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 developed an accessible information app called “WheeLog!” Each of them discusses various aspects of Japans food, culture, and accessibility considering the upcoming Olympics and Paralympic Games.
Here we touch on some of the making of Japanese dishes as well as the strides in which restaurants, transportation, and locations are changing in order to accommodate people with disabilities including how such changes are useful to everyone. A surprising number of accessible dining options are available, with the government encouraging shop owners to increase accessibility via financial support. Japanese hospitality goes hand in hand with this, being generally seen as a welcome part of overcoming barriers in accessibility. Nevertheless, in the video we acknowledge that lack of barriers shouldn’t destroy culture and traditions in its wake, giving some examples of these concepts meeting harmoniously. To finish the video, Josh, Patrick, and Yuriko talk about that the lack of awareness of Japans accessibility, and how raising that awareness is important so that many more people can come and enjoy the country.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism is currently offering financial aide to restaurants to improve accessibility.
Check out the video here: