In 2015, more than a quarter of a million pilgrims completed the Camino de Compostela in Spain, and South African writer, journalist and TV presenter Erns Grundling was one of them. He documented this life-changing experience in a book and kykNET Original series titled Elders: die Camino.
And luckily for those who’ve chosen to live vicariously through his wandering, Erns is still walking, and hopefully inspiring the same meditative adventure in others.
This time around he’s taken on the Camino’s sister pilgrimage, the Kumano Kodo in Japan. With Tokyo’s bright lights and busy Shibuya Crossing you’d be forgiven for thinking, what the hike? But as Erns explains, he loves hiking and Japan easily humble-brags some of the best and most beautiful pilgrimages, including the Nakasendo Trail, the former trade route between Tokyo and Kyoto, as well as the more challenging, snow-covered Mount Fuji.
Japan will also host the Rugby World Cup (20 September to 2 November) and the Olympic Games in 2020, and if you’re planning a sports-centred trip, you might as well take inspiration from Erns and see more of what’s going on “elsewhere” in this fascinating and unique country.
Elders is filmed in Afrikaans with English subtitles.