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Article Status of Prefectural CapitalsEdit

A list of the status of each of the prefectural capitals.

Prefecture City To do
Hokkaido Sapporo (usable)
Aomori Prefecture Aomori (usable)
Akita Prefecture Akita (usable)
Iwate Prefecture Morioka (usable)
Yamagata Prefecture Yamagata (guide)
Miyagi Prefecture Sendai (guide)
Fukushima Prefecture Fukushima (usable)
Gunma Prefecture Maebashi (outline)
Tochigi Prefecture Tochigi (outline)
Ibaraki Prefecture Mito (usable)
Chiba Prefecture Chiba (outline)
Saitama Prefecture Saitama (usable)
Tokyo Prefecture Tokyo (usable)
Kanagawa Prefecture Yokohama (usable)
Niigata Prefecture Niigata (usable)
Nagano Prefecture Nagano (usable)
Yamanashi Prefecture Kofu (outline)
Shizuoka Prefecture Shizuoka (outline)
Aichi Prefecture Nagoya (Guide)
Gifu Prefecture Gifu (usable)
Toyama Prefecture Toyama (usable)
Ishikawa Kanazawa (Guide)
Fukui Prefecture Fukui (usable)
Shiga Prefecture Otsu (outline)
Mie Prefecture Tsu (Usable)
Wakayama Prefecture Wakayama (Usable)
Nara Prefecture Nara (Guide)
Kyoto Prefecture Kyoto (Guide)
Osaka Prefecture Osaka (Usable)
Hyogo Prefecture Kobe (Guide)
Okayama Prefecture Okayama (Star)
Hiroshima Prefecture Hiroshima (Star)
Tottori Prefecture Tottori (Guide)
Shimane Prefecture Matsue (Guide)
Yamaguchi Prefecture Yamaguchi (Usable)
Kagawa Prefecture Takamatsu (Usable)
Tokushima Prefecture Tokushima (Usable)
Kochi Prefecture Kochi (Guide)
Ehime Prefecture Matsuyama (Guide)
Fukuoka Prefecture Fukuoka (Guide)
Saga Prefecture Saga (Usable)
Nagasaki Prefecture Nagasaki (Usable)
Oita Prefecture Oita (Outline)
Kumamoto Prefecture Kumamoto (Guide)
Miyazaki Prefecture Miyazaki (Usable)
Kagoshima Prefecture Kagoshima (Usable)
Okinawa Prefecture Naha (Usable)

ChubbyWimbus (talk) 14:34, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

Time and date formattingEdit

Our Japan articles take a scattered approach to time formatting, mixing 12-hour and 24-hour clock formats within articles, and sometimes within listings. It would be easier for readers to follow if we used one format consistently across our Japan articles. On my recent visit there, I observed both formats being used commonly, but the 24-hour format being used about 75% of the time, and the 12-hour format the rest. I propose to adopt the 24-hour clock as the standard for Japan articles. Comments? Ground Zero (talk) 21:07, 24 May 2019 (UTC)

I wouldn't want to be the one to reformat all the listings (perhaps we can automate it?) but I have to agree. While Japan uses both formats, 24-hour format is definitely more common for listing business hours, particularly when writing in Japanese. If we want to pick one format for consistency in our Japan articles, it should be 24-hour format. --Bigpeteb (talk) 21:55, 24 May 2019 (UTC)

I have made a proposal related to this discussion at Wikivoyage_talk:Time_and_date_formats#Keeping_track_of_which_clock_to_use_in_each_country. Comments welcome. Ground Zero (talk) 13:32, 26 May 2019 (UTC)

Length of the articleEdit

This article is now 362,000 bytes long, which is an increase from 348,000 bytes since the beginning of the year. By comparison, the United States of America is 248,000 bytes, China is 242,000 bytes, and Russia is 171,000 bytes. These three countries are all considerably larger than Japan by area and by population.

This sort of growth in an article results from the common tendency putting everything that is important or interesting about a country in the country-level article. The result, though, is a long, unwieldy article in which it is difficult for readers to find the key information they need. Forget about printing it out.

The solution to this, which has worked well for the USA and China articles, is to move the more detailed information to branch articles, leaving behind summaries and links that take interested readers to the more in-depth articles about a subject.

Here are articles that could be created into order to bring this article more in line with those of other countries and more it easier to read and use:

Of course, articles usually benefit for a general trimming to tighten up parts that may be wordy or overly detsils.

Any other suggestions? Ground Zero (talk) 18:37, 21 June 2019 (UTC)

Agreed, though I think the Understand section is especially long here. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 14:32, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
Agree with the general idea, haven't looked closely at the details. We already do have Japanese cuisine, and most of the "Eat" and "Drink" sections could be incorporated into that article leaving a summary behind here. (Along the way, we might be able to get Japanese cuisine up to guide status and FTT!) It might also make sense to have a travel topic article about ryokan, I'm not sure. I urge care in paring down the article—though long, it is well written and has a lot of useful information. I found it very helpful in getting my bearings when planning a trip to Japan last year.
The "Connect" section currently has a lot of intricate detail—I wonder if that could be condensed and simplified. —Granger (talk · contribs) 15:32, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm happy to cut down the article in the same way that we have cut down the United States of America and China articles. I agree in principle that the Japan article should not be longer than either of those articles since Japan is much smaller in both land area and population. I think a Driving in Japan article will be useful to have. We already have a Japanese cuisine article, so some of the information about food can go in there. The dog2 (talk) 19:42, 5 July 2019 (UTC)

Progress so farEdit

In the three weeks after I started this discussion thread, the byte count climbed from 362,000 to 364,000. I have now managed to to cut the size of the article down to about 283,000, which means that the 61st largest country by land mass, and the 11th largest country by population, still has the longest Wikivoyage article of any country, by a sizeable margin. this does a great disservice to such an amazing country for travellers. We can do a better job of explaining this country to travellers if we move away from the notion that we want to put everything there is to know about Japan into one long, meandering wordy article. A concisely-written, well-organized, tight article will be of more use to travellers than what we have now.

In moving text to topic articles, I found the following:

  • sections where the text had been copied word-for-word between the two articles -- why is that helpful? It just wastes the time of the reader who is reading both articles;
  • topics where the country article provided much o more in-depth and extensive coverage of the topic than the topic article did
  • lots of text in the country article that will be relevant only to a very niche group of travellers -- moving this to a topic article makes the article better for the mass of readers, while maintaining useful information for the niche group.

I will start going through section by section to reduce repetition, reduce wordiness, and remove stuff that isn't really relevant to travellers. Questions to ponder:

  1. ✓ I think that we need to ask ourselves whether the Japan article should provide so very much detail about ATMs. It used to be that getting money was a big hassle. (Back when only 7-11 and Japan Post ATMs worked, I rescued an American who told me he was going to go home early because he was running out of money.) Now that getting money is much easier, do we need all of this tedious detail?
  2. ✓ Why do we have contact information for boat companies in the Get in section? Are many travellers getting in by boat? Shouldn't these details be in the port city articles?
  3. ✓ Do we need a list of the names of the regional smart cards? Or is it enough to have those in the Rail travel article?
  4. ✓ Can we move the map and list of castle to a Japanese castles article that can be fleshed out with more details?
  5. ✓ Should the Spiritual sites section get into history so much, or focus on the sites? It seems strange that the Christian sites section is the longest.
  6. Should ryokans be split out into their own topic, which could include a list of good ryokans around the country?
  7. ✓ Can we limit the advice on earthquakes to that which is specific to Japan, and refer readers to the Earthquakes article for the general advice?
  8. ✓ Can we move the detailed explanation on business cards in Respect to Working in Japan, and leave just the key points here?
  9. The gianormous section on mobile/cell phones must surely be split out into a topic article, e.g. Mobile phones in Japan again leaving the key points here, and directing interested readers to the topic article.

In the work that I have done so far, I've demonstrated that moving detail to a topic article never means losing information, or leaving the reader without the key points in this article.

I think it's great that so many people want to share information about travelling to this amazing country, but by putting everything in one place. I feel that we are loving the article to death. Ground Zero (talk) 01:06, 20 July 2019 (UTC)

To answer your questions:
1. I usually bring enough cash to cover my stay in Japan, so I can't answer this one.
2. A workable option is to mention what the port cities are, and list the companies in the port cities.
3. I think this should stay on the main page since it is not only used on trains. You can use them on buses too, and often also to make payments in convenience stores.
4. We already have a Castles article. We can probably move some of the information there for now. We can create a separate article for Japanese castles if the section there gets too long.
5. I agree that we should focus on the sites, and put more of the history in the respective regional/city articles.
6. I am open to splitting of ryokans into a separate topic.
7. I will agree with your position on that.
8. That works for me too.
9. We can probably cut all that down to be in line with our other country articles. We don't need to list all mobile phone operators. Just the major ones.
The dog2 (talk) 01:13, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
I mostly agree with these suggestions; most of this information can be moved elsewhere and/or trimmed. A few additional thoughts:
ATMs -- Agreed, getting money is much simpler than it used to be. However, it seems it's still a little complex for some users (i.e. UnionPay). Seeing as the English WV is the largest one by far, I think it's reasonable to retain information for international readers who might translate this article into their own language. We can greatly simplify the section on ATMs, but I'd try not to remove too much information that's still useful to a huge number of people (unless a Google search shows that it's easy to get the same info on what to do if you're a UnionPay user... but then, why rely on other travel guides when we are a travel guide?).
Rail smart cards -- That list had been reduced to an inline list or removed completely at some point, but then it was added back in. I would at least mention Suica and Pasmo, and maybe also Icoca and Pitapa, but the rest can be removed.
Ryokan -- Although that subsection is long, I don't think there's much more to say, and it would be a very short article if it was separate. As for listing ryokan, no way. There are probably thousands of ryokan across the country, and frankly, most of them are good. I don't think there are any that stand out enough to warrant a mention at the country level. Even if it were a separate article, I don't see how a list of "places with ryokan" would be feasible.
Bigpeteb (talk) 18:50, 22 July 2019 (UTC)

I think it's worthwhile though to mention the original castles, being that there's only 12 in the entire country. A lot of visitors seem to assume they're all authentic and report disappointment at how "modern and commercial" they are because they went to a reconstruction. It's well worth planning a trip partially around visiting one or more authentic castles. I think the map could be removed, though. As for the history in the Christian sites section of "See", I wrote it with the sites in mind. None of the history there is given without an association to an actual place you can visit and those make up the bulk of the highlights of Christian tourist sites in Japan. While you say it's strange that it's the longest section, it is actually precisely because there are less sites that makes it easier to organize them (relative historical chronology in this case) and present them. That's a much more daunting task for Buddhism and would certainly overwhelm the article. The "Shinto" section is awful, but I was too tired to give it the attention it deserved. The history is of course also what makes those Christian sites noteworthy. I'd hate to see it all whittled down to "Nagasaki has a lot of churches." or just listing places like the "Shinto" section with almost nothing regarding why you should visit. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:03, 22 July 2019 (UTC)

With regard to castles, I think that we should also list Nijo Castle in Kyoto in addition to the 12 original ones. Although Nijo Castle no longer has its keep, the palace buildings within the castle are authentic, and it is known for its "nightingale floors" that are designed to squeak so the Shogun can be warned of any potential assassins. I wouldn't mind giving Shuri Castle a mention either, since it is fairly unique. Although it is a reconstruction, it is the only example of a Ryukyuan castle that you can visit as a tourist, and is a distinct style from a Japanese castle. The dog2 (talk) 15:54, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
The list of 12 is not our own original list, though. It's a well-known/established list of Japan's "authentic" castles. Nijo Castle is mentioned in the following "reconstructions and ruins" section along with other castles that have authentic structures remaining that are not the donjon. Nijo Castle could possibly be moved up to the blurb about what constitutes the list of 12, but I don't think we should add it to the list itself. Shuri Castle is also in the reconstructions section and it definitely belongs with other reconstructions. It would be a flat-out lie for us to list it as authentic. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 10:18, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
I wasn't saying that they should be listed as original castles. I was just saying that they should be mentioned, as they are now. Even if we decide to trim the section, I think we should keep the mention of those two. The dog2 (talk) 14:27, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

@Ground Zero: I'm not convinced about moving some of the banking info to Working in Japan. Some of it is also useful to students, which is "Learn" not "Work". A minor complaint, but it strikes me as a bit incongruous to lump all info about living long-term in Japan under "Working". --Bigpeteb (talk) 17:26, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

I see your point, but I've literally never heard of a short-term visitor setting up a bank account in a country they are visiting. Do banks anywhere allow this? I doubt that we have enough material to warrant a "Studying in Japan" article, but what about expanding "Working in..." to Working and studying in Japan? This article really should cover the most important things for visitors to Japan, and not everything someone would want to know about Japan? Ground Zero (talk) 17:57, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
I'd support expanding it to Working and studying in Japan; that seems like it would sufficiently cover a range of topics relevant to long-term or very-frequent visitors. As for opening a bank account, I admit, I don't know much about it but maybe we need a more international perspective. I have no idea if this is common in other countries, e.g. as a way to avoid high transaction fees when you visit a country often. I kind of assumed the information had been added here for a reason (i.e. because to some people, opening a bank account even for short-term travel would be a natural thing to consider doing), but maybe that's not the case and it can be removed. --Bigpeteb (talk) 18:36, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
Done. Ground Zero (talk) 01:51, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
With regards to short-term visitors setting up banks accounts, I've done so in Hong Kong before. And if you're a business traveller who travels to that destination regularly, it is not inconceivable that you will want to do so. The dog2 (talk) 18:58, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

Christian sites in JapanEdit

I understand the point about including history to explain the relevance of the sites, but I am wondering if Christian sites in Japan are more of a niche interest better suited to a topic article than to taking up a lot of space in the country article.

A look at the history of this article shows how it has grown like topsy as more and more detail has been added. The beauty of an online guide is that we have room for details and niche topics that paper guides would never be able to include, but we still should try to focus the country article on being a usable resource got general travellers. I've been working hard to trim this down to a more manageable size, but we are already seeing things being added back in. I have yet to see a reason why the Japan article should be so much bigger than any other country article. Ground Zero (talk) 17:57, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

An alternative I can suggest is moving much to that information to the Christianity article. The dog2 (talk) 18:59, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
Looking at the Christianity article, a Japan section doesn't seem to fit, so if the section really is too long, I guess the new article would be a better solution. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 13:20, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
Done. The new article provides more detail than the (now summarized) section of this article did, and some more pictures. I think it will be more useful for those interested in this part of the country's history. A dynamic map would be a useful thing to add, if someone has those skills. Ground Zero (talk) 20:17, 25 July 2019 (UTC)
Clever me: I figured out how to add a map. Ground Zero (talk) 12:31, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
I support your work, but I think an explanation for Japan is that it has its own distinct culture, resulting in a lot of important information for visiting travelers. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 13:14, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
It's a decent start-up article! Thanks, Ground Zero ChubbyWimbus (talk) 13:55, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
Thanks. A lot of countries have distinct cultures, and many are more diverse and complex than Japan. The question is whether it is more useful to travellers to have one big article, or to split out topics into seperate, more detailed articles, like the Christian sites in Japan article. I plan to work on a Japanese castles article that will provide more detail, a longer list of castles including Shuri Castle and other reconstructions. Ground Zero (talk) 18:07, 26 July 2019 (UTC)


Would there be any objection to moving the detailed list of banks and what cards their machines accept and what the fees are to Shopping in Japan and keeping a summary of key points here? Ground Zero (talk) 15:01, 4 August 2019 (UTC)

What if we created a topic article called Banks in Japan or Banking in Japan, or something of that nature? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 15:21, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
I think it would fit well into the Shopping article and maybe help keep it focused on information for travelers without creeping out of scope. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 15:40, 4 August 2019 (UTC)

Mobile paymentsEdit

Stuff like this is interesting, but not relevant to foreign visitors, so maybe it doesn't belong in an article that is too long and full of details:

"Japan has also been a leader in mobile phone payments. Osaifu Keitai (おサイフケータイ) is a service that means "Mobile Wallet" and arrived long before the advent of Apple Pay, Google Pay and the like. The service is not compatible with foreign mobile phones."

Ground Zero (talk) 15:01, 4 August 2019 (UTC)

It's relevant to anyone who is staying in Japan long-term or visits often, and might want to use the service. That's certainly in scope for WV. But more generally, I think it's useful to explain that there are two systems for mobile payments in Japan: osaifu keitai and NFC. Most visitors will be able to use one, but not the other. Surely we'd be remiss not to explain that, although maybe the explanation can be shortened and improved.
(BTW, I'm actually thinking of removing (or at least shortening) the blurb about registering a Suica card on an iPhone because it's actually a huge pain in the ass: you have to set your phone's region to Japan, meaning your whole phone will be in Japanese, and it actually transfers your Suica card to your phone, making your phone the only way of using your card.) --Bigpeteb (talk) 20:29, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
Instead of removing the information, we can move it. Since it is useful for a smaller group of our readers, putting it in the Shopping in Japan article (with a note in Japan indicating where to find the information), would be of benefit to the larger group of short-term visitors reading the main article. It's too "in the weeds" for most readers. Ground Zero (talk) 19:04, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

Dynamic map for Japan not workingEdit

Swept in from the pub

Normally, boundaries on a dynamic map between regions should show a thick black line, but on the map of Japan, these lines are not showing. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 15:19, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

It's because the mapshape-s there have parameter "stroke-opacity=0.1"... -- 19:40, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
Maybe. I'll take another look. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 18:07, 27 July 2019 (UTC)
All I can see is, under the "Cities" section, {{Mapshapes|Q164338}}. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 18:08, 27 July 2019 (UTC)

Warning BoxEdit

The storm referenced in the warning box has already passed through. Does it still need to be kept up? JRHorse (talk) 12:25, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

Nope. Gone! ChubbyWimbus (talk) 14:20, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
I also just deleted the one I added to Tokyo a few days back. Though if the storm and floods has put something travel-relevant out of service for some longer period, that could merit a cautionbox. Ypsilon (talk) 14:35, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

Caution box - Super Typhoon HagibisEdit

Most areas and public transport have recovered from the typhoon, with the notable exception of Hakone and - until the end of the month at least - the line that connects Tokyo with Matsumoto. The Hokuriku Shinkansen will restore 80-90 percent of service on 25 September. Was wondering if the caution box should now go from the main Japan article. JRHorse (talk) 12:21, 24 October 2019 (UTC)

Maybe move it to the Get Around section, since most (although not all) of the remaining warnings are about public transit disruptions? --Bigpeteb (talk) 17:49, 24 October 2019 (UTC)
Ok the caution box has been moved and updated to reflect the travel options that seem to have the most impact now (specifically Hakone and the train line that runs from Shinjuku to Matsumoto). JRHorse (talk) 03:46, 25 October 2019 (UTC)

A Commons file used on this page has been nominated for speedy deletionEdit

The following Wikimedia Commons file used on this page has been nominated for speedy deletion:

You can see the reason for deletion at the file description page linked above. —Community Tech bot (talk) 03:51, 7 December 2019 (UTC)

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