Mobility Scooter Rental Experience in Tokyo | Little Miss Turtle

Mobility Scooter Rental Experience in Tokyo – March 2018

Mobility Scooter Rental in Tokyo during cherry blossom

 

Earlier this year in March, I once again visited Tokyo during a trip through Japan. Like last time in 2016, I decided to rent a mobility scooter for 12 days from Marudai Motor Company in Asakusa.

Cruising through Ueno Park on a mobility scooter

Cruising through Ueno Park on a mobility scooter

 

IMPORTANT NOTE:

The following post is not sponsored by any means! I get no benefit out of this article!

 

Why rent a mobility scooter and not come with your own?

Mobility scooters still aren’t very common for disabled people in Japan. From time to time I saw elderly Japanese on tiny mobility scooters, but there are way more wheelchairs on the streets than scooters. Major Japanese railway companies have very strict rules and only accept mobility scooters purchased or rented in Japan. Tokyo Metro, JR East, JR West as well as JR Central are definitely rigorous with these rules. This means riding the JR Lines in Tokyo, like the Yamanote Line, or using Tokyo Metro can be quite difficult or impossible with your own mobility scooter.

 

Apparently there have been talks between the Japanese Ministry for Transport and the railway companies about loosening those rules, but up to March 2018 nothing has changed.

 

My mobility scooter rental experience with Marudai Motor Company

With the team of Marudai Motor Company in Tokyo

With the team of Marudai Motor Company in Tokyo

Having already had a very good experience with Marudai Motor Co. in October 2016, I again contacted the owner, Mr Okura, about 6 months prior to our Japan trip via email. I chose to have the mobility scooter delivered right to our hotel in Shinjuku and let him know our arrival date and suggested a delivery time. Same for the pick-up. I also emailed them a scan of my passport.

 

My personal experience with Marudai Motor Company was very satisfying twice. There weren’t any problems at all and I fully enjoyed cruising through Tokyo independently.

 

Mobility scooter rental prices in 2018 (subject to change – no liability):

  • 18,000 YEN for up to 14 days (fixed, i. e. if you stay 10 days you still pay 18,000 YEN)
  • 10,000 YEN for hotel delivery & pick-up (inside 23 wards of Tokyo)
  • 15,000 YEN for hotel delivery & pick-up outside the mentioned area (including Narita Airport)

 

Travel Tip

It is good to know, that you have to pay in cash. Paying in cash is the common means of payment in Japan. Japanese pay everything in cash, even high amounts.

 

How to ride JR or subway trains in Tokyo with a rented mobility scooter

Riding a JR line in Tokyo on my rented mobility scooter

Riding a JR line in Tokyo on my rented mobility scooter

You will get a certificate written in Japanese upon delivery of the mobility scooter. This certificate is of high value! It allows you to ride all JR trains as well as the subway in Tokyo. So better not loose it!

 

Here is an example of such a certificate:

Certificate for using JR & Metro in Tokyo with a mobility scooter

Certificate for using JR & Metro in Tokyo with a mobility scooter

 

You have to present this certificate to the station staff each time you intend to ride the JR or Tokyo Metro. Tell them where you would like to go and ask for a slope. “Slope” (スロープ) is the magic term if you need a ramp in order to board a train. A station staff member will guide you to the train platform and help you board. Someone will wait with the ramp at your destination to get you out of the train (see photos here).

The rental mobility scooter meets all requirements in size. It perfectly fits in the wheelchair area on JR and subway trains. Of course it also fits in the stations’ elevators which can be quite small sometimes.

We even took a train to Kamakura with the mobility scooter and had no problems at all. I also visited Tokyo Skytree with it. Sometimes the presentation of the certificate can also help you safe some money (public gardens, attractions, private gardens). Just show it each time you have to pay an entry fee. Never know…!

 

Travel Tip

The certificate could also “save your day”… or your evening! One time we wanted to enter a Tempura restaurant in Asakusa with the mobility scooter. Well, at first the waitress refused… until we showed her the certificate, which made her immediately change her attitude. Our tempura were delicious!

 

Let me know your experiences by leaving a comment below and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or thoughts about mobility scooter rental in Tokyo!

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3 comments

  • LENOIR françoise 26/06/2018   Reply →

    Tu ne pouvais pas être plus claire ! Que des avantages…Et en plus , scooter très design: Pour toi et bien d’autres une qualité de vie où tu passes partout et même avec des avantages de ne pas payer certaines entrées.
    Définitivement, les japonais semblent civilisés, personne n’est mis de côté !

  • Alton Mitsuyuki 27/06/2018   Reply →

    Thank you again Melanie for another terrific and informative article on your mobility experiences in Japan. I must compliment you for all the beautiful and helpful pictures in all your post. As they say, pictures are worth a thousand words! Thank you!
    The pics of you in Ueno Park with all the cherry blossom trees surrounding you are awesome. We also saw cherry blossom trees in March when we visited, but we were on a strict schedule with our tour group, so we only saw them from the bus window or rushing through a parking lot. We hope to “cruise” through Ueno Park during cherry blossom season one day too. And all your info on Marudai Motors, Mr. Okura, the certificate, and the station staff help are just so invaluable! We definitely feel more confident, and less worried about our Tokyo metro and subway rides with my wheelchair in Oct. when we visit. Can’t wait to grind some delicious TEMPURA too! Domo Arigato!

  • Abe Reth 27/06/2018   Reply →

    Melanie, thank you for this post. I used Marudai Motor Company based on your initial Facebook response and the electric wheelchair could not have been cleaner or newer. Everything was immaculate. The owner was patient and answered every question, extremely responsive. I ended up returning the wheelchair to another hotel and he was receptive to pickup from Tokyo or even Narita airport (for an additional fee).

    I would use Marudai again in a heartbeat! Thank you for your blog and wonderful, informative posts.

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