Saturday, April 11, 2009

Elderly and Handicap Accessible?

Today riding the train into school, I felt bad and gave my seat to a grandma. It was so cute because responded in a really Japanese way. She insisted in Japanese that really she was ok. After convincing, her she apologized to me and sat down. I have actually seen this happen a lot on the trains. The older people are very appreciative of it. I've seen some old ladies half bow to people and really really thank the people who gave them a seat. Before I got off, the grandma gave me two pieces of candy. She was like "Its only two, but..." It was really cute. So much different than I imagine it going in the US.

For a week or so now I have been wondering, how do older people and those with handicaps get around Tokyo? Trains are the main form of transportation and I have seen a number of grandparent-aged Japanese people taking them. However, there is a lot of walking required and (from my experience dragging my suitcases around) not every train station has elevators. I know my grandma probably wouldn't be able to do it. Or like what about people in wheelchairs? I have been realizing how handicap inaccessible Japan is.

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