User talk:Douglaspperkins

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Directions in "Get in" sections[edit]

Hi Douglaspperkins,

I'm surprised nobody has said it yet, but thanks so much for your contributions to so many city articles in Japan! There are a lot of them, and most of them haven't had gotten much attention.

I do want to point out a small style issue that I noticed on several articles you edited such as Tottori and Takayama. In the "Get in" section, for consistency we always describe things as coming from someplace else. You've written it the other way around, such as "Trains to the take you to Tokyo and Kyoto". Given that the section is called "get in", it just reads better when it says "Trains take you to ____ from Tokyo and Kyoto". :-D (No doubt there's some page in WV:Manual of style or discussion on a talk page that says this, but I couldn't find which one it is.) Since this affects several articles I figured I'd point it out here.

While I'm at it, I'll add that my personal preference is to keep information for both the fastest possible train route and the fastest with JR Pass. For one, all the info I added to articles on the different routes was a pain in the butt to research, and I'd hate for my time to have been wasted! But I also think it's just plain useful: not every traveller has the same time or budget constraints, the JR Pass is a very common limitation for visitors to have to deal with it, and it's helpful for us to provide info that different types of travellers can use. However, that's just my opinion, and this is a case that's fairly specific to Japan which I'm not aware of having been discussed before; we could do so (probably on Talk:Japan) if you have a different opinion.

--Bigpeteb (talk) 00:14, 16 September 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Bigpeteb, thanks for the feedback! That's an excellent point about "Get in" that I hadn't considered. I'll keep it in mind.
As for the level of detail to provide, several pages I've edited recently have had very long sections about the trains. That seems helpful to the author but is often confusing, particularly for smaller destinations where many transfers are required and many routes are possible. Also, the number of trains per day and train times are things that change by season, so while some level of precision is good, certain details can be omitted.
JR Pass details are also a question mark in my opinion. If the description states "JR", in almost all cases, the JR Pass applies, and it's easier to note instances where it doesn't. After all, the whole point of the JR Pass is that you can use it on JR. In contrast, the regional JR passes might need clearer notation because the regional boundaries are not as obvious.
On another note, many destinations in western Japan had highly detailed travel information that was essentially copy-pasted from adjacent destinations. Sometimes that's reasonable, but often it creates a situation where you have to edit 5 or 10 pages to update one piece of information. That leads to either significant extra editing work or misinformation or both.
I think train travel wording and length is going to be page-specific, and if you find some edits that are unwieldy, please comment in those locations (or revert if necessary), so I can try to work with your expectations smoothly. We should bear in mind that at least before the trip, travelers have access to online navigation websites, and most travelers will have some access during their trip, too. Thanks for your hard work, too!
-Douglaspperkins (talk) 11:44, 16 September 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Good points all around. This is why it's nice to hear other people's perspectives on things. :-) When you put it like that, I agree: a long description of multitudinous options for taking trains to someplace is off-putting, and arguably not needed in Japan where it's easy to go to Hyperdia and get accurate directions from absolutely anywhere.
For the JR Pass, I think you have a good point there, too. Depending on the place, if there's a noticeable difference between Nozomi and Hikari options (up to ½ hour in Takayama, for instance), I think that's worth mentioning. That only adds a little bit more text, and would give travellers the useful detail they need without bloating every article with the same details about the JR Pass.
Mainly, though, something I found when researching Takayama is that even Hyperdia is not infallible. If you look for a JR-Pass-compatible route from Tokyo to Takayama, depending on your search parameters you'll likely get only routes that pass through Nagoya, with a minimum duration of 274 minutes. However, if you make it stop in Toyama, you get routes on the Hokuriku shinkansen that take as little as 248 minutes. I have no idea why it doesn't give those routes in the first search. Depending on your query, you may get both routes such as a typical ryokan guest's search to arrive by 5pm, but it's obviously not guaranteed. So that's one instance where I'm going to re-add that info to the article, because otherwise readers might never find out about an alternative routing that's more convenient for them. And really, even if the route were slightly longer, I still think there would be benefits to mentioning it as an alternative: it's helpful for anyone who knows they might be coming from that direction (if they know their previous stop will be 1 hour up the Hokuriku route, they can mentally subtract that from the time and see that it would be shorter), and being made aware that there's more than one major route from Tokyo might inspire someone to look for other in-between destinations on the western coast and Hokuriku route that they might not have thought to consider. --Bigpeteb (talk) 18:30, 16 September 2020 (UTC)[reply]
I hear what you say, and I'll try to keep your excellent points in mind! Thanks for your thoughts, and let me know in the future if there are other such things that come up. It won't hurt my feelings if you undo things that need undoing, though ideally this is rare. It's such a good resource because we can work together on it. :-) -Douglaspperkins (talk) 22:17, 16 September 2020 (UTC)[reply]