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Self driving from Narita Airport to Hakone 2022/10/23 22:16
Hi all, I'm traveling with my wife who has a walking problem and has to travel around with a mobility scooter. Taking public transport like buses & trains can be tough as moving about with her scooter is problematic if I've got to lug around the luggage and helping her walk together with scooter. So I thought if renting a car to travel to Hakone, would allow me to stop and move around a little better.
But I'm not sure if it's a good way to travel as I've heard navigating driving around from Narita to Hakone can be a little tricky.
Is it safe & advisable to self drive?
by gerry73  

Re: Self driving from Narita Airport to Hakone 2022/10/24 18:12
Renting a car should be simple, but if you are coming to Japan as a tourist, you will need an international driving license. Probably easy and cheap to issue one in your country.
However, renting a car in Japan is expensive for the country that makes many cars.
It should be straightforward if you take a highway and use Google Maps to navigate.
by Don (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Self driving from Narita Airport to Hakone 2022/10/24 18:19
Is it possible to drive? Yes

But I would check what you can do in Hakone with a mobility scooter. Getting a large car from the airport that will fit a scooter will also be difficult and potentially expensive. If it's one of the fold up things which can also be a chair but has no batteries - I see no problem and even a K car might be ok
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Self driving from Narita Airport to Hakone 2022/10/24 19:08
I doubt you could rent a car that has a lift for the mobility scooter.

Probably better of with a medium size car and a foldable wheelchair.

Also a lot of hotels have thin width hallways and doors. Another negative for mobility scooters.

Also have you check the ability to charge the scooter? Voltage matches?
by H (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Self driving from Narita Airport to Hakone 2022/10/24 19:39
I have to say that it also depends on how much you're used to driving on the left side of the road, on foreign roads, and on expressways in a foreign city.

In particular, the Expressway within central Tokyo (which you would be driving through when traveling straight to Hakone from Narita Apt.) is so tricky that it was used as a location in a sci-fi movie. I am a Japanese driver, and maybe it's just me, but I'm always scared of the curves there and I make mistakes at its intersections unless I'm used to the route.

I wonder if it's possible for you to rent cars for the easier portions, and rely on taxis for the others. For example, it's not uncommon for tourists (including Japanese residents) to hire a taxi to have the driver guide you around Hakone for a day. I don't know about scooters, but a friend of mine who uses a wheelchair is fine with having drivers assist her and putting her chair in the trunk.

Accessible Japan is another renowned website you can study about.
https://www.accessible-japan.com/

I hope you have a wonderful trip and find lots of possibilities!
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Self driving from Narita Airport to Hakone 2022/10/24 20:08
Rentals in Japan is not expensive - depends what you rent. My last rental was 1,600 yen (around US$10 at current exchange rates) for two days. My next rental in November ($50 for the day) is cheaper than the bus alternative. Closest local rental company to my house you can get a car for a day for under a thousand yen, but that would not be suitable for a mobility scooter.
Did you consider a getting the train to Hakone/Odawara and then renting a vehicle?
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Self driving from Narita Airport to Hakone 2022/10/25 06:32
Normally I would say gtake the train and ship your luggage with TaQBin g but in your specific situation I think that renting a car is the better option (unless you rent after a long flight and drive tired). No need to worry about how to change trains.

In my experience itfs not so hard to drive on the left side, if you have a car made for it. Then it becomes pretty clear on with side of the road you are supposed to drive. Just get one with a build in navigation system, so you donft need to use your mobile wifi for google maps. You might run out of rented GB somewhere along your ride.

And for driving through the high way in Tokyo, the good thing is that speed limits in Japan are pretty low and while there are thousands of exits and entries, just take it chilled. If you get one wrong, the navigator will tell you What to do next. Just donft freak out and remain calm.

The PPs had a good point about battery charging for the wheelchair and regarding size of hotel rooms. Also some parts of Hakone might not be accessible. Eg like shrines (there are normally steps up to them) c

by LikeBike rate this post as useful

Re: Self driving from Narita Airport to Hakone 2022/10/25 08:35
I'd just like to add that most if not all rental cars come with a navigation system. Just make sure it's available in the language you can understand and that you know how to operate it.

One little thing I find annoying is that cars today "speak" to you even when you don't have the navigation system on. It's fine, because these automatic speakers tell you that there is a rail crossing ahead or they'd give you a ding when there's supposed to be a halt line. The thing that's annoying is that they're so slow that by the time they inform you, you've almost driven past that point - which distracts you by thinking, "What was that?"

Like Bikelike suggests, I suppose a lot has to do with being prepared and getting used to it.

Safe travels.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Self driving from Narita Airport to Hakone 2022/10/25 11:17
Hakone traffic can be horror on weekends and holidays. On the other hand, it is quite pleasant to drive around there on regular weekdays. I recommend to time your trip accordingly.
by Uji rate this post as useful

Re: Self driving from Narita Airport to Hakone 2022/10/25 19:16
Self drive :It is too expensive.Because public transportation is cheaper.

From narita airport to Tokyo/shinjuku=Buy keisei Limited express train ticket=1210 yen
Tokyo shuttle Bus/Access naritabus 1300 yen

From shinjuku to Hakone:
Buy 1 day odakyu rail pass=2000 yen

So total cost=1210 +2000=3210 yen
From narita airport to hakone

If you take taxi: it is more than 25000 yen
by Meritage (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Self driving from Narita Airport to Hakone 2022/10/27 00:36
I strongly recommend you to buy Hakone Free pass :2 Day =6100 yen, 3 Day =6500 yen from shinjuku.This is a Life time experience.
by Alibaba (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Self driving from Narita Airport to Hakone 2022/10/27 22:56
Thank you so much for all your helpful replies on my thread. FYI, my wife's mobility scooter can be folded into a suitcase, so it's practically the size of a small luggage when not in use.

I'm from Singapore, so right hand cars are the norm...

I think I'll go with the rental car. We've both been to to japan 2017 till 2019, but Covid saw a stop to it. And before her walking wasn't that bad, now she can't move around much with her scooter, remembering the navigation around the stations, from train to train would be much harder as I had gotten lost in the larger train stations in Japan

Thank you all for your helpful comments & hints

Cheers
by gerry73 rate this post as useful

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