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    Ever since watching "Lost in Translation" years ago I've had a desire to visit Tokyo. To "celebrate" the 25th anniversary of my injury in a couple of years, I figured then might be the time. But before I dig too deep into planning, there are questions, and a few concerns, that I have.

    After a search of hotels and areas to stay, my initial thoughts are to stay at the Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku. It appears they have several "universal rooms". What I of course can't tell by the website alone is if the beds will accommodate a patient lift. The bed itself is electric, with a head that raises. What is the best way to confirm if the bed will work with the lift?

    I did a quick Google search of patient lift rentals in Shinjuku, but didn't find anything. Not sure if such a thing is common to rent there, so I may have to bring my own.

    One concern I have is advising airport staff in Tokyo how to handle my power chair, and also how to properly lift me.

  • #2
    Tokyo is an amazing city. You could spend a month getting to know any one of its many neighborhood. It's also super clean. I would definitely call any hotel for clarification first. Most have several English-fluent customer service staff. I would be far less concerned about airport staff in Japan compared to the US, but I'd still work on getting multiple copies of any instructions in both English and Japanese.
    I'd also avoid summer there as the combination of heat and humidity can be quite uncomfortable.
    T3 complete since Sept 2015.

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    • #3
      Some resources for you. If you are going to Tokyo, it would be worth your time to see if you can get accessible train or bus tour transportation to Nikko, which is in the mountains above the city and filled with parks and temples. Very beautiful. Unfortunately you cannot get into the main temple except in a manual wheelchair, and only then with reservations to have staff/volunteers available to lift you up the stairs: http://www.japan-accessible.com/city/nikko

      Here is some information about accessibility in Tokyo. You might be able to contact these folks for more information about DME rental: http://www.japan-accessible.com/city/tokyo.htm

      Here is some more information:

      http://www.wheelchairtraveling.com/w...y-for-seniors/

      https://www.accessible-japan.com/

      http://disabilityhorizons.com/2014/0...-the-annoying/

      http://www.curbfreewithcorylee.com/2...lchair-access/

      http://accessible.jp.org/tokyo/

      https://www.odigo.jp/articles/178-wh...9-transit-tips

      https://thecupandtheroad.com/2016/04...essible-tokyo/

      In my experience, most tourist areas have staff who are proficient in English, and this includes large hotels. Less likely if you are staying at small inns. Younger people up through middle-aged will be more proficient in English than the elderly, so if you are asking people on the street for help with directions, etc. ask someone younger.

      This is the closest I could find to information on patient hoist rentals in Japan, but it is in Japanese, so can't tell you if it would be relevant to your needs: http://www.paramount.co.jp/product/detail/index/10/3849
      These folks may be able to help you with that: https://www.accessible-japan.com/contact/


      (KLD)
      Last edited by SCI-Nurse; 04-06-2017, 08:29 PM.
      The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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      • #4
        Get hold of the people that run the wheel chair marathon in Beppu (sp). They can answer pretty much anything.

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        • #5
          Thank you for the references and information!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by landrover View Post
            Thank you for the references and information!
            I hope it works out for you! Tokyo is great, but for me, big cities are big cities, not a lot different from one to another. Each has a charm of its own, to be sure, but for me, the best of Japan is Kyoto and rural areas. Not always wheelchair perfection, but worth the effort IMO!!
            "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

            "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

            "Even what those with the greatest reputation for knowing it all claim to understand and defend are but opinions..." -Heraclitus, Fragments

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            • #7
              I googled "how many days should you spend in Tokyo", and I was somewhat surprised that given the size of Tokyo, that most suggested 4-6 days if not traveling to other cities. Does this seem adequate? I'm trying to determine how many days to travel, especially given my work schedule.

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              • #8
                So as I've dug more into planning, my original idea was to aim for September '18. But then I began to think, if I'm able to reserve all I need to, why wait, so instead I'm now aiming for September '17. This assumes of course that I'm able to book an accessible room. Thus far I'm considering either the Keio Plaza Hotel, or the Westin Hotel, both in Shinjuku, depending on availability, and of course, if the bed will accommodate a lift.

                I've also sent a request for lift (or hoist) rental, so I'm awaiting a response on how that is arranged.

                I'm not too concerned about navigating the train system, especially since everything I've read and watched has been positive regarding the assistance available.

                One of my biggest concerns oddly enough is regarding food. My travel partner and I are not the most adventurous eaters, but I'm at least willing to try new things...her, not so much. And I've read many restaurants are not accessible. So my concern is finding a restaurant, knowing what I'm ordering, and how to order it?! I don't want to eat at a chain restaurant that serves more "Americanized" food, defeats the purpose of exploring different cultures.

                Finally, the flight...I think I'd prefer to fly non-stop, even if it is 14 hours. I considered a 1-stop flight, staying a day in Seattle to break the flight up, but it looks like the flight from Seattle to Tokyo is still 10 hrs. I'd rather avoid the hassle of finding a hotel in Seattle (with a bed for a lift), and go through the boarding/de-boarding process a couple of extra times. Regarding carriers, would I be better off going with a domestic carrier (American & United fly non-stop from NYC), or with another carrier (JAL or the like)?

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                • #9
                  I've learned that AA and JAL are one in the same.

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                  • #10
                    No, JAL (Japan Airlines) and AA (American Airlines) are different companies, although they do some code sharing flights. I flew JAL when I went to Japan.

                    (KLD)
                    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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                    • #11
                      Sorry, I did not explain that well re: being different companies. Basically you can book through AA, but you'll be flying on a JAL plane. What hotel did you stay at while in Tokyo. I've heard back re: the lift rental. Also from the Westin Tokyo (is the Westin in a convenient location?). The response I received is that there is 13 cm of clearance under the bed. The lift rental contact said the lift requires approximately 10 cm of clearance.

                      It's strange when I tell friends of my plans. They act like I'm traveling to a 3rd-world country, where crime is rampant. Granted, I have concerns about communication and the long flight...

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                      • #12
                        I did not stay in Tokyo except with some friends (in their home).

                        (KLD)
                        The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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                        • #13
                          Well the hotel is reserved and the flight has been booked!!

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                          • #14
                            KLD, would I be better off exchanging all of my currency prior to going, or should I do some prior, and the rest once I arrive? The least worry and hassle free, the better. Also, I am considering renting a wifi-box, so that my travel partner can text family back home. I believe these gadgets can be rented at the airport.

                            I am considering booking a private "accessible" tour through Japan Wonder Travel, with an English-speaking guide for the first full day we are there. Hopefully this will get us more comfortable in navigating the city (well, a small part anyway).

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                            • #15
                              I would exchange a small amount of currency here (you should be able to order some through your bank), but you won't need a lot of cash. Credit cards are used all over Japan (VISA, American Express, less often MasterCard), and you can also obtain cash via numerous ATMs all over Japan except in the most rural areas.

                              I would be very surprised if you don't find a lot of free WiFi, esp. in Tokyo. I don't know, as I was there prior to the advent of cell phones or WiFi.

                              (KLD)
                              The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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