Eli Orzessek finds the answers to your travel questions

We have a week in Japan between cruises due to a private hire. Where could we find a five/six-day land tour?
Mike Wells

There's plenty to do in a week in Japan. I'd recommend not spreading yourself too thin and sticking to a couple of places.

If you like to get around on foot, I recommend Walk Japan — they do walking tours of various lengths with a focus on history, with academic experts as tour guides. It's also very easy to get around Japan and sightsee without a tour, as the public transport is so good.


Charlie Ward, travel consultant at House of Travel on Featherston St in Wellington, recommends a small group tour with Active Asia, which includes good local guides and covers many of the country's highlights at an easy pace. He suggests starting a six-day tour in exciting Tokyo. From there, it's an easy trip by bullet train to Honshu Island via the spectacular Mt Fuji, then on to the mountainous town of Hakone for a soak in one of its renowned hot spring resorts (onsen). Finish up in Kyoto, well-known for its temples, palaces, gardens and geisha.

Readers respond:

After reading about how jandals are a safety risk when flying ['Ask Away', November 21], what about socks or bare feet? Most people kick off their shoes on a long-haul flight and that could be a problem in an emergency.

Running barefoot through jet fuel, fire, broken glass and metal certainly doesn't sound pleasant — although I'd argue that in this situation you're probably screwed either way. It's also apparently not very hygienic — especially in the bathrooms — and if your feet weren't that hygienic to begin with, it could annoy fellow passengers. I think comfortable slip-on shoes are the way to go.

We received some great tips on coeliac travel, in response to last week's column:

"We did a Trafalgar Tour in June/July this year and found Italy amazing for my husband, who also suffers seriously with coeliac disease," writes Anne Stack. "Some countries, e.g. Switzerland, Germany and Austria were harder but our travel director understood the issues my husband had, even to the extent of buying food when it was possible there wouldn't be suitable food at the evening meal."

She said their main issue was with airlines — only Air New Zealand managed to get it right.

Kerri Friar's husband is also coeliac and they take packaged goods with them when travelling.

She recommends Vietnam as a great option for GF food and suggested readers check out the NZ Coeliac Society (coeliac.org.nz) for further travel information and translation cards.


Send your queries by email to askaway@nzherald.co.nz. Eli cannot answer all questions and cannot correspond with readers.

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