Accessible Ways to get around during shore excursion in Hiroshima

  • Accessible Ways to get around during shore excursion in Hiroshima

    Posted by giacopini on June 28, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Hi, I will be taking a cruise around Honshu July 11-19, 2018. I am wondering if anyone know accessible ways to get around Hiroshima and Miyajima. Thanks!

    Accessible Japan replied 4 years, 2 months ago 3 Members · 9 Replies
  • 9 Replies
  • Accessible Japan

    Moderator
    June 28, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    Hello,

    I believe @duxinco just returned, maybe she can offer some advice!

  • duxinco

    Member
    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.

     

  • giacopini

    Member
    June 28, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    Thank you so much for all the details!

    You didn’t happen to Travel around the port? I’m trying to figure out how to get from the port where our cruise ship docks to the Miyajima ferry and the Peace Park.

  • duxinco

    Member
    June 28, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    We didn’t go over to the Hiroshima port, but I did see buses and streetcars with Hiroshima Port written on them, so I think it should be super easy for you to get out + about. I will bet that at the port there will be a Tourist Information office with tram and bus rote maps in English; there was a wonderful office at the Hiroshima JR station, so my fingers are crossed.

     

    I am excited for your trip!

  • giacopini

    Member
    July 12, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    Tomorrow is our one and only day in Hiroshima. I will be using a manual wheelchair. We are in port from 7am to 7pm. We would love to take the fast ferry directly from the Hiroshima port to Miyajima Island. We’d then like to take the fast ferry from Miyajima Island directly to the Peace Park. Then we’d like a suggestion about how to get from the Peace Park back to the port. We will certainly ask whoever we can when we arrive but if anyone has experience with wheelchair accessibility doing this route we’d love to hear from you.

    Thanks!

  • duxinco

    Member
    July 13, 2018 at 1:36 am

    While we didn’t do any of the rides you want to, our hotel room looked right out on the Dome and the Peace Park – Miyajima boat. I’d thought it would be fun but based on what I saw (both from our room and when we walked in the Park) it appeared *to me* that the Peace Park dock had a long flight of stairs only.

     

    Now, we had a JR Pass and the Peace Park – Miyajima cruise isn’t JR, so I didn’t pursue it (no need for us to double-spend). But you definitely should — I’ll bet there’s info online, or a contact us link on their site.

     

    Have fun tomorrow!

  • Accessible Japan

    Moderator
    July 13, 2018 at 9:11 am

    Hello,

    The website for the boat service mentions that the boats are older than the accessibility laws in Japan and aren’t all wheelchair accessible (http://setonaikaikisen.co.jp/news/archives/2873 – Japanese only).

    They provide a PDF showing adaptations they have made to the boats.  They look to all have accessible boarding ramps, but the ramp for the smallest high speed boat is only 65cm wide – which might be a bit tight.

    Here is the PDF (http://www.setonaikaikisen.co.jp/pdffolder/shipinformation_for_wheelchair.pdf).  It is only in Japanese but has plenty of pictures.

    Enjoy your trip and please follow up so we know the latest information!

  • giacopini

    Member
    July 13, 2018 at 11:34 pm

    Ended up taking a taxi from port to Miyajima ferry. Ferry was fine. Took taxi from ferry to peace park. At peace park took a completely inaccessible (carried up steps) street car to the closest stop to the port, then taxi to port.

    Miyajima was amazing (and hot!).

  • Accessible Japan

    Moderator
    July 14, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    Glad things worked out!

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