Tuesday, April 05, 2016

In Kyoto

We decided to take a day trip to Kyoto. Actually we wanted to stay in Kyoto, but we couldn't get an affordable hotel. So that's why we're staying in Osaka.

We walked 2 miles from our hotel to the Nanba subway stop. We took the subway to Shin-Osaka station without a problem. When we tried to board the bullet train we had a problem. We were stopped again. We were forced to wait for what turned out to be a half hour while other people were let through. We missed the train we had pegged.

Eventually they brought the English-speaking worker who was very helpful. She explained that JR Central wouldn't let us through because the scooter/wheelchair has handlebars. With her help we convinced them that I could push the scooter through the station. A half hour later, that was ok.

When the train came, a guy barker, "Hurry up!" at Candace. She got on as fast as she could as he kept barking. That pissed me off. Then he said, "JR pass." So I went to get our passes. Then he said, "Hurry up!" So I put ghem away. Then he said, "JR passes," so I got them again. Then he said, "Help her, hurry up!" By this point, I gave the man a dark stare as I tried to shove the JR passes back into the bag. He kept yelling Hurry up at me! I've heard that Japanese people are very polite,  but this guy didn't get the memo.

I helped Candace on and then he threw the scooter at me and into the train. The ride itself wa  easy and quick. We stored the scooter neatly behind the last seat in the car.

We charged the scooter near a McDonald's sign for 30 minutes and set off to explore Kyoto.

Kyoto was awesome! We visited Higashi Hogan-ji, Candace's first Buddhist temple. It was very beautiful and wheelchair accessible. Japan has been great in terms of wheelchair accessibility except for the handlebar hating schmucks at JR Central. We clandestinely took pictures of women dressed in kimonos who were taking pictures of cherry trees, and honestly probably clandestinely taking pictures of us!

We strolled along the Kamogawa River and gazed at the cherry blossoms. We came inland a bit and there were more cherry blossoms. Beatiful sidewalks and greenery are some other aspects that make Kyoto very beautiful.

We found a restaurant and I had friend chicken which I ate with chop sticks. Candace had mackeral. It seemed like Japanese-ized American food and was quite popular with middle-aged Japanese men.

We found the station again and tried to charge the scooter. But when iwas in the bathroom, two security guards made Candace unplug it. Not very disabled-friendly if you ask me.

We found another outlet and charged the scooter a bit, but it was in an awkward and crowded place, so we didn't stay too long.

When we tried to get on the bullet train we had problems again. This time, they put Candace ina wheelchair. They brought out a dolly and we put the scooter on. So JR Central is against scooters because they're too heavy and mak  wid  turns, so they put the scooter on a huge cumbersome dolly!

We waited a humiliating 15 minutes for this horrible dolly plan. Then when the train came, they told Candace to drive onto the train. Yep, I couldn't even push her in the station, but she was told to drive onto the train! We were told to stay in a hallway for the trip to Shin-Osaka.

When we got there, Candace wa  yelled at for trying to drive the scooter. Then some idiot (pretty sure it was te hurry up idiot from before) told Candace to hurry up and walk to the wheelchair with no help. Finally someone told the moron to bring the chair closer.

 We loade  the scooter onto anothe  dolly an  the scooter was nearly thrown off at the first turn. Dollies are hard to maneuver, you know. Much harder than tiny mobility scooters. When we reached the exit for JR trains, they plopped the scooter down off the dolly.

Then, Candace drove the scooter without a problem. You must understand we were still in Shin-Osaka station, just not the JR part. The two areas look exactly the same!

The isdue with the scooter is upsetting because the reactions have been different every time, which means they're making it up as they go along. Arbitrary ruled are frustrating. We brought this scooter instead of Candace's 350 poun  electric scooter because it's much lighter and eadily disassembled.

We took the subway, but didn't ask for a ramp. The subwaybis almost accessible without a ramp, but it for a few harried seconds. The scooter lost its charge on the way to the hotel, so I pushed it. And you know what, JR Central? We managed no to run into anyone! Imagine that!

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