Wheelchair Accessible Tokyo Metro

Station attendant helping wheelchair user with ramp onto Tokyo metro subway.

Tokyo’s a city with incredible complexity and endless discoveries. This city is an experience. This post is meant to help people get to the places they want to go in order to have those experiences.

Google Maps is very accurate in Tokyo for car routes, subways, trains, and buses. The subways and trains usually on-time. Google Maps also tells you how much it will cost. I highly recommend it as your navigator around the city. Below is the map you can load on your phone:

This post is a step by step guide to using this free map of Tokyo’s accessible stations. It includes 225 Tokyo Metro, Toei Subway, and JR Yamanote stations. These are the three main companies that will get you where you want to go in metropolitan Tokyo.

This guide includes:

  1. General notes on stations
  2. What the map includes
  3. Reading the information
  4. Cool tools
  5. Loading the map onto your phone

1. General Notes

The good news is, most stations in Japan do have lifts at some part of the station. the larger ones often have washrooms as well.

Protip from Onehotprocessor via Reddit: The yellow guiding lines throughout stations often guide you to the lifts too!

The station attendants can help you get around, and help you get on the train. Do reach out to them. People in Japan are often polite and helpful, but few speak English. If you have a smartphone, it’s best to bring a translation app such as Jsho for Android or Yomiwa for the iPhone.

Also check out my Accessible Tokyo: A Brief Guide

Useful phrases include:

Excuse me. Where is the lift?
すみません、リフトはどこですか?
sumimasen, rifuto wa doko desu ka? 

Excuse me. Can you help me?
すみません、手伝ってくれますか?
sumimasen, tetsudatte-kuremasuka?

Excuse me. Can you help me get onto (enter) the train?
すみません、電車に入って手伝ってくれますか?
sumimasen, densha ni haitte-tetsudatte-kuremasuka?

Thank you!
ありがとうございます / ありがとう
arigatogozaimasu / arigato

Station Service:

Metro and train stations have staff assistance for ramps and guidance to trains. Many platforms have wide gaps, and it’s much safer to have a ramp. You can ask an attendant at the station, but there are also phone lines for the JR Yamanote Line and Tokyu train company. Below are the numbers for English service:

  • JR Train Phone (English) can arrange help at the station in advance
    Tel: 03 3423 0111 (Open weekdays 10:00-18:00)
  • Tokyu Corporation Train Phone (English) arrange help at stations in advance
    Tel: 03 3477 0109 (Open weekdays 09:30-17:30)

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 8.56.58 PM.png

Accessible Tokyo Map on the Desktop

2. What this map includes

The above photo is what you see when you load the map. Let’s start with what you’re looking at. Below is a brief explanation of the icons:

  • Blue Icons: Wheelchair Accessible (lifts in both directions)
    • Note: Includes stations that may not be interchange-friendly, but have exits
  • Yellow Icons:Semi-Accessible (lifts in 1 direction, many escalators, etc.)
  • Red: Not accessible stations (i.e. no lifts)
  • Green Stars: Sightseeing spots & popular destinations
  • All Tokyo Metro Stations
  • All Toei Subway Stations
  • JR Yamanote Line (goes in a circle around Tokyo)
Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 8.57.24 PM.png

Accessibility information at each station.

3. Reading the information

If you click on one of the stations, you will instantly see information in a text box. As many stations in Tokyo have more than one line, it’s important that you ensure there is an accessible lift for the line you are riding.

If you are transiting stations, ensure that you can transfer between the lines you need. There is a list of subway stations and their maps here.

Below is an explanation of the information in the text box:

Station Name: (Subway Letter) (Subway Letter*) (Subway Letter**)

(C) – This line has accessible exits.
(M*) – This line has an accessible exit for one direction only, or is complicated.
(H**) – This line does not have accessible exits.

Line Name (Station Code) – Accessible Exit
Additional Comments (i.e. transfer to other lines, etc.)

For Interchange Stations: Link to Station map

An example is:

Otemachi: (M*) (T) (C) (Z) (I*)

Marunouchi (M18) – Multiple Escalators

Tozai (T09) – Exit B2
Wheelchair Accessible

Chiyoda (C11) – Exit C2, E1
Wheelchair Accessible

Hanzomon (Z08) – Exit C2, E1
Wheelchair Accessible

Mita (I09) – Lift is quite far

Station Map :http://www.tokyometro.jp/station/otemachi/yardmap/index.html

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 8.58.18 PM.png

Search by station or an entire train line.

4. Cool Tools

This map also has a few built in search features. You can search the following:

  • Your station by typing in the station name
  • Stations on an entire train line by typing in the train name. You will see all the stations along the line circled in white.

 

5. Saving on Mobile

Now, from your computer, you need to copy the map to your own account. If you do reuse it, please kindly credit me as the author.

Click on this link with your phone.

Next, follow the steps below.

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 8.00.54 AM

In the browser, click the square button on your phone.

screenshot_2016-04-01-23-02-05.jpg

Your phone should load this on Google Maps.

screenshot_2016-04-01-23-04-14.jpg

You can search for a station and see if it is accessible.

screenshot_2016-04-01-23-04-02.jpg

Search where you want to go, from where you are.

screenshot_2016-04-01-23-03-48.jpg

Click on the station icon to get more information.

screenshot_2016-04-01-23-04-35.jpg

Detailed station information.

That’s it! I hope this helps you on your journey through Tokyo’s subway system.

General Subway and Train Tips:

  1. Get a Pasmo or Suica Card. These are electronic cards that you can load with money and swipe at the gates. It saves a lot of hassle buying tickets, especially at busy stations or transfer points.
  2. Tokyo has several train and metro companies, but trust Google Maps to tell you whether you need to transfer or just stay on the train.
  3. Ask for help if you need it. People are very nice.

 

Riding the train is part of the Tokyo experience, and I wish you a memorable and adventerous one!

You can also check my post on Accessible Tokyo for wheelchair accessible taxis, accommodation, and other tips.

If you liked this post, please kindly share and help others have a great trip!

Credits:

The map I created was based off the information provided by Japan Accessible Association Metro information

The Accessibility Icon comes courtesy of Accessibilty Project

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