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 on a trip through Japan. Like last time, I decided to rent a mobility scooter for 12 days from Marudai Motor Company in Asakusa.
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
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 the suggested 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)
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
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 lose it!
Here is an example of such a certificate:
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.
We even took a train to Kamakura with the mobility scooter and had no problems at all. I also visited Tokyo Skytree with it. It is good to know that the presentation of the certificate can also help you save some money (public gardens, attractions, private gardens). Just show it each time you have to pay an entry fee. Never know…!
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 was delicious!