questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

kansai (osaka, kyoto and nara) and accessiblity

Kansai (Osaka, Kyoto and Nara) and accessiblity

Hi, we're planning on visiting in October and will be "hanging out" at the Osaka, Kyoto and Nara area only. Would we still be in need of a JR Pass? We are not booked with any tour groups, preferring to move at our own pace, visiting the sites.

Also, my husband uses a walking aid for balance (we'll be bringing along a portable chair) - would it be easy or convenient for him to move around on the trains and buses or should we hire a taxi or a private guide to help us more around? If the latter, would it be very expensive?

Thanks much in advance, Esther.

Esther
Esther

Hi there!

If you're travelling within kansai then I recommend you look at individual tickets or the Kansai Thru Pass, which will cover non-JR trains, metro and bus services within each of the cities you mention.

In general subway access for users of walking aids is very well catered for in Japan, however buses will have steps that are harder to navigate. I think in general you will find it ok to use the public transport systems, however nothing will be as easy as using taxi or private guides. I'm not sure about the cost of personal guides, but I would have thought that a mixture of subway, train and taxi as needed would be enough for you to travel between destinations. You can budget on somewhere between ¥500-1500 per taxi ride depending on distance.

Hope this helps!

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mari
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Thanks very much! It helps and is comforting to know we'll do okay :)

Esther
Esther

Not a problem!

You may also like to know that there are rules on providing 'barrier free' access to all new buildings in Japan, and in cases where the building is old and cannot be retrofitted there is usually direct assistance if needed. You may also like to learn more about JR accessibility online.

Hope this helps!

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mari
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