Visit Accessible Attractions in Japan

When traveling to a different country most people will plan each day where multiple attractions can be seen, which is easy in Japan because most of the time a few attractions are clustered together. Attractions can be just a station or two away or within rolling distance from each other. With so much to see along the way, time management becomes vital. Regardless, it’s good planning to pick up a map of the area you are visiting at the train station you get off at to help you navigate and use when asking for directions. On the sidewalks near train stations or attraction areas you will see a local map. What’s particularly helpful is that a “You Are Here” box is included on the map with an arrow pointing you in direction you are standing.

No matter what attraction I visited I got in the habit of asking whether or not there was a disabled discounted ticket  because many places have this and at times there is no entrance fee for wheelchair users. If person at the ticket counter says there is no discount but the pathways associated with the attraction are not up to your accessible standards then push the issue with the ticket attendant and see if a discount or no charge can be applied. When traveling alone in your wheelchair or with someone else that also is in a chair such discounts are more readily given because you don’t have an able bodied person to assist you. Regardless if you have to pay a fee or not, at ticket counters you can pick up a brochure in English and a map of the property. Maps will show stairs or other barriers as well as elevators to help you figure out the accessible route as well as where the accessible restroom is located.

 

RELIGIOUS/SPIRITUAL BUILDINGS

The ancient architecture of temples, shrines and pagodas is what draws so many visitors to Japan. Shrines are associated with the Shinto religion and temples with Buddhism and can be found in every city nestled in the middle of traffic or quietly kept on top of or alongside a hill. So many temples and shrines exist in Japan that selection is a must which can be difficult. Some areas have a big concentration of temples and shrines. You could be on your way to one and come across a few others along the way. The two most common kinds of temples in Japan are a Buddhist Temple and a Zen Buddhist Temple. The difference is that a Zen Buddhist Temple has to have a Zen Garden, teahouse and always charges an entrance fee. However, at the biggest attractions a fee common but every temple and shrine I visited gave some kind of a disabled discount. Odd numbered, multi-level pagodas serve a religious function in Buddhism and are found near temples. Temples and shrines open in the morning between 7am-8am and usually close around 5pm-6pm. Some temples stay open a little bit longer, like 7pm or 8pm, in the warmer months.

At some temples and shrines you may find a natural spring fountain where you can get a drink and fill up your water bottle. Near the fountain you will see metal cups with a long wooden handle. You do not drink directly from these cups. The proper way is hold the cup handle in your right hand and pour a little water into your left hand to wash it then switch hands and wash the right. Place the handle back in your right hand and fill up the cup again. This is followed by one last pour into the left hand which you then take a drink out of. Each time I did this, I felt the sacredness of the experience and the water flowered through me like divine energy. Not every fountain was within accessible reach but several I visited were and at those that were not kind strangers offered to help. I would always refill my water bottle here. 

Some temples and shrines have smooth walkways but many are made of pebbles. Pebbles can seem like quicksand sometimes sucking the wheels under and making it hard to push. Pebbles can also possibly chew up wheels and get stuck in small places on a chair effecting performance.  I found a few wheelchair accessible temples and shrines with a ramp but often stairs barricaded how close I could get. The small portion of temples and shrines that are located on top of or alongside a hill are some of the most desirable to see. However, their location does not make it easy to get to; in other words, no convenient public transportation drop-off point. Most tourists walk up the hill but a couple temples and shrines will have a restricted road in which a registered handicapped vehicle is permitted to use. This means that hiring a taxi with handicapped license plate/sticker is imperative if using a manual wheelchair. The pathways, though often paved, are steep for a quarter of a mile or even more so if you have a power wheelchair this is obviously much easier than using a manual.  

The below list is a sample of temples and shrines:

Todaiji Temple (Nara Park) is famous for the Daibutsuden or Great Buddha Hall that holds the world’s largest bronze statue of Buddha along with a few other statues. Wheelchair access was excellent at this temple. In the middle of the cobblestone pathway to the temple is a smooth stone pathway with no cracks. Follow this to the left of the main entrance; you will see signs as well. At the ramp ring the attendant who will ask if you have a ticket or not. I was given a disabled discount of 300yen instead of 500yen. It was easy to navigate to the temple from there. Just outside the temple’s main entrance a ramp caught my eye leading to a large closed door but to the right of it was a gate and a pathway that wrapped around to the front of the temple where a door was open. I watched a practicing monk open the gate and go through and decided I would follow his lead. Right in front of the temple was another ramp this time to get inside. The ramp was carefully fitted over the step threshold as to not affect the original structure. Inside, the Big Buddha statue is overwhelmingly large; a gift shop is also nearby. By wheelchair you are able to travel around the perimeter to get different views but stairs prevent access to the center courtyard. On the perimeter, there is access to the large incense burner, which is thought to bring healing powers.

Kasuga Taisha Shrine (Nara Park) is about a thirty to forty minute stroll from the Todaiji Temple. At first the walkway was paved with a number of eroded areas but as you continue to the temple the pavement eventually disintegrates completely to become all pebbles, which was hard to move thru in some spots. Along the road to the shrine are many stone lanterns on display of all shapes and sizes and at the shrine are hanging bronze lanterns in perfect parallel lines. The shrine itself is not wheelchair accessible. At the base of it are stairs that continue throughout the shrine. So unless you can climb that many stairs or have someone to carry you, the base is as far as a wheelchair user can access.

Hōryū-ji Temple (Nara) is the oldest surviving wooden temple in Japan with a world famous five-story pagoda. There are also other treasured structures some with restricted viewing times and even no public viewing at all. The architecture is stunning down to the buildings created to hold valuable spiritual artifacts. The grounds are quite large but very flat and almost perfectly smooth. I only had to cross gavel to reach a ramp once. Ramps are located everywhere and an accessible restroom is also provided. This World Heritage site does a great job making the temple wheelchair accessible. A museum with displayed artifacts was even accessible. The only non-accessible feature was access into the pagoda which was open to the public. I received a discounted ticket.  The Hōryū-ji Temple is about a twenty minute roll from the Oji Station but a bus is available too to get you closer to the temple from the station.

Tenryū-ji Temple (Kyoto) is not very wheelchair friendly and only a small discount is applied. First, one must go up a very steep metal ramp with an unsmooth and unsafe design. I asked someone I didn’t know to help me. I was given a map and was told I would be restricted to going one way because the other had stairs. This turned out to be false, both directions had stairs one was just more steep than the other. The only accessible pathway is around the outside of the temple along the Zen Garden and partly around the pond. Accessible bathrooms are within this area. However, just past the restrooms is a set of wide stairs varying in height. The other side has an average spaced staircase. With also no access inside, I set off to see if I could get my money back or a better discount but was denied.

Kiyomizu-dera Temple (Kyoto) is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most photographed attractions in Japan, following Mt. Fuji, and once you see it it’s clear why. Partially tucked away amongst trees, the Kiyomizu-dera Temple cascades over the edge of a hill overlooking the valley below. A three story pagoda and many halls and shrines are also associated with this site. Ramps are everywhere and an accessible restroom is behind the main temple and shrine; an accessible walkway and signs are visible. Around the corner from the restroom is the entrance to the main temple with the ticket counter on the right; those in wheelchairs receive a discount. The Jishu Shrine is a popular attraction right next to the main temple but the stone staircase prevents access. This shrine holds a famous set of love stones that grant true love to those able to walk across the two stones with eyes closed. (No wonder it’s not wheelchair accessible.)

The pathway continues past the temple hugging the cliff all the way down to the natural spring waterfall but has some potential challenges. For one, a little past the main temple one must go over a rather steep stone bridge. After that, it is put on your breaks time to gradually cruise down the rest of the hill. At the very bottom, just before you reach the waterfall, the pathway gets steeper and splits into two trails: one with stairs and one without and is marked with a sign. The accessible one had a shop and a teahouse or two along the way. People stand in line to get a drink of the fresh spring water. The line is not accessible but to the left of it is a ramp for it. Be patient and polite while cutting to the front of the line. Then the pathway follows up another hill to the beginning of this historical site marked by the Deva and West Gate.    

Getting to this area may be a bit of a challenge. From most public transportation it takes about ten minutes to get to the gates but this is entirely up a gradual hill, so unless you are in a power chair you may have to reconsider. Wheelchair accessible taxis are the only mode of transportation you can use to get to the very top because they have permission to drive on the restricted streets leading up to and in the temple boundaries. You will be able to be dropped off real close.

Nashinoki-jinja Shrine (Kyoto) borders the Kyoto Imperial Palace on Teramachi Dori Street. After crossing a small patch of rocks a pathway of smooth stones leads to the shrine. On the left side is a short ramp that takes you to the center of the shrine where the bell is. Put your monetary offering (of whatever amount) in the box and ring the bell once then bow twice, clap twice in prayer while thinking about your wish and bow once more. The Nashinoki-jinja Shrine also has a natural spring water fountain where you can get a drink. Access was a little difficult but a local standing nearby jumped right in and got me a cup of water.

Rozanji Temple (Kyoto) is nearly right across the street from the Nashinoki-jinja Shrine. This is a lovely temple with a Zen Garden and three bells to ring for prayers all within reach from my wheelchair. From the sidewalk gate there is an accessible ramp to enter into the temple area. Within the walls a smooth stone accessible pathway leads you around the property. There is even a ramp up to a stage on a particular building which looks to be a private Buddhist chapel but there is no access inside.

Shokokuji Temple (Kyoto) is a large temple site one block away from the Kyoto Imperial Palace. It’s located behind some university buildings off Imadegawa Street.  The grounds are just beautiful with a pond and trees surrounding the temple, halls and Monk living quarters. The entire property is flat and the pathway is made up of smooth stones, which is good for any wheelchair to get around. Presently, the Shokouji Temple is the head temple of the Shokoku-ji branch of Rinzai Zen, with over ninety affiliated temples. It also has the oldest Hatto building in Japan (Dharma Hall) and is nationally recognized as important cultural property.

Rokuon-ji Temple and Kinkaku-ji (Kyoto) make up a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is very popular with tourist. People in chairs receive a discount because the temple part of the site is not wheelchair accessible. Kinkaku is a shariden, a Buddhist hall containing relics of Buddha, and is the only accessible area though it requires wheeling thru small pebbles to reach. It is worth seeing the beautifully crafted gold building that rests peacefully on a pond surrounded by a garden.

 

MUSEUMS

When it comes to museums the bigger the city the more museums it will have. Tokyo has too many museums to count, perhaps around a hundred on all kinds of subjects, but a certain twenty-five are the most popular focusing on the arts and history. Kyoto has over fifty, Osaka with around seven and Nara with only a few. Many but not all are located near public transportation so sometimes you may find you need to wheel a bit. Usually museums have coin operated lockers if you want to store anything, wheelchair accessible restrooms and wheelchairs for rent. Only one museum I visited was not fully wheelchair accessible and there was also one that some may deem partially accessible.

Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (Shibuya, Tokyo) is located in a building at Yebisu Garden Place across the street from the JR Ebisu station. The ground floor has a ticket counter, gift shop and movie theater associated with the museum. The movie theater has a ramp to left of the stairs. If you need to borrow a wheelchair they are available for free on the ground level. Three exhibition galleries on the third, second and basement floors are all accessible by elevator. Exhibits change frequently. When I visited the museum one of the exhibits were the World Press Photos of 2012.

Museum of Yebisu* Beer (Shibuya, Tokyo) is also in the Yebisu Garden Place. You enter the museum on the lower ground level by an elevator accessed through the shopping mall. Once inside the museum you then take another elevator down to the museum’s main floor. Here you can pay to take a guided tour. Though the tour was all in Japanese, you are provided with a pamphlet in English and every display has an English translation. The end of the tour concludes with a sampling of two beers (full glasses) and a demonstration on how to properly pour this beer into a glass. Yebisu is a malt beer so you want the make three aggressive pours into a glass to open up the flavor. You should actually see the ringed lines of the three pour as confirmation. (*Don’t pronounce the Y in Yebisu.)

Nezu Museum (Roponggi, Tokyo)has two floors of exhibits accessible by elevator of various Japanese and East Asian works of art and ancient Chinese bronzes. Outside a garden pathway wraps around a shrine, statues and a koi pond surrounded by a small forest. The pathway changes throughout the garden but is mainly weathered stone, which requires a close watch as to not get caster wheels caught in the cracks. The loop around the garden goes down then up then down and back up. When leaving the museum’s backdoor if you head to the right you will first go down the longest and steepest hill in the garden. This is the only portion of the trail that is smoothly paved. After the downward slope, there is a bit of a climb up large steppingstones then the pathway meanders back down to the koi pond and gradually back up to the top. In some places the pathway is narrow and/or wet so caution should be exercised.

Hara Museum of Contemporary Art (Shingawa, Tokyo) was listed under the Tokyo Handy Guide book as having handicapped parking and restroom. However, upon arrival I was blocked by two stairs and told that there was no other entrance or portable ramp. One of the museum attendants and a stranger helped me up the two wide stairs. The museum is two floors but no elevator so only two galleries can be viewed along with the museum gift shop and accessible restroom. A café on the ground floor is not accessible due to stairs. Access to the garden is possible through the back gate but someone at the front desk will need to arrange this. It is all low grass in the garden, no pathway. This museum is located in a rather affluent neighborhood yet equality of access is lacking here.     

EDO-Tokyo Museum (Sumida, Tokyo) is where you can learn the history and culture of the Edo Period in Tokyo through all kinds of artifacts and replications. Free guides are available in a few languages, including English. The guides know how to navigate around the museum, including the elevators, and can explain what you are looking at because most everything is in Japanese. The guide skips around so if there is something that you want further explanation about then speak up.

 

GARDENS & PARKS

Gardens not only incorporate traditional Japanese styles but also others from around the world and can be found in busy metropolises and small cities. All vary in size, access and price. All parks and gardens at some point incorporate pebbles as a part of the natural design and on occasionally will have paved walkways. The pebble path may limit how far you can explore, in which you should discuss at the ticket counter to reduce your rate. In general, not every trail within a park and garden will be wheelchair accessible. Most commonly, the outermost pathway is the most consistently level.   

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (Shinjuku, Tokyo) is a short ten minute stroll from the train station. The pathway leading up to the gate are cobblestones in the shape of and laid out like bricks but doesn’t last long. Once you are through the accessible gate the pathway becomes paved though there are a few spots that are pebbles. The outer rim of the garden is the most level with medium-sized but gradual hills towards the center. This garden is multicultural featuring a French Formal Garden and English Landscape Garden as well as modern and traditional Japanese Garden designs. The highlight of the garden are the trees which gracefully change colors with the seasons and wrap around koi ponds and streams. During the summer, I saw no flowers except for the rose beds in the French Formal Garden but was nonetheless captivated by the lush landscape. Every blade of grass and rock specifically placed to collectively create a message. Locals sat underneath sculpted trees painting or sketching something from the surroundings that inspired them. Seeing this made me happy. Around the French Formal Garden is the largest area where the pathway becomes pebbles. Bathrooms are all over the garden and 90% are wheelchair accessible.     

Bamboo Forrest (Kyoto) is a part of the Arashiyama District, a lovely touristy area with very scenic surroundings. The bamboo forest is still currently used to manufacture items like baskets and cups for the area. Down the middle of the forest is a smoothly paved pathway that inclines gradually for a while until steep hills appear. I was able to go up one but then once I saw the next I turned around. The Bamboo Forest leads to area where a few temples are located and access is unknown.  

Nara Park (Nara) is filled with attractions and was worth the twenty minute stroll from the JR station that included one fairly large hill. There is no way around going up the hill. In general, the park itself is relatively flat with the occasional gradual incline. The park is landscaped with a few ponds and stream. Wheelchair accessible bathrooms can be found throughout the park. When you first enter Nara Park you will immediately see one of its most famous attractions, Sika Deer which are symbols for God’s messengers. These tamed deer roam the park, some areas are more concentrated than others but they are everywhere. Occasionally, you will see stands that sell thin biscuits that you can feed to the deer but be careful because the deer love these things and will try to snatch the whole stack at once. The deer are so tame that you can even reach out and pet them but do so with common sense.

To travel to the three main attractions in Nara Park will take at around three hours but could be longer if making other stops. When entering into the park from the Nara Station you will see the Kohfukuji Temple, which features a five and three-story pagoda. There is also a museum here that displays artifacts. The other two main buildings are the Todaiji Temple and Kasuga Taisha Shrine, in which accessible details have been described above in a previous section. Small shrines, halls and gardens can be found in between these three main attractions. The Nara National Museum is located just past the Kohfukuji Temple. This imperial museum is wheelchair accessible with ramps and elevators to access the display areas. Wheelchairs are also available for rent and an accessible restroom is on the ground floor.

Surrounding the parks perimeter are more temples, shrines and museums. A couple blocks from the JR West Nara Station, opposite to Nara Park, are still more ancient attractions. The most efficient way of getting to these temples, shrines, halls, museums and burial mounds is by train. Across the street from the Kohfukui Temple is the Kintetsu Nara Station in which you can take a train to reach this area. Otherwise, it’s a couple of miles to reach and a couple of miles long.

Hama-rikyu Gardens (Minato-ku, Tokyo) is in the part of Greater Tokyo called Chūō but is also referred to as the Shiodome-Shiba-Takeshiba area. It borders Tokyo Bay where remnants of the Edo era merge with modern culture. Take the train to the Hamamatsucho Station and from there it’s a short fifteen to twenty minute stroll on an almost completely level sidewalk thru a business district to reach the garden. I received free admission into the garden because, like most gardens, wheelchair access is limited to the outer perimeter. The smaller pathways in between had hills, stairs and narrow passageways. The outer pathway has its challenging points in my manual wheelchairs. For one, it was made up of pebbles. Just past the waterbus landing was difficult spot where the trail had become dirt and tree roots were sticking out of the ground on a small slope. I went around this area the best I could in a wheelie. After that the trail cut inwards a bit passing three ponds. One of the ponds has a beautiful bridge that leads to, I believe, a teahouse but the bridge had steps. For some, another barrier exists on the way to the flower field. One must go over a steep cement bridge that is cracked in some places. Conveniently, I was offered help right as I was heading for it and graciously accepted. Free guides were standing by the ticket counter, one was in English, who kindly showed me where the closest accessible restroom was; four out six restrooms were wheelchair accessible. 

Kyu-Shiba-rikyu Gardens (Minato-ku, Tokyo) is a small garden located practically around the corner from the Hamamatsucho Station. The only accessible path around Kyu-Shiba-rikyu Gardensis on the outer perimeter. However, the pathway is mostly pebbles with some dirt spots and generally uneven to navigate thru. Because the terrain was difficult I did not have to pay an entrance fee. It was still nice to see that there was still a wheelchair accessible restroom available.

 

MORE ATTRACTIONS

Amusement Arcades in major cities, usually near the train stations are arcade rooms. In many cities there are a few and feature all kinds of games. Rows and rows of people sit at monitors, like in Las Vegas. Some of these monitors act as a pinball machine and others you used the small metal ball to start the game. In the aisles are baskets of these metal balls and each player had a large ticket showing off the back of the chair he or she was sitting at so it seemed like a flat fee was paid for as many rounds as the player pleases. This style of game was the most popular but there was also others like a shooting and one where you played the drums. The games I saw getting the least amount of action were the ones where you try to win a prize; for instance, the claw crane.

Amusement Parks are Universal Studio Japan (Osaka) and Disneyland Japan (Urayasu- right outside of Tokyo) do what they can to make the property accessible. Restrooms are accessible, pathways are paved and elevators are plentiful. However, rides have limited access and some may only be accessible to those that can stand. If traveling alone or with an able body person who cannot lift you then rides options are even more limited. Like in the U.S., these parks have attractions besides rides and of course many places to eat and shop.

Animal Exhibits are Ueno Zoo in Ueno Park (Taitō, Tokyo) and Tokyo Sea Life Park (Urayasu, Tokyo Bay) and both are accessible. Many handicapped restrooms are all over. Not every viewing area will be accessible. Some inclines at the zoo may require assistance.

Arashiyama Noryo Ukai Cormorant Fishing (Kyoto) is a traditional Japanese fishing method and style. Originally it did not include boats but evolved to even being entertainment for aristocrats. In other words, it’s beautiful. In Arashiyama District of Kyoto on the Oi River tourist boats depart just upstream from the Togetsukyo Bridge to watch Ukai Cormorant Fishing. This happens every evening in the summertime from 7pm to 9pm and 6:30pm to 8:30pm in September. Along the river a little ticket office is setup where you buy your fare to ride in a boat that follows the fishermen. This activity is by all means not accessible but if you have a manual wheelchair and are not too heavy a few guys are willing to carry you in your chair onto the boat. Otherwise, you can watch from further away near the Arashiyama Station.

EPSON Aqua Stadium (Shinagawa, Tokyo) is located not too far from the Shinagawa Station but deceivingly difficult to reach for a manual chair. After passing through a food court via ramp you then have to climb a hill that’s about a seventy degree angle for a couple hundred feet up to the entrance. A power wheelchair is beneficial in this situation. Inside, an elevator takes you to the ground floor of the EPSON Aqua Stadium where you can purchase tickets. This attraction is does not have a disabled discount. Half of the area is setup like an aquarium with various fish, sharks and even a penguin exhibit. However, the biggest draw is the stadium itself with regularly scheduled performances with dolphins and sea lions throughout the day. The dolphin show was impressive and full of energy. A designated area for wheelchair users is located in a great spot to see the action. Those sitting closest to the pool wear waterproof ponchos because the dolphins are trained to splash.

Gion Geisha District (Kyoto) is filled with shops, restaurants, teahouses and of course Geisha living quarters on Shijo Avenue. Around age fourteen instead of enrolling in an academic school some girls choose enter the school of the Geisha. The training to become a Geisha is rigorous and many drop out. Being a Geisha meaning becoming a part of a hierarchy system. Girls who have been a Geisha the longest have seniority. This area is completely flat but Shijo Avenue has no defined sidewalk so yield to vehicles.

Nijo Castle (Kyoto) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is located in a busy area of town just a block away from the Kyoto Imperial Palace. I received free admission because of the difficulty of navigating through pebble pathway in my manual wheelchair. The castle had a special ramped entrance to get inside and ramps throughout. Before entering into the castle, a wheelchair user either has to transfer into one of castle’s wheelchairs or clean off the wheels with a wet rang that’s provided. Attendants will be right there to assist if needed. Inside the walkways are smooth, polished wood but at doorways there is a small bump as a transitional design.

Nishiki Market (Kyoto) is a very large market that expands a few blocks and is filled with bustling energies and aromas. The market itself is closed to vehicles but intersects with a few small streets which you should then yield to oncoming traffic. The market is most famously known for the beautiful display fresh food: fresh, produce, spices, teas and candies. These small shops usually have grab-and-go items. I was very intrigued by a small red octopus on a stick but didn’t indulge but a friend of mine got raw tuna that looked tasty. In addition to food, the Nishiki Market is a great place to find unique handmade souvenirs, like chopsticks, flatware and art as well as clothes and beauty products. One particular art gallery sold traditional Japanese block prints. A few restaurants also exist in Nishiki Market one of the most famous ones has an enormous crab on the outside that you just can’t miss (can you guess its specialty?).

Odaiba Island (Tokyo) has gardens, museums, amusement parks, restaurants and unique entertainment. It’s located in Tokyo Bay which can be easily accessed by a water bus. From the island you can get a great view of Tokyo’s skyline and many iconic landmarks like the Rainbow Bridge, the Statue Liberty and the FUJI TV Headquarters.

Ryōgoku Kokugikan (Sumida, Tokyo) is an indoor stadium used for sumo wrestling tournaments and right next door to the Edo-Tokyo Museum.

Sony Building (Ginza, Tokyo) is where you can test the latest and great technology from Sony. Everything is very interactive and the building itself has other shops and restaurants associated with it.

Tanise Suspension Bridge (Nara) is Japan’s longest wired bridges and is located deep in the mountains. It sways in the wind but is wide and flat making access is possible (if you are not scared).

Theaters are all over Japan featuring movies, theatrical plays and musical performances. Tokyo Tower (Minato-ku, Tokyo) is a communications tower with observation deck designed exactly like the Eiffel Tower only painted orange and white. It’s currently the world’s tallest steel structure.

Tokyo Skytree (Sumida, Tokyo) has been the largest tower in the world since 2011 at 634m (2,080ft). It operates as a broadcasting tower but features and two observation decks along with restaurants and shops. At night it continuously changes colors, illuminating the sky. The building did a perfect job with wheelchair access. Attendants were always very courteous, starting with sending me to the front of the line to purchase my discounted ticket. I was also led first onto the elevator. At the ground floor you purchase a ticket to get you to the first of two observation decks, which has the glass floor where you can see straight to the ground and an accessible restroom. It is on this floor that you can only then purchase an additional ticket to go up to the top observation deck that spans five floors. On these floors you travel up a gradual spiraling pathway with landing pads. Each observation deck is surrounded by large windows to maximize the view.

Tsukiji Market (Ginza, Tokyo) is the largest wholesale market in Japan which supplies restaurants with kitchenware and the plastic food displays seen in the windows of restaurants all over Japan.

HELPFUL MAP: A PDF that breaks down the different areas of Kyoto and the attractions within each in different map
RELATED READS: Japan Wheelchair Travel JournalJapan Travel Guide – Getting Around Japan in a Wheelchair
WATCH VIDEO: Japan Wheelchair Travel Review

 Besides Tokyo, Kyoto and Nara numerous more attractions exist throughout other parts of Japan that I wanted to see. Attractions like a lavender field, a Japanese garden by a river and an hour long boat ride on a canal surrounding a castle. The Japanese Accessible Tourism Center is filled with great ideas on attractions and provides wheelchair access details.

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