Recommended Spots in Kobe & Tokyo that Wheelchair Users Can Enjoy

The Para Athletics World Championships will be held in Kobe, the first East Asian city to host the games, from Friday, May 17th to Saturday, May 25th, 2024. Approximately 1,300 athletes from around 100 countries and regions are expected to gather for this event. We would like to share with you some wheelchair-friendly sightseeing spots in the port city of Kobe, home to the Kobe Sports Park Universiade Memorial Stadium, the venue for this year’s games, and also in Tokyo, which can be reached in about 2 hours and 40 minutes via Shinkansen from Shin-Kobe Station.


Start at Kobe Sports Park Universiade Memorial Stadium ➡ Approx. 4-minute roll ➡ Kobe City Subway from Sogoundo-koen Sta. to Minato-Motomachi Sta. ➡ Approx. 7-minute roll ➡ Kobe Bay Cruise ➡ Approx. 7-minute roll ➡ Kobe City Subway from Minato-Motomachi to Shin-Kobe Sta. ➡ Approx. 5-minute roll ➡ Kobe Nunobiki Ropeway from Herb Gardens Bottom Sta. to Herb Gardens Top Sta. ➡ Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens ➡ Kobe Nunobiki Ropeway from Herb Gardens Top Sta. to Herb Gardens Bottom Sta. ➡ Approx. 5-minute roll ➡ Shinkansen from JR Shin-Kobe Sta. to JR Tokyo Sta. ➡ Approx. 1-minute roll ➡ KITTE ➡ Approx. 1-minute roll ➡ JR Chuo Line from Tokyo Sta. to Yotsuya Sta. ➡ Approx. 7-minute roll ➡ State Guest House Akasaka Palace ➡ Approx. 7-minute roll ➡ JR Chuo Line from Yotsuya Sta. to Shinjuku Sta. ➡ Approx. 10-minute roll ➡ Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Observatories


Kobe Bay Cruise

See the sights of the Port of Kobe from a cruise ship

Kobe Bay Cruise is a jaunt around the Port of Kobe that takes around 40 minutes, allowing you to take in the atmosphere of the port city of Kobe from out on the water. From the ship, you can see Kobe Harborland, a commercial facility with an array of shops lining the coast, Port Island, an island reclaimed in 1981 and the first in Japan to be used for residential purposes, Kobe Airport, which opened in 2006, and the shipyard where submarines are also built. If the weather is good that day, you can even see Awaji Island and Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge. There are two ships in use for the cruise: the Gozabune Atakemaru, modeled after the ships that sailed during the Edo Period (1603-1867), and the luxurious Royal Princess. The interior of the ships, both of which have their own distinct flavor, is another highlight of the voyage.
*The only obstacle is the ramp, so wheelchair users can board the ship as is. However, there are no elevators on board, so please enjoy the cruise on the embarkation level only.

Address: 7-1 Hatobacho, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo (Nakatottei Chuo Cruise Terminal Kamomeria)


Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens & Ropeway

A spacious herb garden where you can enjoy a stroll in the sky

Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens & Ropeway is a unique way to enjoy Kobe, where the sea, mountains, and city are all in close proximity. From JR/Kobe City Subway Shin-Kobe Station, roll about 5 minutes to Herb Gardens Bottom Station, where you can board the Ropeway and take a stroll through the air. Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens, located at an altitude of about 400 meters, can be reached in about 10 minutes, during which time you can enjoy the view of nature directly below you as well as the cityscape of Kobe. There are a total of 12 gardens, all with different themes, that are home to some 75,000 herbs and flowers of approximately 200 varieties. With cafés and restaurants on the grounds, it’s also a great place to relax and enjoy a meal.
Electric assist wheelchairs are available for rental (quantity limited, advance reservation possible).

Address: 1-4-3 Kitanocho, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo



A popular commercial facility with an up-close view of Tokyo Station

KITTE, a commercial facility directly connected to Tokyo Station, is located on the site where the Tokyo Central Post Office once stood. Inside, you can visit a recreation of the Tokyo Central Post Office Postmaster’s Room, made with materials from the original Tokyo Central Post Office building built in 1931, as well as KITTE Garden, a rooftop garden that offers great views of the JR Tokyo Station Marunouchi Building, which has made KITTE a popular tourist destination. There is also the Intermediatheque, a museum jointly operated by the Japan Post Co., Ltd. and the University Museum, The University of Tokyo, which you can visit free of charge.

Address: 2-7-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo


State Guest House Akasaka Palace

Take a tour of the State Guest House, a national treasure of architecture

The State Guest House Akasaka Palace welcomes kings, presidents, and other dignitaries from around the world and serves as a stage for diplomacy. Originally constructed in 1909 as a residence of the Imperial Crown Prince, it is still in use today as a state guest house and is also open to the public for tours. From the main building’s Entrance Hall and Grand Staircase, where the Emperor and Empress greet visiting dignitaries, to Sairan no Ma, the hall used for summits and treaty signing ceremonies, and Asahi no Ma, the most prestigious room in the palace, the State Guest House is a treasure trove of shining examples of the beauty and technology of the Meiji Era (1868-1912). Please check the website for information on its opening days and how to arrange a visit.

Address: 2-1-1 Moto-Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo


Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Observatories

See spectacular Tokyo scenery from the observation deck of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

The observatories on the 45th floor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building are the place to go to enjoy panoramic views of the capital city. Admission is free, so everyone is welcome to come and take in the view. To reach the observatories, take the dedicated observation deck elevator from the first floor of the Government Building No. 1. From the observatories’ height of 202 meters, you can see famous landmarks such as Shinjuku Park Tower, Tokyo Opera City, and other buildings in the Fukutoshin area, as well as TOKYO SKYTREE, and on cool winter days with clear skies, you can even see as far as Mt. Fuji. Since they are open until 10:00 p.m., they are also a popular destination for viewing the nighttime scenery.

Address: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building No. 1 45F, 2-8-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo