How accessible is Japan
Accessibility in Japan
Accessibility in Japan has been progressing compared to other countries. You could feel that accessibility in Japan has been progressing especially in popular touristy places and stations.
Find more information and handy guides about accessibility in Japan here.
Accessibility at the public transport stations
For example, elevators and accessible bathrooms are installed in the stations in big cites such as Tokyo. When you get on the train in a wheelchair, you can ask station attendants at the ticket gate previously if they can help you to get on the trains.
How to Get on the Train
At the time to get on the train, the station attendants take you to the platform and put a board between the train and the platform so as to let you get on the train. You need to tell the station where you will get off; another station attendant waits for you at that platform and help you to get off the train in the same way.
(Japanese trains usually are not delayed even by one minute unless an expected situation happens. Thus, the station attendants can provide with such services!)
Accessibility in big cities and small cities is different
Obstacle for traveling is language
Probably, the biggest challenge you could encounter is the language. We, Japanese, are not good at speaking English, so it might be difficult for you to book a hotels/Ryokan (Japanese style hotel) and Shinkansen (express train).
How to confirm the accessibility in hotels?
Furthermore, regarding booking the accessible rooms, there are still many hotels requiring us to book the room on the phone. Even though the law of accessibility has been introduced, which requires hotels that are big enough to accommodate the certain number of people to equip with the accessible rooms, some hotels have steps outside of the room and bathrooms are too small for the wheelchair to turn around in.
When you would like to secure whether or not your hotel meets your requirements, you need to contact the hotels to know the details of the accessible rooms on the phone.
Japan is one of the most accessible countries
In Japan, accessibility has been going on for the Olympics in 2020. You could go around in the big city smoothly; however, it is also true that there is some room for improvement.