Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) is promoting accessible tourism across Japan, aiming to help realize a symbiotic society and make it a country that welcomes all tourists and which everyone can enjoy visiting.
Japan’s hosting of the Olympic and Paralympic Games has inspired Japan to develop further as a travel destination that not only attracts but also welcomes and embraces all kinds of people from many different countries. JNTO is seizing the opportunity of the Games to showcase Japan and its many attractions, and thereby to encourage people to start dreaming about future trips to the country once restrictions are lifted and it becomes completely safe to resume traveling.
In advance of the Tokyo 2020 Games, local governments across Japan started to take steps to facilitate barrier-free movement and ensure accessibility for travelers of all ages, languages, and disabilities. Barrier-free movement encompasses more than accessible stations and facilities – it also includes the availability of barrier-free information, such as advanced signage for those with impaired sight, and “soft” aspects such as mindsets in host communities that are accepting of racial differences or disabilities.
Japan has leveraged a number of recent international sporting events to increase opportunities for people with disabilities to play active roles in society. This has included the promoting of “barrier-free minds” aimed at encouraging everyone to respect and support each other’s individuality. The Japanese public is being encouraged to dismantle social barriers so that people will feel more relaxed talking with others – including visitors from overseas.
The JNTO website provides general information on accessible tourism, providing tips for those planning to visit Japan and aimed at providing all tourists with an improved experience, including wheelchair users, those with visual or hearing disabilities, senior citizens, and families with young children.