It was Saturday, October 3 when a hearing-impaired woman and her service dog, a hearing dog for the deaf, attended an event promoting the awareness of service dogs at the Hankyu department store at Hankyu-Umeda Station in Osaka. After the event, the unnamed woman, her dog, and a friend went for a bite to eat at one of the restaurants located inside the same department store on the same floor as the event. Ironically enough, and much to the surprise of the woman, a member of staff stopped her from entering the restaurant, stating that animals were not allowed inside.
The woman’s friend pulled out a guidebook about hearing dogs for the deaf, trying to explain that the dog wasn’t a pet but an animal trained to assist its owner. The staff still refused, however, and the pair finally gave up and went elsewhere, thinking that it must have just been an unfortunate misunderstanding. Perhaps this was just one uninformed staff member who didn’t realize service animals are actually allowed in public places, they thought.
But even at the next restaurant they were turned away yet again…