Keio Plaza in Tokyo, Japan

The Keio Plaza Hotel is located in Tokyo region of Shinjuku near the train station. The lobby is impressive with marble floors and a large chandelier but was disappointed to find no lowered counter at the check-in counter. A little English is spoken at this hotel which made it easier to check-in. Right around the corner from the check-in counter are the elevators and a wheelchair accessible restroom.

A number of restaurants are found on the lobby floor including one serving Italian and another traditional Japanese cuisine. There’s even an American café, coffee shop and a bakery to get morning goodies. On the hotel’s top 45th floor was a lounge with a limited bar menu. The lounge had a great view of the surrounding area but was not adapted for wheelchair access due to one large step. However, the staff immediately assisted me up it.   

The hotel has a front and back entrance. The front has automatic sliding doors while back has a revolving door with a button to slow it down for the disabled. From the lobby to this back door one must travel down a long ramp that’s carpeted so traveling up it requires muscles. Nonetheless, next to the back revolving door is a lift that takes you up to the café on the lobby’s main floor, so use this if the carpeted ramp is too strenuous. Outside the back entrance is a ramp that takes you to sidewalk and the entrance to a tunnel leading directly to the train station. It’s a long tunnel but an easy, direct route. Going out the front entrance of the hotel you will need to cross a few intersections to reach the station.

The Keio Plaza Hotel has over a dozen universally accessible rooms. However, universal does not mean wheelchair accessible for all chair types and sizes. I was in room #3015 which had a set of twin beds. The room’s décor was less than impressive for the price but had some unique features. For one, the door (card access) had a large handle to open it as opposed to a door knob, which is easier for those with little hand strength. Also on the door was a digital peep hole that has a large viewing screen after pushing the large orange button. Inside large buttons either locked or opened the door. Room temperature controls have been lowered and are within reach. When you first come into the room a closet with a lowered bar and safe (on the ground) will be immediately to your right. Next to that was an elongated mirror. The room was fairly spacious with a long desk, TV, teapot and small refrigerator. The desk was high enough for me to roll under. All the lamps in the room are turned on by the turn of a knob and the curtains have long rod to pull them open and close. A motorized chair was placed near one of the beds that with a push of a button would slowly rise up to assist someone up and out of it. The space in between the two twin beds was just wide enough for my wheelchair to fit thru and the bed itself was a little lower than I am used to. One of the beds was actually electric with the ability to raise the head and feet.

The bathroom was directly across from the closet when first coming into the room. A small ramp led up to the sliding door with long handle for easier access. The bathroom door had a lowered lock. A one inch gap at the bottom of the door did not allow bathroom activities discreet. The bathroom was small, just big enough to get my chair in but left no room to maneuver. The fully digital toilet had lots of cleansing gadgets and grab bars could be lowered if needed. The sink was a semi-roll up due to the fact that the bowl itself was restricting as well as the space of the bathroom itself. There was no roll-in shower but a bathtub with grab-bars and a height of 21.5.” The hotel provided a shower bench with a grab-bar on one side and a foot stool. If wanting to use the bathtub, a soft foam pad is available to sit on. The showerhead was handheld but there was no holder for it within easy access. One must carefully reach all the way forward for the showerhead and then balance it while showering.

Room Dimensions: from the bathtub to the door = 5,’ from the sink to the opposite wall = 3’8,” and toilet to opposite wall = 33” (29” when handrail is accounted for).

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