JAPAN FOR THE DISABLED
Japan has improved hugely over the last few decades in providing access and services for the disabled. For wheelchair users and others with motion difficulties, most stations in the bigger cities have lifts and helpful staff on hand to get you on and off your desired train. Some buses in major cities, known as non-step buses, have facilities for wheelchair users to board and alight safely. However, the more rural that one goes, the less likely that barrier-free facilities exist on public transportation, so plan accordingly. Urban Japan has excellent toilet facilities, with their anyone-can-use daredemo toilets that are spacious and have up-to-date equipment. Again, though, there can be discrepancies between every daredemo toilet you use, so don’t always expect the same high standards each time. For visually impaired visitors, train platforms and most pavements in big cities have the raised dots and lines known as tactile paving, and traffic lights provide melodies to help with crossing the road safely. Once outside the major cities, such provision becomes less adequate, and any visit will need a great deal of planning.