair

All, many thanks for all the valuable info, much appreciated!

10. Re: Kyoto 2 days with mum in wheelchair

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