Home Page Forums Areas of Japan Other Areas How accessible is Hakone, Kanazawa, Wakayama and Shirakawa Go?

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  • #5289



    We have currently been looking at Hakone, Kanazawa, Wakayama and Shirakawa Go as a get-away area where we could stay and relax (before that we are staying in Kyoto and Tokyo).

    We considered to travel to Okinawa but decided not to, and are now instead looking for areas that is more nature like (mountains, forests, beach-like etc.) which it seems Japan has plenty of. A place with less sightseeing and more relaxed atmosphere.

    If you have any get-away areas you have enjoyed feel free to give out recommendations that are wheelchair friendly.


  • Author
  • #5290



    Have you considered Karuizawa?

  • #5297


    Sorry, the rest of my reply got cut off.

    The biggest challenge in these areas is transportation.  For example, getting to Shirakawa-go requires an inaccessible highway bus (need to climb steps).  Though accessible taxis can be arranged for most locations.

    Karuizawa is nice, as is Hakone (if you get off the main tourist route).

  • #5298


    You may also want to check out this post on Shirakawa-go:


  • #5300



    I’ve been to Shirakawa-go, Kanazawa and Hakone. I would also consider including Takayama, while you go to Shirakawa-go. Actually, I did Osaka-Kanazawa-Shirakawa-go-Takayama-Osaka on a three day trip. I was based in Osaka, so the route was convenient, but it can also be done from or to Tokyo or Kyoto.

    As Accessible Japan mentioned, the only problem with Shirakawa-go is getting there, as the buses are not wheelchair accessible (unless you can climb stairs and put the wheelchair in the trunk of the bus). On my Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/joan_pahisa/), there are pictures with information related to accessibility on all these places.

    Takayama is really wheelchair friendly, as for Kanazawa, the outdoors are quite alright with accessible buses around the city, but some old samurai villas and tea houses are not. Nevertheless, most places are already enjoyable from the outside. Shirakawa-go, as Kanazawa, is enjoyable just by strolling around (though there’s the problem with transportation).

    As for Hakone, transportation is mostly wheelchair accessible. I was only strolling around, so I can only tell about the outdoors, which were quite accessible. I specially enjoyed the ropeway and the pirate cruise, as well as the Onshi Hakone Park (the way up is quite steep). There’s an uphill road from the south-eastern corner of the parking that avoids all the stairs.Nature wise, both Hakone and Shirakawa-go are a nice choice, as well as the train or buses that go to Takayama.

    Anyway, if you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

    Enjoy your trip to Japan!

  • #5308


    Many thanks for the thorough reply. We have read about the places, and for now desided to stay in Osaka for 5 days and from there go to Nara and Wakayama, maybe Takayama.
    Then we would like to stay 3 days in Karuizawa or Kanazawa to enjoy peace and nature. We think it is hard to decide on one area. Which one would you recommend the most?
    Can you also recommend a temple or a ryokan to stay in? One there is for disabled and has beautiful japaneese surroundings?


  • #5328



    I can’t really tell which one is better, Karuizawa or Kanazawa, as I’ve just been to Kanazawa. Maybe Josh can offer a bit more insight on it.

    As for the accessible onsen, I went to an onsen with a friend of mine that had 4 private rooms, one of which was wheelchair accessible. At the time, neither the private bath nor the public ones had a hoist to enter the bath, but at least they were step free. The seasonal dinner offered was really good (though be prepared to eat a lot…) and the staff were really friendly. 


    From Osaka, we took a train to Kaizuka (from Osaka Namba station or Shin-Imamiya station) and then at Kaizuka station switched to a small line to Mizumakan-Non. Then, from there, we took a taxi to the hotel (a regular one removing the wheels from our manual wheelchairs). Nevertheless, at the ryokan they have a van (not accessible either if I remember correctly, though bigger than the taxi) and if you ask in advance they can pick you up. The ride is really short so the taxi was less than 1,500 yen.

    Here’s my Instagram post on the ryokan: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bfs9_GMlLSZ/ (by the way, I didn’t stay at the accessible room because it was already booked at the time)

    The ryokan is next to a road that goes up some hills. The surroundings are calm and for a night stay it’s pretty cool. I don’t know if you can go walking anywhere from there, but I bet that with a car it would be pretty cool. I know that there is a bus too, but I don’t know if it’s accessible. I just know that it passed every hour or so.

    The other accessible ryokan that I stayed in was near Nagano, so pretty far away from your route. It didn’t have the option of dinner either and the town was full of steep roads. Nevertheless, the surroundings were very nice.

    Anyway, I hope that it helped : )

  • #5339


    Thank you so much for a thorough reply again.

    I will look into it, and read more about it :)

    Best Patrikk

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