Whoever said "It's a jungle out there" must have been talking about Tokyo. Or perhaps it's more of a gigantic maze, with buildings squashed together, and stations with stairs and escalators going in every direction -- all filled with crowds of irritated people.

It's rather frightening if you don't know your way around, which must be why guidebooks are a big thing in Tokyo. There are guidebooks for restaurants, shops, amusement parks -- you name it. However, these books, which are based principally on quality and price, not accessibility, are of little use to those who are physically disabled.

It is estimated that in Tokyo alone, 33,100 out of a population of 12 million (about 0.3 percent) are registered-disabled wheelchair-users. Although it has taken a long time to address the needs of these people, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, ward offices and the Red Cross have recently published guidebooks providing the physically disabled with detailed information on getting around Tokyo.