Home Page Forums General Discussion genkan access

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  • #6168


    My wife and I will be staying in Kyoto for 10 months starting April 1.  I use a manual wheelchair.  We have found a good house to stay in, but it has the raised step at entrance, with a lower level and a step inside the house.  Since we are there for a long term, I was wondering whether there are any simple solutions for wheelchair access, apart from having a second wheelchair at the raised level.

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  • #6169


    I would be interested to hear others opinions.  I also use a manual wheelchair and visited Japan prior to my disability.  One unit I rented on AirBnb had a small step but the host family I stayed with had a massive step.   I do wonder how every day Japanese deal with this issue.  Sadly a second wheelchair would not be a valid solution for me because I do not have the ability to transfer such large vertical distances.

    I will watch your thread closely to see what you find out :)

  • #6170



    Steps… they’re everywhere here!

    If you are staying longer term and register for a Japanese Amazon account, there are a number of options you can buy ranging from ¥1500 to ¥x0,000 for every situation: https://amzn.to/39QLXFY

    Alternatively, many home centers offer ramps to be used by cars at curbs (like these: https://www.cainz.com/shop/goods/search.aspx?search.x=x&category=729008), but could easily be put at your door.  They aren’t to expensive and can be bought and brought home right away.  They also often have wood for sale and you could have a piece cut to the size you want by the staff at many stores.

    You don’t need to give an exact address, but if you let us know a station name, we could try to find you some nearby home centers.

    As for how genkan steps are normally dealt with, I’m not sure there is one easy answer as it would depend on level of disability etc.  I am seeing more ramps recently, and the city you are living in can cover some renovation costs.  I know others who would leave their wheelchair outside and scoot around on the floor (Japan is a tatami floor-culture, so it is not weird to sit on the floor).  For those with power wheelchairs, either special accessible apartments (without steps) are available, though rare.  Also, if you are buying a house or condo, you can renovate to remove the step.

    Hope this helps!

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