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As our winner of the Japan Wish contest is currently living her dream in Japan, we continue to believe that everyone should visit at least once. It’s such an interesting and unique country that people who want to experience Japan, even those with disabilities, should definitely take the time to get here. Wheelchair access, though, isn’t always guaranteed everywhere you want to go, which can make planning a trip difficult.

A well-traveled electric wheelchair user has compiled a huge bank of information regarding accessibility in Japan. One of his videos clearly lays out the experience someone in a wheelchair will have when riding the train or the subway here. To quickly summarize, “All aboard!”

A minute and a half video from AccessibleJapan about the trains and subways in the country shows off Japanese hospitality at its best. Customers in wheelchairs will be happy to know that there are almost no accessibility issues when they ride the train. From purchasing a ticket to boarding, the subways and trains pass with flying colors.

Things start out well as ticket machines are placed at a height low enough to allow easy access for people in wheelchairs. There is even Braille available for those who need it. Be careful though, Braille in Japan is different from Braille in America because the two alphabets aren’t the same.

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You can tell the station attendants where you’ll be going and they’ll be incredibly helpful. They will either personally assist you in getting to the tracks, or let you know exactly where you can wait to get on the train.

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Older trains have quite a large gap between the platform and the doors, but helpful station staff are ready to lay down a ramp that bridges the space. Since they know what station you are going to, there will be someone at the other end waiting with a ramp so you can get off just as easily.

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Newer trains and subway lines have non-step trains, which means the gap between the platform and the train is almost nonexistent and easy to navigate in a wheelchair.

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All of these things combined make the riding experience an easy one for those who have accessibility issues. The only slight complaint about the stations was that the platforms can be a little narrow at times, although for the most part they’re quite spacious.

Even other countries have taken notice as the Ireland Association of Supported Employment left a comment on the video asking if Ireland had anything to learn from Japan. Do you think the trains and subways do enough for accessibility? As many of us do not use a wheelchair on a regular basis, it’s easy to forget about certain aspects that would be difficult for people who do use one. Do your part and always make sure the priority seating and wheelchair areas on trains are available to those who need it. And be sure to check the AccessibleJapan website for accessibility reviews of popular destinations in Japan.

Source and Images: YouTube/AccessibleJapan