Reply To: Accessible Ways to get around during shore excursion in Hiroshima

  • duxinco

    June 28, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    Hello! Yes, we were there last week (June 2018). (Thank you for tagging me — my kids + I are having a super hard time with jet lag and yesterday my eldest and I were like zombies. My youngest slept until 3pm. Ugh. It is 2:15am now.)

    Like most places in Japan, Hiroshima and Miyajima are very Accessible. Hiroshima is quite flat with slopes on the sidewalk

    In Hiroshima we only saw (and took, of course) totally Accessible buses, trains (read on about stations), and the occasional streetcar.

    Hiroshima does have some, but not many, Accessible streetcars: they are new, modetn-looking, white, and display the international handicapped blue+white symbol. Getting to the streetcars, which pick-up / drop-off in the middle of the roads, was also Accessible: a wee platform with slopes. These platforms are quite narrow. We did take a few streetcars but not a ton because we weren’t huge fans of waiting (+ waiting) for the Accessible ones, and there is no schedule, no time table for them. It’s more miss or hit, but if you can ride at least one I would highly recommend as they are tons of fun and Hiroshima-atmospheric.

    We stayed in Hiroshima and took an Accessible streetcar to the Hiroden Nishi JR Station and then rode the JR train to Miyajimaguchi station (where you connect to the very Accessible) JR ferry. At that Miyajimaguchi station, you exit the station and go either left (better graded slope) or right (shorter and sharper grade slope) to get to the sidewalk. It is then an underground walk, with street-level elevators on the right side of the street (but still super-easy to get to if you take the easier left slope).

    Miyajima, at least the terminal and main drag down to the floating torii and temple, is very flat and easy.

    In Hiroshima, everything at the Peace Park (museum, cenotaph, Dome) is also totally w/c friendly. We walked around Hiroshima and also found it to be very easy. Like everywhere else on the planet (in our humble experience) everything does take three times longer because of finding the elevators and figuring out how to get from A to B.


    Oh! We took the JR train back from Miyajimaguchi, fully expecting to do our “to” route in reverse. But when we got off the train at Hiroden Nishi, we could not find an elevator to cross the tracks, and no station guides to help. So I, a fair Caucasian, pale blonde, starting screaming, over and over, across the tracks  (in Japanese): “EXCUSE ME! HELP!” I was ignored by most of the Japanese travelers (yelling was boorish and people don’t expect someone who looks like me to speak Japanese), but finally I made eye contact with one middle-aged lady across the tracks and she kindly went to get a station guide for us. He first suggested we use the stairs … with a wheelchair. And when I (the mom) jogged toward the far northern end of the platform (which has gates), the guide remembered those are ramped so we could exit that way, with the guide opening those gates. It was … ridiculous but we got out!

    Now, to then take a tram we were told (when I asked a streetcar worker) that we’d have to wait more than thirty minutes for an Accessible tram (he called the next few scheduled ones), so we walked back to the JR train station to take an Accessible bus instead. That bus driver was 100% NOT interested in having a w/c passenger, did not want to adjust the bus’ position when it was clear he was too far from the curb for the portable ramp to work, did not want to close up the bus seats to make room for the w/c, even when I told him he needed to. Instead he walked back up to his driver’s seat and then two other Japanese passengers yelled at him to get over here and fold up the seats and lock down the chair.

    So Accessible, but work.

    The main Hiroshima JR Station is new, fully Accessible,  and the folks who work inside were, to a one, eager to help and quite kind.

    We found Hiroshima delightful and great fun to walk around. I hope you like it, too.


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