Wondering where in Tokyo you can go with a wheelchair? Here are some of the most accessible attractions — including famous temples and shrines, a robot café with a twist, and more. I’ve personally checked out these places, to see what kind of support they provide.

When I first visited Japan in 2000, I had very little information about accessibility in Tokyo available to me. I was concerned about how much I could actually do in my power wheelchair. To my surprise and delight, Tokyo was much more accessible than I expected, and it has only gotten better since then.

1. Sensōji Temple

Sensōji, in the Asakusa district of Tokyo, is one of the city’s oldest and most significant Buddhist temples. Established in 645 AD, it attracts millions of visitors annually with its iconic Kaminarimon (“Thunder Gate”), bustling Nakamise shopping street, and the impressive main hall.

sensoji, asakusa
Photo by iStock.com/CHENG FENG CHIANG

Accessibility

Sensōji has been at the forefront of accessibility for many years, with a deliberate effort to make the facilities welcoming to everyone. Steps were removed under Kaminarimon and the main pathways are smooth and wide, accommodating wheelchair users. An elevator and ramps that blend in with the temple architecture provide access to the main hall.

Accessible restrooms are located within the temple grounds, though they are a bit outdated compared to newer accessible toilets. The nearby Asakusa Bunka Center has better toilets and offers a nice view of the temple.

A stone’s throw away, Hoppy Dōri has some great places to eat that have tables out on the street. These are easy for wheelchair users to pull up to, and you can enjoy eating and drinking with locals.

Pro tip: If the main path down Nakamise Dōri gets a bit too crowded, using one of the small alleys running parallel can be a quieter alternative.

2. Meiji Jingu Shrine

Meiji Jingu, in Shibuya, is a serene shrine dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. Surrounded by a forest covering 70 hectares, it offers an escape from the busy city. The shrine complex, built in traditional Japanese style, features beautiful torii gates, walking paths, and an inner garden. It’s a popular spot for both locals and tourists, especially during the New Year and other traditional events.

tokyo shrine
Photo by iStock.com/coward_lion

Accessibility

The long path to the shrine is made of gravel, but smooth walking paths were added and make the walk much easier for wheelchair users. The main shrine complex has ramps added to all the buildings to ensure equal access to all. The distance to the shrine from the entrance is a bit long, but a visitors’ center with places to rest and an accessible toilet are available midway along the path.

Note: Unfortunately, the garden can only be accessed by stairs.

3. Tokyo Skytree

Tokyo Skytree, towering at 634 meters, is the tallest structure in Japan and a prominent landmark in Tokyo. Located in Sumida Ward, it serves as a broadcasting tower and features two observation decks that offer panoramic views of the city — including an aerial view of some of the destinations in this list. Tokyo Skytree also houses a shopping complex, aquarium, and planetarium.

Photo by Alex Ziminski

Accessibility

Being a new building, Tokyo Skytree is designed with accessibility in mind, ensuring that visitors with disabilities can enjoy its many attractions. The facility offers wheelchair rentals and has step-free access throughout, including priority access to the elevators to the observation decks.

Accessible restrooms are available on multiple floors, and tactile paving aids navigation for the visually impaired at certain points (like the top/bottom of stairs). The staff are trained to assist visitors with special needs, and guide dogs are welcome.

4. Avatar Robot Café DAWN

Avatar Robot Café DAWN, in Nihonbashi, offers a futuristic dining experience with a twist. This café employs robots operated remotely by people with physical disabilities or other restrictions preventing them from leaving home easily. It provides them with job opportunities and a means to interact with customers.

The robots, known as OriHime-D, serve food and drinks, engage in conversations, and create an inclusive atmosphere where technology bridges the gap between individuals.

Avatar Robot Cafe DAWN in Tokyo
Photo by Josh Grisdale

Accessibility

The café has a spacious interior and tables that accommodate wheelchairs — in fact, you can borrow a wheelchair to try out what it is like to sit in and move around.

The staff are trained to assist visitors with special needs (including pre-cutting food or providing a mixer to purée food for those with difficulty swallowing), and the café’s concept itself promotes inclusivity by empowering individuals with disabilities. You can even try out operating one of the robots, or buy coffee beans made by a company that hires staff with disabilities.

5. Nezu Museum

Popular for its very Instagrammable entrance, the Nezu Museum in Minato Ward houses an extensive collection of pre-modern Japanese and East Asian art. Founded by Nezu Kaichirō, it features an array of ceramics, paintings, sculptures, and textiles. The modern architectural design by Kengo Kuma harmoniously blends with the traditional artworks, creating a serene and contemplative atmosphere. The museum also has a beautiful Japanese garden.

Nezu Museum entrance
Photo by Josh Grisdale

Accessibility

The museum is easy to navigate, with wide halls and elevators to go between different floors and exhibits. Wheelchairs can be borrowed by visitors if needed, and accessible restrooms are available. The popular café has a step-free entrance and tables that can easily accommodate wheelchair users. The garden paths, though sometimes uneven, are mostly navigable for those with mobility aids, and there is an accessible route map to help visitors avoid steps.

6. Miraikan Museum

Miraikan, the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, is in the popular Odaiba area. This museum offers a hands-on experience with the latest advancements in science and technology. It features interactive exhibits on topics like space exploration, robotics, and life sciences, making it a fun destination for science enthusiasts and families.

Photo by Maria Danuco

Accessibility

The museum exhibits have wide pathways, and spacious elevators allow for easy movement throughout the facility. Accessible restrooms are available on several floors, and wheelchairs and strollers can be borrowed at the information desk. Additionally, many exhibits feature adjustable and interactive elements that accommodate visitors with different needs — including tactile elements for those with visual impairments.

Being a museum of emerging science, they are experimenting with innovative ways to make the museum more accessible to all, with inventions like screens carried/worn by guides which provide real-time translation, and an autonomous suitcase that can lead those who are blind.

7. Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum

The Edo-Tokyo Open-Air Architectural Museum, in Koganei, showcases historical buildings from the Edo period to the early Showa era. This unique museum preserves and exhibits various structures, including traditional homes, shops, and public buildings, offering a glimpse into Tokyo’s architectural heritage. You can explore the interiors of these buildings, too.

Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum
Photo by Adriana Paradiso

Accessibility

The museum grounds have smooth paved pathways suitable for wheelchairs, and ramps are provided to access many of the buildings. Some even have elevators to the upper floors, though visitors in power wheelchairs may need to transfer into a museum-provided wheelchair to fit in the small lifts. Accessible restrooms are available, and there are resting spots throughout the museum.

Photo by Getty Images

Useful resources

There are many more places to see throughout the city (and country) that are accessible to a wide variety of visitors. While not every attraction’s website lists the accessibility information in an easy-to-find spot, it can sometimes be found in the FAQs section.

Here are some resources to help you get ready for your adventure:

While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change.

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