Take a look at this question about Japanese toilet accessories . It's really off-topic, it's nothing about traveling. And it has been upvoted (+3 Score at the moment). I don't think it's normal.

OK we have only 5.6 Questions per Day (seen on Area51) but I prefer no question instead of questions like this. What do you mean?

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Remember, you can always vote to close it. If enough people do this, the question will get closed. –  Mark Mayo Aug 17 '12 at 16:28
    
nag: please don't use "here" or "this" (or "that" in the case of French speakers) for links. It forces people to click on them to find out what they are and it's not always fast. See there d-; –  hippietrail Aug 18 '12 at 9:35
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When posting a meta question that talks a fair bit about a specific non-meta question, I think it's a good idea to link from that question to the meta question. –  Andrew Grimm Aug 18 '12 at 9:52

3 Answers 3

It's not uncommon for off-topic or non-constructive questions to be upvoted. Questions that appeal to many but don't generate useful answers still tend to be highly upvoted. This is why close votes are completely decoupled from question scores.

I don't see this specific question as wildly off-topic, though. It's a question that a traveler is far more likely to ask than a local, after all.

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+1 for the first paragraph. -1 for the second paragraph. –  hippietrail Aug 18 '12 at 9:45

I don't see any problem with this question at all. It's a random reason to visit Japan, but hey, whatever! Where do you draw the line between what's a valid reason to travel or not? And for that reason, I did not close the question. You should feel free to close vote and if enough people in the community agree, then it gets closed. If you have a problem with the question, you downvote. Standard StackExchange 'procedures' already exist for this scenario, use them! :)

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The question is not worded in such a way to suggest that he's going to Japan in search of fake toilet flushing sounds. Thus it's no difference to a shopping question or an expat question or a nonspecific recommendation question in its out-of-spcope-icity d-: –  hippietrail Aug 18 '12 at 9:42

Then it comes down to what a travel question is. You could look at a picture of the pyramids, but people travel across the world to see them. Is wanting to hear a sound or experience an event in Japan any less legitimate a reason to travel?

(not saying I disagree, just that I don't have an answer to my own semi-philosophical question)

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Well that's what we're here for, and have been here for for over a year, with guidance from the Stack Exchange folks to show us what kinds of stuff is on and off topic. Again just like shopping and expat questions, just because they involve places some of us are not at, they're not travel questions. How to use a squat toilet/Japanese "star trek" toilet/splashy north American toilet is "an actual problem you face" as a traveller. Wonder what a fake flush sound doodad sounds like is not "an actual problem you face". –  hippietrail Aug 18 '12 at 9:44
    
@hippietrail except I wasn't asking what a fake flush sound doodad sounds like. –  Andrew Grimm Aug 18 '12 at 11:16
    
So what were you asking then? \-: –  hippietrail Aug 18 '12 at 15:27
    
To be fair, he was asking where he could hear one. Which is arguably akin to asking where one might go to eat cuy in Peru, for example. I don't know that I would argue that, but in this case he does travel to Japan, and he's wanting to know where to go to hear one. My trouble is I can't think of a similar question that's easy to say it's valid. Maybe 'where could I go to hear throat singing?' or something? –  Mark Mayo Aug 19 '12 at 4:56
    
@MarkMayo One question where listening to something was an objective was travel.stackexchange.com/questions/1316/… , but that got a close vote. –  Andrew Grimm Aug 19 '12 at 5:54
    
I'll ask my Japanese friends where you can hear otohime play live or where you can buy a CD (-; –  hippietrail Aug 19 '12 at 12:01

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