When most people think about Japan, their mind likely fills with images of bustling cities, serene temples and shrines, or Mount Fuji towering over fields as you zip across the country on the bullet train. But did you know that Japan is also home to palm trees, sandy beaches and crystal clear waters? Located in the seas between Kyushu and Taiwan, Okinawa is Japans most southern prefecture – a chain of hundreds of islands with a tropical climate and a unique history and culture.

Beach in Okinawa

Being made of hundreds of small islands, and not having the same railway infrastructure as the mainland, traveling in Okinawa provides a unique set of challenges for those with mobility challenges.

Rising up to meet those challenges is the Tourist Information Center for People with Disabilities and Seniors. The center offers assistance to seniors and people with disabilities, such as wheelchair users, those with visual and hearing impairments, those with developmental disabilities, as well as people with young children and foreign tourists to help them enjoy traveling in Okinawa with piece of mind.

Some of the services they offer include:

  • Provide information on accessible tourist attractions
  • Provide information on hotels with accessible rooms
  • Arrange accessible taxis
  • Arrange rent-a-cars
  • Provide information on wheelchair accessible restrooms
  • Help with dialysis travel
  • Provide information on multi-purpose restrooms with a sink for Ostomate
  • Help arrange assisted bathing
  • Rental service (wheelchairs, shower chairs, beach chairs, strollers etc)
Accessible rent-a-car

For most services, it is recommended that you get in touch in English via their inquiry form on their website in advance. But, they also have two locations you can visit them at – one in the arrivals area of Naha Airport, and one on Kokusai Street in downtown Naha.

Please check out their website and consider a future trip to Japan’s island paradise:
http://barifuri-okinawa.org/bfn/accessible_okinawa/about.html

Okinawa Accessible Travel Desk at Naha Airport

We also have an Okinawa forum on Accessible Japan and you can always ask for information or share things you find there as well.


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