Like in so many developed countries, sidewalks, public buildings and schools all over Japan are steadily being transformed to allow bariaa furii, or barrier-free, access for all. This is of course a wonderful thing, since no one should ever be excluded or have their path blocked due to something like a steep kerb or flight of stairs, but there are some places where improving accessibility can be that bit more challenging.

Shared earlier this week by a Japanese Twitter user, this photo shows a pathway over a stretch of water in what appears to be a Japanese water garden or park, signed as accessible by wheelchair users. As net users were quick to realise, though, it doesn’t look like the easiest way to cross…

Accompanied by a large, pink sign reading “Kuruma isu you tsuuro” or “pathway for wheelchairs”, this decidedly treacherous bridge offers more than a little challenge to anyone using a wheelchair or on crutches.

Judging by the colour and shape of the paving slabs, this is clearly a newer addition to the rest of the garden, and we’re sure there are plenty of wheelchair users out there who are pleased to see that their needs are not being completely ignored. But we doubt many people would be brave enough to take those 90-degree turns with nought but open air and a few inches of water either side of the path, which now we look at it doesn’t appear to be quite wide enough to fit a full-size wheelchair anyway.

Unsurprisingly, the tweet quickly went viral, with thousands of Twitter users expressing their dismay and hypothesising how anyone is supposed to traverse the pathway without getting wet.

“Maybe the floor’s made out of glass?”

“Newer wheelchairs have a ‘B-dash’ function, so they can clear the gap.”

“Let’s do some wheelchair athletics!”

“Extreme rehabilitation…”

Then one net user hit the nail on the head by asking:

“So where do you have to recite the secret incantation?”

▼ Perhaps by uttering the magic words the path shall be completed?

Access fixed

Source: Hamster Sokuhou
Photo: Twitter edited by RocketNews24