Kyoto is an ancient city full of interesting sights and tourist hotspots, but it is often difficult for the handicapped to get around.
That does not, however, have to prevent individuals from touring the city. Now, a Kyoto-based group is getting together in the hope of eliminating some of Kyoto’s inaccessibility. “Barikan! Kyoto” features over 200 different places that have been visited and judged by members of a spinal injury association in Kyoto. “Barikan” stands for “barrier-free sightseeing” in Japanese.
With the help of the Internet, they are pooling their information together in order to figure out what parts of Kyoto have easy access and what parts do not. It makes it simple for individuals to decide whether they can travel alone or if they should bring friends along. The site also includes information about different aspects of life in Kyoto, such as jobs, accommodation, and food.
Websites like these could reflect the changing attitude in Japan towards the issue of handicap accessibility and barriers. As Japan’s aging population becomes more and more of a reality, so will the need for a more accessible Japan. That is one of Barikan’s goals – by making it easier for the handicapped to tour Kyoto, the group hopes to bring to the forefront the issue of accessibility in Japan.