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    Accessible Japan
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    @AccessibleJapan

    Recently Deborah visited Japan and sent in this review of her experience to share with the community:

    My trip to Tokyo  – flew out 28/12/18

    Let’s start with my plane trip, because I received my pay out, I treated myself to business class with Japan Airlines – absolutely amazing.  Each time I got up to go to the bathroom, the hostesses were there and physically helped me
    I didn’t sleep however but that’s just me and flying

    This time I stayed at the Hilton in Shinjuku
    Hotel is once in a lifetime treat

    The hotel room was very accessible for my condition – multiple sclerosis
    At check in, was given options and 2 free buffet breakfasts
    Bed was the perfect height and the room was temperature controlled
    Bathroom had 1 step up but I could hang on to the shower door handle
    There were no rails around the toilet but the sink was very strong so I could lift myself as my legs are a little stronger since I’ve been doing exercise
    I had 1 mishap, wore socks on the tiled floor and slipped whilst trying to get up
    The Hilton did offer a fully universal room but I declined

    I had an electric wheelchair delivered to the hotel
    There was a shopping arcade in the basement of the hotel with coffee – Rie Coffee – easy to get in with my walker and wheelchair but I could leave my wheelchair out the front and walk in with my walking stick
    The restaurants in ‘Hiltopia’ were probably double the price of restaurants found out and about with a local Japanese
    There was even a konbini that had everything including beautiful hot, black Boss coffee and the onagiri were yummy (rice triangles with a filling in the middle, wrapped in nori)

    The Oedo Line, not far from Shinjuku which was 15 minutes away – up the street, cross the street, down the hill, cross the street again and station is there
    Elevator down, on the day where my goal was to get to visit my son, I pushed my wheelchair on to the train, put the brakes on, sat opposite my chair
    I was scared to do this on my own
    There is a disabled sign on platform, and is raised for wheelchairs as there are a number of older people that live in the area
    Gutters were hard to navigate in my chair but there is a skill
    I did find the odd gutter that was simply too high
    I had difficulty in a street in Roppongi and a dear old lady could see the gutter and maybe my reaction, I simply couldn’t get the chair up
    She bent down and physically tried to lift me up in my chair
    Then some men came to help
    Most times I would leave the chair outside because most restaurants were small however bigger chains were great.  They would physically make room for the chair at the table

    Even though I had lost 9.3kgs before I left – thanks Keto, unfortunately at my age and obviously still my weight, I had a number of bathroom incidents

    If there is a next time, since my son is living there, I need to know where all the toilets are.  It didn’t help that I travelled in winter either
    I didn’t drink enough and this didn’t help things because then have a beautiful coffee from somewhere, mmm caffeine

    There is an older style building turned into a coffee shop in Higashinakano, I found narrow steps and there were about 6 steps
    I left my chair outside and the owner offered his hand to help

    Most elevators are big enough to wheel in and most times I could turn around but if people got in I just couldn’t

    I did find a lot of disabled bathrooms but it is a baby change room as well
    All were very clean
    I just didn’t know a particular sink?
    I refuse to wash my hands in the sink/tap above some toilets

    This time I only did 1 temple off Ueno as I had just purchased some bright green frames – will get my script here
    There was a festival on
    Very disabled friendly
    Down the bottom of a main street, I went to Ueno park lotus pond
    Again disabled friendly

    Every other station again we went to the information counter and my son would speak Japanese with the help request
    Ramps and assistance throughout the station
    At Ryogoku station taking the subway, there’s no elevator but there is a lift contraption
    Then come back via JR, elevator available
    Even at one station they stopped an escalator – the bottom 4 steps flattened out and the wheelchair could then be wheeled on, they would then start the escalator again

    The airports were all great except for Sydney I’m afraid
    They need the disability jeep like Melbourne
    Yes I can walk short distances but in crowds – no way
    Unfortunately there was a foreign woman rushing through with her luggage trolley, she physically knocked my walking stick from under my hand, causing me to exclaim loudly, she did apologise but then she knocked into my airport helper and nearly knocked him down
    Clearly she didn’t give herself time for her connection??
    Then I got yelled at, a foreign woman loudly wanted to know why I was pushing in the line to which I announced that I had a disability ☹️
    So, I will email Sydney airport about uniforms for helpers and for them to get the same vehicle as Melbourne Airport
    Getting the bus around to the domestic gate was good as the man helped me on to the bus and there was an elevator
    They left me to the last which was fine

    Going forward, I will always travel business class and I know to ask if the airport has disabled vehicles for getting around the gates, maybe always book a direct flight so no connections required
    I think I may travel in October or November as well

    Thanks for posting

    Kind regards

    Deborah Deckys

    Accessible JapanFacebookTwitter

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