Japan

Access in Japan was quite interesting. At this train station near Fukuoka, I went up and down steps using this device that had tank type rubber treads. It worked quite well, but the operator and I were both a little nervous about using it - it was a "first time" for both of us.

At the Osaka airport, I used an escalator. The operator pressed a button to make the escalator go in wheelchair mode. The steps changed into a platform. The operator pushed me onto it and up we went. Other escalators were not accessible but attendants that worked in those places pushed me onto the conventional escalators and held me in place while we went up or down.

Of course I had to ride the bullet train. A few of the cars had wide doors for wheelchair access; there were also so-called accessible bathrooms on board a few cars. It costs about $140 dollars to go from Fukuoa to Tokyo and takes about 6 hours. Not all stations were accessible but there were plenty of attendants, like the one standing behind me, willing to carry me up and down steps.

 

There are several sites where castles, surrounded by moats, once stood. This is one such place, about a 45 minute train ride from Fukuoka. I had to take my wheels off so I could sit low enough to go under some bridges.

I met some great people in Japan. That's Ling feeding me something delicious, and Bruce next to her.


You got to love a country that has vending machines for beer.