This site provides “verbal station information” which are verbal descriptions of train stations including the layout of the concourse and platforms, barrier-free facilities, access routes, names of the train lines, numbers of train cars, etc.
Thanks to the spreading use of contactless fare cards such as SUICA and PASMO, an increasing number of people with visual impairments are taking advantage of the services offered by various railway companies such JR, Tokyo Metro subways and private railways.
Prior to such innovations, there were big hurdles for people with visual impairments, even in purchasing tickets or adjusting fares, as this required the use of ticket machines with only visual information.
Since going out alone could be very difficult, many have avoided leaving their house or going out, and have often felt isolated from society.
Being able to leave one’s home and into the society is a crucial step in becoming an independent and active member of society.
In that regards, we see the increase in the number of railway users as a very promising sign.
Whilst it is true that the number of railway users, including those with visual impairments, has been increasing, it is also true that the number of accidents resulting from falling off of platforms has also been increasing.
As a matter of fact, accidents involving people with visual impairments falling off of platforms occur every year, with a large number of them being fatal.
Although the best way of preventing such accidents would be through increased installation of platform screen doors, adoption has been slow due to their high cost.
Meanwhile, Tokyo Metro has announced that they plan to install platform screen doors on all of their lines in time for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

In light of such circumstances, we believe that enabling people to gain a clear understanding of the layout of the stations is an important step towards reducing the number of such accidents.
For example, it would be helpful to know information about stations such as how many platforms there are, which tracks are for inbound trains, where the ticket gates are in relation to the platforms, etc.
However, the current state of affairs is that most of the information provided by railway companies are in the forms of pictures and videos, making them largely inaccessible for people with visual impairments.
This site provides accessible verbal information for a number of train stations, which we hope will be of general use for people wishing to gain an understanding of particular stations as well.