Hearton Hotel in Kyoto, Japan

Hearton Hotel is a mid-priced hotel in Kyoto is on a small side street in a very central location, surrounded by many attractions and the train station within rolling distance. Right outside of the entrance is a handicapped parking spot and once thru the automatic doors the check-in counter is on the left. The Hearton Hotel had no lowered check-in space for wheelchair users. Only one or two employees at the hotel could speak English but this was very limited at best. To the right of the check-in counter is a café that offers western-style entrées for breakfast and lunch. Breakfast is served as a full buffet and lunch is partial. If you need assistance there are waiter and waitress readily available. On the second floor is a traditional Japanese restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also on this floor are two computers that you can pay to use. A laundry washer and dryer is available for use but rests on a platform, making it impossible to access in a wheelchair.      

Hearton Hotels have one wheelchair accessible room and in Kyoto this was room #358. The wide door opens with a key and does not have a lowered peep hole. Inside the hallway had a standing rack for clothes and just around the corner are the controls for heating and air conditioning controls which have been lowered. A long desk aligns the wall with a flat screen television, refrigerator and teapot. A small table is set beside that but then there is a good amount of space between that and the twin beds. However, the space between the two beds is quiet narrow, just wide enough for my chair. The bed was also lower and firmer than hotel beds in the United States.

The bathroom door was in the hallway and when you immediately enter the toilet is on the left adjacent to the sink and has the usual hygiene gadgets. Towel racks are above the toilet and out of reach, when I needed a towel I used a hanger to grab it. The sink’s design is technically a roll-up but the bowl is so wide and set so low that majority of wheelchairs would not be able to roll under. The other part of the bathroom is divided into a roll-in shower and bathtub surrounded by grab-bars. The hotel provides a portable showerchair with a hard plastic seat. The handheld showerhead nozzle is at a great height to reach. An extra grab-bar may be attached to the bathtub for more stability. Soap, shampoo and conditioner are set in a tray that can be moved wherever convenient.

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