JAPAN FOR ALL
Japan is a Country for everyone, in my opinion the most accessible Country I have ever seen by now!
I fell in love with it from the first moment, with its traditions and the way they see the people.
A great attention, attention to details and the research for beauty are still alive traditions.
Tokyo is an accessible city for people with disabilities.
You will experience the sensation of taking a free walk again.
When to go to Japan
When I think of Japan I immediately think of the cherry blossom and immediately afterwards the Japanese manga and anime.
The best time of year to visit Japan is spring. The streets, parks and temples are tinged with shades of pink thanks to the sakura scattered throughout the city.
Predicting flowering is easy thanks to the precision of Japanese institutions, every year they update the dates of flowering.
If you want to plan the itinerary based on the cherry blossom here is the link that is updated every year for the cherry blossom!
Guys, here comes the good news: if organize yourself in time, Japan is also economically accessible!!
Flights, if booked on time, can be found at advantageous prices.
To save money on hotels, just avoid the city center, but thanks to the impeccable rail and subway network, reaching every corner of the city is a matter of minutes and will save you a lot of money on overnight stays.
Street food costs very little and is really delicious. Sushi restaurants, on the other hand, are quite expensive.
But before talking about which hotels I recommend (in the next article), I want to show you the tour we did.
Japan: a 15-days accessible tour
Here I present our 15-days itinerary in Japan during spring.
What cities to visit in Japan in 15 days
Tokyo is a magical city, always alive, never sleeping, full of people coming and going from the city.
Shinjuku is one of the largest and busiest stations in the world, accessible but be careful: you will get lost in it (literally)!! We could no longer orient ourselves after a couple of minutes.
Japanese stations are underground cities for real!
Tokyo is divided into neighborhoods.
Shinjuku: modern and lively district, perfect for night and daily life. Lots of shopping centers, bars and cafes of all types and designs. I remember that here we found Conan’s coffee. Yes, you got it right: the detective with the glasses!
One of the best neighborhoods to stay overnight.
Ginza: they say it is the richest district, a bit the Tokyo’s “elite”.
Shibuya: youth district, here you will find the most spectacular and busiest intersection in the world. More than a million people cross through it every day.
Akihabara: the district of technology and anime and manga.
Here you will also find the Maid Cafè especially in Chuo Dori, one of the main streets.
Roppongi: if you love nightlife then I recommend you a trip here. You will find many restaurants, bars and discos.
5 must in Tokyo
Tsukiji fish market!!
Guys .. there is no excuse: you have to go !!
Every delicacy you’ve ever dreamed of is here! The best sushi I have ever eaten!
Meiji Shrine: learn the tradition and make a prayer. Personally, I fell in love with the Japanese rite of prayer.
Ueno park: a beautiful place both day and night, if you are a couple it is the right place to have a picnic. If not, don’t worry! For the Japanese it is also a perfect place for families and friends.
At night time it is one of the most illuminated parks in Tokyo!
Another very nice park is Shinjuku Gyoen!!
Tokyo Disneyland: we did not go, but it will be one of our next goals! They say Tokyo Disneyland is super accessible.
If you haven’t already, you can read my Disneyland Paris article HERE.
Japanese cities are all very accessible except the ancient part of Kyoto.
Kyoto is a perched and uphill city, therefore full of steps.
Despite its timeless charm, we must accepted that it is not accessible.
In this city you can see many people with traditional kimonos walking on the street. It will also be possible to rent your kimono for a day to fully immerse yourself in the Japanese tradition.
If you are curious, you can read my article about our second trip to Japan when I finally experienced a full-day as a geisha.
Absolutely unmissable is Arashiyama, the bamboo forest not far from the city… to our delight it is completely accessible!
Other destinations not to be missed are: the Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji) and Fushimi Inari: the temple with the many red doors scattered along the mountain, but unfortunately… here you will find some steps, but if you go up from the left side you can skip some steps and get to the more accessible part.
We went to Hakone for one reason, but very valid… the thermal bath!
Hakone is one of the Japanese favorite destinations to relax and go to the onsen.
In addition, you will find many spots to see Mount Fuji from!
Finding many hotels suitable for people with disabilities will not be a problem.
It will be more difficulty to find a fitting onsen…
In Japan onsen are separated between males and females, so if you need someone to help you (of the opposite sex) it will be not possible to stay together.
The only option is to rent a private thermal bath! There are private “rooms” with pools of thermal water that will allow you to enjoy this experience in complete tranquility, staying with your partner.
Nara is magnificent for its beautiful park!
You will have already seen photos among cherry trees and fawns… well if you want one too, you must go here!
Not all the park is accessible, but enough to enjoy everything you need.
You just have to be careful because these very cute animals are really hungry! And every now and then they BITE!
This city is an must stop if you want to see Himeji Castle and Osaka Castle.
Both are beautiful.
Osaka Castle is more accessible than Himeji’s.
In Himeji you can reach the main lawn but to climb inside the walls you will encounter several steps and also very steep climbs.
In my opinion it still worthy to go. Especially in the flowering period.
The castle park is an immense expanse of cherry trees in bloom and people having picnics.
Osaka at night is one of the most illuminated cities.
It is a must to go to Namba at night, one of the most famous streets in the world.
Kanazawa is the city of gold.
If you want to experience the purities of eating an ice cream with golden leaves on top, you are in the right place!
If you want to make yourself gold face masks you are in the right place!
The city is characteristic because it has maintained an ancient part, but has managed to remain accessible.
Here you have to visit the castle with its park!
It is truly an example of the skill and harmony they manage to create with their parks. It was certainly one of the most welcome surprises of our trip.
We were impressed how tradition and modern city had combined in Kanazawa, making the city truly enjoyable.
Hiroshima e Miyajima
In our opinion, if you decide to go to Japan you have to stop in Hiroshima.
A day to remember and to better understand the emptiness that is still inside this Country.
The peace memorial and the Genbaku Dome are the places that most impressed us.
From here you can go to Miyajima, an island in front of Hiroshima which boasts a particular history.
On this island you will find Itsukushima Shrine, one of the few structures left literally standing after the explosion of the nuclear bomb.
This island is magnificent, I recommend you to sleep in a local ryokan!
The island looks like a surreal place, almost as if time has stopped.
COME MUOVERSI IN GIAPPONE
The apps we used to move around Japan are: Hyperdia and Tokyosubway, they are very useful for checking the timetables and the routes of the subway and the railway service.
For our itinerary we decided to purchase the Japan Rail Pass.
Don’t be frightened by the price, it’s worth every euro spent.
For the first time in your life you will experience what a world made for us really means!!
The stations and trains are all accessible, the bathrooms are spacious and very clean.
There is no need to notify any assistance and if you have any questions, there is always some employee at each station to answer you in a cordial and exhaustive way (even if English is not always impeccable).
Even if you have troubles in little steps and gaps an employee will help you with a platform in no time.
Especially in Tokyo it will take you a while to become practical with transport. Their dense rail network is somewhat disarming at first.
Just be aware that with the Japan Rail Pass you can only take public trains. The subway and some private lines are not included.
In any case, I advise you to choose the Pass that best suits your needs and to understand the metropolitan service, so you can move without problems in every point of the city.
I don’t recommend using the plane to move around Japan. It is much better to travel by train and maybe plan stops along the way for longer routes to visit cities along the way.
Why you need to go to Japan?
Mainly the answer is one: Japan is a Country equipped for people with disabilities.
In the cities you will have no problem getting around.
However, don’t expect any special discounts because as they are well organized for people with disabilities there are no reasons to have discounted prices.
One aspect that deserves special attention are the temples.
If you want to find out which Japanese temples to visit, and which ones are accessible, you will have to wait for the next article!
If you want more information or ask me questions, write below in the comments or contact me HERE.