Beach in Okinawa

Accessing Paradise – Visiting Okinawa with a Disability

When most people think about Japan, their mind likely fills with images of bustling cities, serene temples and shrines, or Mount Fuji towering over fields as you zip across the country on the bullet train. But did you know that Japan is also home to palm trees, sandy beaches and crystal clear waters? Located in the seas between Kyushu and Taiwan, Okinawa is Japans most southern prefecture – a chain of hundreds of islands with Read more…

Entrance of Starbucks in sign language

Starbucks: A Sign of Change, and Understanding in Sign

By Justin Schroth Starbucks, for most people around the world this one word alone brings about memories of coffee, latte’s, cappuccino’s, or other caffeine-filled beverages people often enjoy. For most of these people, ordering a beverage or snack at a Starbucks is an easy matter, even most shops are accessible to wheelchairs or those living with physical disabilities. However, it is not so easy for everyone with disabilities, specifically people with hearing impairments trying place Read more…

Scene from Japan Tourism Agency restaurant accessibility video

Raising Awareness about Washoku Accessibility

By Justin Schroth The Japanese Tourism Agency (part of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism) recently produced a video to promote awareness of accessibility at restaurants in Japan.  In the video Josh Grisdale who runs Accessible Japan, sits with Patrick Anderson, noted as being the world’s best wheelchair basketball player having won 3-gold & 1-silver medals at the Paralympics, and Yuriko Oda, who is an advocate for those living with disabilities and has Read more…

Paint and artwork

Peace in Art Unbound, the 3rd Annual Paralym Art World Cup

By Justin Schroth Art as we see it is a uniquely human creation delving into life, expression, emotions, and imagination to produce objects that can move or inspire others. It has been a part of humanity even before written history existed. Some of the oldest discovered human creations, such as primitive cave drawings that are thousands of years old, are proof that no matter the era, humans have a desire to create art. This itch Read more…

Women in Kimono looking at cherry blossoms

Cherry Blossom Viewing in a Wheelchair

When visiting Japan in the spring, no one wants to miss the cherry blossoms.  Japan has turned cherry blossom viewing, or hanami, into both an art and an event.  While the areas where cherry blossom viewing takes place is generally wheelchair accessible, there are some things that people with disabilities should take into consideration. Crowds This one is pretty obvious, but at the same time it can be hard for people not used to Japan’s Read more…

National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka, Japan

A Message from an Artist

*This photo was taken when I viewed the permanent exhibition at the National Museum of Ethnology. However, viewers are not allowed to touch the art. [Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, exhibitions at The National Museum of Ethnology are postponed until Autumn 2021.] By Yoko-Sonya In November 2019, I attended a symposium on the current status and issues of the universal museum in Japan at the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka, Japan. According to one Read more…

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