I'm uncertain why Does Japan have resort towns like Banff and Jasper? was closed for this reason:

"Questions covering tasks normally performed by travel agents such as constructing travel and tour itineraries (including scheduling and budgeting) are off-topic. They are generally too specific to your personal preference, with many variables and possibilities, and are probably not helpful to others. See also The WANTA debate."

My question obviously doesn't involve "constructing travel and tour itineraries".

Before I posted it, I searched for title:does * have -airport is:question and felt that the recent open questions beneath were analogous.

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    Note that you are linking to several questions dating back from when the site was first created so there is no guarantee that this questions would be on topic now. Site rules evolve over time. – JoErNanO Jul 9 at 21:30

First: note that I'm not a mod and don't have enough rep to close-vote. I didn't make the decision to close it, and I'm on the fence as to whether I agree or not.

My question obviously doesn't involve "constructing travel and tour itineraries".

You seem to be asking for help identifying towns for your grandparents to visit. That sounds quite a lot like constructing an itinerary to me. You've copied the link to the "WANTA" debate so I assume you're well aware that it doesn't only cover asking for an entire itinerary to be constructed. This particular question strikes me as being in a bit of a grey area as to whether it counts or not, and personally I'd be inclined to let it stay open. I certainly don't think it's "obvious" that it doesn't fall under that category, though.

As for the other questions you've linked:

  1. several of them don't actually strike me as being similar to your question beyond the fact you could phrase them "does X have Y?". Your question is essentially "are there small towns near mountains and water in Japan?", which would be a pretty broad set of criteria in any case but especially so when Japan is a famously mountainous island nation. Half of the questions you've linked to are asking about the availability of a particular service/activity in a specific destination.

  2. there are certainly off-topic questions on the site which have fallen out of visibility before they were closed. That doesn't make them on-topic. The existence of similar unclosed questions in no way affects whether your question is on-topic or not.

  3. most of those questions are several years old. You shouldn't expect that a question being considered on-topic in 2015 necessarily says anything about whether it's considered on-topic in 2019, never mind a question from 2012.

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