As Japan is an Island country, most people will find themselves flying into one of several International Airports found across Japan. If you’re living with a disability, you may be wondering what challenges await you when you exit the plane. The short answer may be a pleasant surprise, but Accessible Japan wants you to be as well informed as possible. So, here is an in-depth look at the accessibility of four major International Airports serving the top three largest metropolitan areas within Japan.

Each of the airports are accompanied by its Airport Code (a simplified three-letter code used to identify an international airport), a Telephone number (you may need to use exit codes, and the country code for Japan if you are calling from outside Japan), website, a brief description, and a breakdown of useful information.

Haneda Airport International Terminal

(also known as Tokyo International Airport)

Airport Code: HND | Telephone: 03-6428-0888 | Website

Just outside Tokyo (located on the southeastern side of Japan’s main island, and the largest metropolitan area in Japan), serving mostly domestic and some international flights, this airport is the busiest airport in Japan. The beautiful main fairway of this airport serves as an easy access hub to the multiple levels of shops, dining options, and services provided within. With the shortest ride time to a Tokyo hotel, this airport may be ideal after a long flight. The following is a breakdown of additional information about this Airport:

  • Accessible toilets (multipurpose unisex restrooms)
  • Multiple elevators
  • Optional guided assistance to/from your flight
  • Wheelchairs available (various manual types; for use in the airport)
  • Writing boards
  • Electric cart pick-up
  • Parking lot spaces for people with disabilities
    (with discounted parking fees available with a Japanese disability ID)

(NOTE: to request these services you can contact your airline, call ahead, or see the nearest information counter or concierge).

Easy to navigate, dozens of shops, dozens of dining options, various services throughout the airport, very close to the center of Tokyo, and a variety of transportation options to/from the airport. The airports modifications and staff member training are centered around a universally accessible approach, the airport and staff live up to this concept extremely well, especially when you consider it’s one of the busiest airports in the world.

[Minimal to none]

Language barriers are very minimal, with multi-language written information and multilingual staff members (the official website supports Japanese, English, Korean, & Chinese).

No hoist for on-board transfers.

Approximately 30min. from Tokyo Station with easy access to trains/subways, taxi, and buses.

JapanTaxi type vehicles are available for manual wheelchair users but cannot fit power wheelchairs. Other accessible taxis require advanced reservations.

Airport Limousine Bus offers wheelchair-lift equipped accessible buses several times per day but require advanced reservation.

Subway and monorail trains connecting to the city are fully accessible.

http://www.haneda-airport.jp/inter/en/map/

In this link, provided by Haneda Airport International Terminal official website, you’ll find several maps of the Facilities (in Japanese & English), including a very detailed PDF file (that contains the majority of the Accessibility options listed in the section above, the print is small so you may wish to save it to a tablet/device with a zoom-in functionality if you cannot print them large enough). Even with a map in hand, new places can get you turned around, so if this happens, ask the staff for help and you will get prompt service to help you on your way.

http://www.haneda-airport.jp/inter/en/universal/

In this link, provided by Haneda Airport International Terminal official website, you’ll find many links to helpful information for “Visitors Needing Assistance.” This includes information for those living with disabilities that involve walking, vision, hearing, as well as those who are pregnant or elderly.

Narita International Airport

Airport Code: NRT | Telephone: 0476-34-8000 | Website

A little farther away from Tokyo then Haneda Airport, this Airport is the main the International Airport of Japan. Narita is a large airport and the concourse feels like it with high ceilings and vast open areas. It provides some domestic flights and acts as a hub for connecting flights to many other countries. More options (and, in turn, pricing competition) are available here for International travelers, making this an excellent choice for many people. Like Haneda, this airport has many shops and dining options throughout, so you’re sure to find something interesting to buy or eat if you find yourself here on an extended layover. The following is a breakdown of additional information about this Airport:

  • Accessible toilets (multipurpose unisex restrooms)
  • Multiple elevators
  • Optional guided assistance to/from your flight
  • Wheelchairs available (various manual types; for use in the airport)
  • Writing boards
  • Quiet rooms (in Domestic Terminal 1, 2, 3, and International Terminal 3)
  • Electric cart pick-up
  • Parking lot spaces for people with disabilities
    (with discounted parking fees available with a Japanese disability ID)

(NOTE: to request these services you can contact your airline, call ahead, or see the nearest information counter or concierge).

Easy to navigate, dozens of shops, dozens of dining options, various services throughout the airport, and a variety of transportation options to/from the airport. The airports modifications and staff member training are centered around a universally accessible approach, the airport and staff live up to this concept extremely well, especially when you consider it’s one of the busiest airports in the world.

[Minimal to none]

Language barriers are very minimal, with multi-language written information and multilingual staff members (the official website supports Japanese, English, Korean, & Chinese).

No hoist for on-board transfers.

By express train takes about 60 minutes, and 60-90 mins. by car (note: a taxi to Tokyo can very expensive).

Approximately 60 minutes via express train and 60-90 mins. by car to/from Tokyo Station.

JapanTaxi type vehicles may be available for manual wheelchair users but cannot fit power wheelchairs. Other accessible taxis require advanced reservations.

Airport Limousine Bus offers wheelchair-lift equipped accessible buses several times per day but require advanced reservation.

Trains (including the Narita Express and Keisei Skyliner) connecting to the city are fully accessible.

https://www.narita-airport.jp/en/map/official_guide/

In this link, provided by Narita International Airport Official Website, you’ll find several Floor Guide maps of the facilities (in Japanese & English), including a very detailed PDF files of each of the 3 terminals (that contains the majority of the Accessibility options listed in the section above, again the print is small so you may wish to save them to a tablet/device with a zoom-in functionality if you cannot print them large enough). Even with a map in hand, new places can get you turned around, so if this happens, ask the staff for help and you will get prompt service to help you on your way.

https://www.narita-airport.jp/en/bf

In this link, provided by Narita International Airport Official Website, you’ll find many links to helpful information for “Customers Requiring Assistance.” This includes information for those living with disabilities that involve walking, vision, hearing, as well as those who are pregnant or elderly.

Kansai International Airport

Airport Code: KIX | Telephone: 072-455-2500 | Website

Built on an Artificial-Island near Osaka (located on the south-central region of Japan’s main island, and the second largest metropolitan area in Japan), this airport is more condensed then Narita, and is the third busiest serving domestic and international flights. Its layout makes it a bit easier to navigate then Narita and the abundance of shops throughout can make for a quick and easy side trip prior to heading to your destination. Also, if you include the nearby Kobe Airport, you have a fair amount of options for domestic flights in this area. The following is a breakdown of additional information about this Airport:

  • Accessible toilets (multipurpose unisex restrooms)
  • Multiple elevators
  • Optional guided assistance to/from your flight
  • Wheelchairs available (various manual types; for use in the airport)
  • Writing boards
  • Parking lot spaces for people with disabilities
    (with discounted parking fees available with a Japanese disability ID)

(NOTE: to request these services you can contact your airline, call ahead, or see the nearest information counter or concierge).

Easy to navigate, dozens of shops, dozens of dining options, various services throughout the airport, and a variety of transportation options to/from the airport. The airports modifications and staff member training are centered around a universally accessible approach, the airport and staff live up to this concept extremely well, especially when you consider it’s one of the busiest airports in the world.

[Minimal]

Some accessible transportation may be limited, and a train will take 70 minutes to arrive at Osaka Station.

Language barriers are very minimal, with multi-language written information and multilingual staff members (the official website supports Japanese, English, Korean, & Chinese).

Approximately 70 minutes via train and 45 mins. by car to/from Osaka Station.

JapanTaxi type vehicles may be available for manual wheelchair users but cannot fit power wheelchairs. Other accessible taxis require advanced reservations.

Kansai International Airport Limousine Bus does not offers wheelchair-lift equipped accessible buses, though manual wheelchairs can be stored in the undercarriage if the rider can climb the steps up the bus.  Power wheelchair users are instructed to call the Airport Bus Center: 072-461-1374

Trains (including the Kansai-Airport Rapid Service and Kansai-Airport Express HARUKA) connecting to the city are fully accessible. HARUKA goes all the way to Kyoto.

https://www.kansai-airport.or.jp/en/map/

In this link, provided by Kansai International Airport official website, you’ll find maps of the Facilities (in English), including a very detailed PDF file (that contains the majority of the Accessibility options listed in the section above, again the print is small so you may wish to save it to a tablet/device with a zoom-in functionality if you cannot print them large enough). Even with a map in hand, new places can get you turned around, so if this happens, ask the staff for help and you will get prompt service to help you on your way.

https://www.kansai-airport.or.jp/en/service/bf

This link, provided by Kansai International Airport official website, you’ll find links to helpful information for “Visitors with Disabilities.” This includes information for those living with disabilities that involve walking, vision, hearing, as well as those who are pregnant or elderly.

Chubu Centrair International Airport

Airport Code: NGO | Telephone: 0569-38-1195 | Website

Also built on an artificial-Island, located near Nagoya (located on the central region of Japan’s main island, and the third largest metropolitan area in Japan), this condensed airport was built to make it quick and easy to get from check-in to your terminal. Like the other airports, this airport hosts a wide selection of shops and places to eat. Unlike the other airports, the shops are open to the public outside the security, acting almost like an indoor mall. This means the area may be crowded at times, and if you wanted to shop after passing security, your choices are much more limited. The following is a breakdown of additional information about this Airport:

  • Accessible toilets (multipurpose unisex restrooms)
  • Multiple elevators
  • Optional guided assistance to/from your flight
  • Wheelchairs available (various manual types; for use in the airport)
  • Writing boards
  • Parking lot spaces for people with disabilities
    (with discounted parking fees available with a Japanese disability ID)

Easy to navigate, Many Shops, Dozens of dining options, various Services throughout the Airport, and a variety of transportation options to/from the airport. The airports design and staff member training are centered around a universally accessible approach, the airport and staff live up to this concept extremely well. However, many of the shops and dining options are in a public area before going through security, this may then be considered a challenge if you wished to use these services after passing security.

[Minimal]

Some accessible transportation may be limited. Language barriers are very minimal, with multi-language written information and multilingual staff members (the official website supports Japanese, English, Korean, Chinese, & more!).

Approximately 30-40 mins. by train or car to/from Kanayama Station or Nagoya Station.

JapanTaxi type vehicles may be available for manual wheelchair users but cannot fit power wheelchairs. Other accessible taxis require advanced reservations.

Meitetsu Airport Limousine Bus does not offers wheelchair-lift equipped accessible buses, though manual wheelchairs can be stored in the undercarriage if the rider can climb the steps up the bus.

Trains (including the μ-SKY Limited Express) connecting to the city are fully accessible.

The high-speed ferry (to/from Tsu city) is accessible.

https://www.centrair.jp/en/services/floor_map/

In this link, provided by Chubu Centrair International Airport official website, you’ll find maps of the Facilities (in English), including a very detailed interactive map (that contains the majority of the Accessibility options listed in the section above). Even with a map in hand, new places can get you turned around, so if this happens, ask the staff for help and you will get prompt service to help you on your way.

https://www.centrair.jp/en/services/handicap/

This link, provided by Chubu Centrair International Airport official website, you’ll find links to helpful information “For Disable People – Services and Facilities.” This includes information for those living with disabilities that involve walking, vision, hearing, as well as those who are elderly.

Service Dogs and Medication

Those planning to bring service dogs will face many restrictions, please see this page for more information:  Guide Dogs.

Be aware that various drugs/medicines which are commonly available in other countries may be restricted in Japan. Please see this page for drug/medicine restrictions in Japan: Bringing Medicine.