Fully Accessible Japan
Facilities for people with mobility challenges in Japan are becoming more widespread as the country embraces accessibility. This is likely due in part to over 28% of their population being 65 years and above. Throughout the country, public toilets are wheelchair accessible, so too are the train stations, whose staff will provide help as needed. Adapted taxis and car rentals are also available.
Wheel chair users can navigate city streets with relative ease as the sidewalks are sufficiently wide with curb cuts. Outside of the city areas, however, this may be a bit risky as the streets are narrower and may not have dedicated sidewalks.
When planning a trip to Japan, the Japan Accessible Tourism Center (JATC) is a good resource. Founded by worldwheel chair traveller, Hideto Kijima, this non-profit organization provides accessibility information in multiple languages.
Kijima was 17 years old when he suffered a spinal cord injury playing rugby in high school, which left his lower body paralyzed. Being a wheelchair user with a passion for travel, Kijima knows how important information is for people with disabilities, therefore, he founded the non-profit to help make their navigation through Japan a bit easier.
He considers his country to be a great destination for wheelchair travellers and through his Lift Taxi Tours takes guests in his adapted vehicle which is equipped with a lift, to among others, Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Mt. Fuji .