A new smartphone app as well as some changes to sightseeing routes in the Minato ward of Tokyo could improve the area for those in wheelchairs. The ward is currently known as a difficult area for wheelchair users because of the slopes and sharp corners along the current sightseeing routes. The aim of the revitalization project is to create a sightseeing route that will be easier for the elderly and for those visiting for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic games.

Stress-free sightseeing with the help of improvements as well as a planned app could be a wonderful gift for future tourists as well as local residents who have not had a chance to go along the route.

The ward will be outlining 10 different routes and outlining them in a new smartphone application within the next year. Planned routes will most likely include sights like; Sengakuji Temple, Tokyo tower, Zojoji Temple as well as many art galleries, lookout spots and more.

With around 90 slopes recoginzed in the ward currently and many centered around popular areas like Toranomon and Edomizaka (ukiyoe painting of Edomizaka pictured at top), the ward has already placed elevators for those in wheelchairs as well as toilets at each of the facilities. The ward will continue researching further improvements, however.

Plans to change the angles of the slopes and to devise alternate routes on the app for wheelchair users will be tested in the coming months.

When the MINATO smartphone application is finalized by the ward there will be ongoing updates to sightseeing maps as well as a guide for inconvenient spots for wheelchair users.

Having access to this type of information could open up new options to those in wheelchairs that want to explore this previously difficult to navigate area of Tokyo.

Source: The Japan News


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