Travel in Osaka by wheelchair

When you travel, you might be with somebody who needs a wheelchair, but you might wonder if you can enjoy the sightseeing places with such a vehicle. 

In Osaka, many sightseeing attractions are equipped with elevators, which helps wheelchair travelers a lot.

Before you go, check the list below with the indexes to show how easy to get around each place.

 

*** Accessibility  :  How much  you can see in the attraction with a wheelchair 

A : You can explore the entire site 

B : You can see some parts of the site.

C : You can see the site only from the outside.

D : You can see nothing at the site. 

 

***Bump Level 

A : The site paths are basically all covered with asphalt or non-bumpy tiles.

B : The site paths are partly covered with pebbles, gravel or anything bumpy.

C : The site paths are mostly covered with pebbles, gravel or anything bumpy.

 

 

Osaka castle

 

Accessibility : A 

Bump Level : A

Osaka castle is an ideal place to learn about the samurai history in Japan. The castle tower was restored about 80 years ago and it’s a modern one, but that’s why it’s equipped with an elevator which takes you to the top floor. Basically visitors have to walk up from the 5th floor to the 8th floor then down to the 1st floor on foot, but wheel chair users (and one accompanied) are guided to the top by the elevator and also can visit all the floors by the elevator (you’ll be instructed how to call the elevator attendant on each floor). 

The castle tower also rents wheel chairs for those who think it’s too hard to explore the entire castle on foot. 

From Otemon gate which is close to the taxi stop (also accessible to Metro Taninmachi-4chome station and Temmabashi station), it’s about 600m to the castle tower with some slope, which is easier than Gokurakubashi side (closer to JR Osakajo-koen). 

If you can fold your wheel chair and walk a few steps, you also have a choice to ride on a park train for half the way.

 

 

Dotombori and Shinsaibashi

Accessibility : B

Bump Level : A 

The most iconic place in Osaka with numerous shops from high brand to casual and reasonable goods. 

It’s no problem to go along the streets by wheel chair and you can also go down to the riverside by slope. 

However, it’s not an ideal shopping area for wheel chair users because each store and restaurant is pretty small (that’s why I say the accessibility as B). 

If you would like to go shopping comfortably in Namba and Shinsaibashi area by wheelchair, Takashimaya, Daimaru and Namba parks are easy with wider paths. Also UNIQLO in Shinsaibashi has an elevator to access to each floor.

 

 

Kuromon Market 

 

Accessibility : B

Bump Level : A

When you would like to grab some fresh seafood, tasty beef and sweet fruits in Osaka, Kuromon market offers everything for you.

Some shops might be too narrow to get in and also the street can be pretty busy, but most of the foods are sold along the street and there is a rest space on the south side of the market, so you can buy some food on the street and get a table at the rest space.

The entrance of the market is just beside Metro Nipponbashi station and it’s also close to Dotombori and Doguyasuji (kitchenware market).

 

 

Abeno Harukasu

 

Accessibility : A

Bump Level : A

The tallest building in Japan (except for towers such as Sky Tree), and the view from height of 300m amazingly covers not only Osaka but also Kobe city and some islands if the weather is good. 

This is one of the newest complex in Osaka and the facilities are comfortable for wheelchairs. 

This building is the complex of Kintetsu department store, offices, Hotel Mariotte and stations of Kintetsu Railway connected with JR and Metro Tennnoji station. So the train access is perfect and shopping is also easy. If you look for more reasonable shopping place, just cross the street and find Q’s mall.

 

 

Umeda Skybuilding

Accessibility : A

Bump Level : A 

One of the best designed buildings in Osaka, and you can see 360 panorama view of Osaka city on the rooftop. 

By wheel chair, take an elevator on the east tower to 39th floor which has the ticket counter.

The problem is the access from the nearest station (Osaka and Umeda) is never easy unless you can get on the shuttle bus of Westin hotel (leaves on the JR Sakurabashi exit). So to avoid the hassle from the station, taxi is recommended to reach there.

 

 

Osaka Temmangu shrine and Tenjinbashisuji shopping street

Accessibility : A

Bump Level : B

A historical shrine where the biggest festival in Osaka called Tenjin festival is held. 

The field is not too bumpy but basically sandy and need a little hustle to reach the main hall. 

Tenjinbashisuji shopping street which is just beside Osaka Temmangu shrine, is the longest shopping street in Japan. 

The size of each shop is not so big and it might be difficult to get in to some stores but there go much less people than Dotombori (but still very lively), and it’s easier to get around on this street.

 

 

Aquarium (Kaiyukan)

 

Accessibility : A

Bump Level : A

One of the biggest aquariums in Japan, and you can meet numerous type of fish and sea animals.

You can use the elevator to go up to the top floor and just go down on the slopes, and it’s pretty easy and comfortable.  

There is a huge Ferris wheel just beside the aquarium and wheelchairs can also ride on it.

Wheelchair rent is available.

 

 

Universal Studio Japan

 

Accessibility : B

Bump Level : A

The theme parks which Osaka is proud of. Of course there are some original attractions of Universal Studio but some Japanese original ones are what you can’t miss (Nintendo is coming soooon !)

The accessibility of each attraction depends on how much you can move by yourself. As long as you can move to the coaster by yourself or with the help of somebody, you have a chance to try many attractions, but you must follow the condition and instruction of each ride. 

Wheelchair rent is available.

 

 

Shitennoji Temple

 

Accessibility : B

Bump Level : B

One of the oldest temples in Osaka and the current one was restored in 1960s. 

The pagoda and other temple buildings are marvelous to see. It’s no problem to see each temple building from the outside but the entrances have stairs to get in. The garden partly has slopes so that it helps wheelchairs to get around more or less.

The paths are made of stone tiles and the gaps between the tiles can be troublesome for wheelchairs.

Wheelchair rent is available.

 

 

Cup noodle Museum 

 

Accessibility : A

Bump Level : A

Located in the suburb of Osaka city, the museum exhibits the history of Nissin Cup noodle and also you can make your own cup noodle. 

From Osaka City, you must take a train (taxi costs pretty a lot) but the access from the nearest station Ikeda (Hankyu Railway) is really easy. 

 

 

These above are the most popular sightseeing places in Osaka. Of course taxi is the easiest way to reach each place but trains are also possible way to travel as most of the attractions are pretty close to stations. 

Don’t hesitate to travel in Osaka with a wheelchair. You’ve got a lot of chances to enjoy this city !

 

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Read more : 

Travel in Kyoto by wheelchair

Travel in Nara by wheelchair

Travel in Osaka with kids

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tokie

A tourist guide, showing everywhere in Japan. Guide hundreds of people from all over the world every year. Born in Osaka, lived in Australia and Sweden. Traveled in more than 50 countries.

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