Thank you always for your support to us, the Sakamotos. We originally had a plan to ride in six continents in eight years as our great adventure. Due to the Covid-19 spread, unfortunately, we had to change our plan to have the sixth stage overseas this summer. Instead, we intended to prepare for a trip to Okinawa, Japan for two months from July. However, as the impact caused by Covid-19 was much bigger than we expected, we had no other choice but to call off this stage. This is because we would not be able to achieve our chief goal of the adventure for us to go, meet, and connect with the local families during the trip.
Even so, as the summer vacation was getting closer to us, our children longed for the adventure so bad. That was the reason we chose to go cycling in Five Fuji Lakes for two nights as an extra edition of our adventure. Because of the family matter, the distance and the period were cut shorter than usual. Yoshika said, “our baby boy, who was 7 months old, and I will stay home this time.” So, we three set off for “male-only adventure!”
On the first day, Kojiro, our second son, was riding with looking around and seriously hit his face onto a transformer box on the street. Luckily, he was firmly kept safe by his helmet, and did not need for an emergency call. Meanwhile, Kentaro, our first son, was bitten by a horsefly at a campsite. After all, we safely accomplished our adventure. After we came back home, our sons said “I wanted to do homestay and make friends with someone on site,” or “I wanted to ride for longer days and for longer mileage.” Honestly speaking, each year, we have had a lot of difficulties in executing our adventure. But still, we put an emphasis on carrying out our adventure under any circumstances and keep positively preparing for the coming seventh stage in 2021.
This year, we spent a plenty of time at home during school shutdown period due to Covid-19. Kentaro and Kojiro tried, on their own, publishing a book privately based on our past five-year bicycle adventures. Thinking back on those adventures, they chose and picked up their picture diaries, typed some reports in a laptop, selected their favorite pictures, put some captions on them, made some world quizzes to the readers, introduced our belongings that we brought to the trip, and much more. In addition, they accepted some questions from our friends and acquaintances in advance and answered them on the book in the “FAQ section.” Besides, we added the outline of our adventure and the reports from the parents’ point of view. These reports were what we, as parents, wrote down during the adventure in each year. We also responded to some questions, such as how Yoshika was able to cope with her conflicts, how she overcame the troubles, what she really had in her mind about the adventures, and more.
Four months after they started making their book of our adventure, they finally completed it. They made progress steadily all the way by their own. They made planning, producing, budgeting, promoting, and even shipping. Of course, the process did not always go smoothly. While they were working, they argued, cried, almost threw it away, and even left for a while. Through whole these experiences, they, as well as we, each and every member of the family, got invaluable lessons and spent another unforgettable summer. Now we can say that although we could not go for another adventure, it was another hard but at the same time rewarding summer. The readers have said “I enjoyed reading it with more pictures and comments than I expected. It is well worth reading it!” or “I truly admired Yoshika and deeply sympathized with her real feelings and thoughts.”
Although we were unexpectedly obliged to cancel the sixth stage, we did not give up the adventure this year. Rather, we achieved another adventure from a completely different perspective. We have profoundly recognized that whatever happened, we should bravely take some actions. If you dare to do something, you will accordingly get to something that you will never encounter unless you do. We will always embrace this lesson in mind wherever we are: “just do it before worrying about what you can or cannot do.”
Lastly, let us take this opportunity to sincerely appreciate all the sponsor companies for what you have kindly done for us during such a challenging time due to Covid-19. We anticipate that we will be able to restart the adventure of our team with the five family members. Next year, our new family member, Yamato, who is turning one year old, surely joins the team. His brothers are enthusiastic and eager to welcome him into the adventure. They say “I will have Yamato on my trailer,” or “It’s not you. I WILL!”
Thank you again for your continuous support, and we hope you warmly keep watching over our adventures.
The year of 2015 marks 20th anniversary since I started my adventure of solo bicycle trip all over the world in 1995. In that year, four of us, namely I, Yoshika, Kentaro, and Kojiro (the Sakamotos) started “the Great Six-continent Adventure by the Sakamotos.” We planned to travel by bicycle throughout the six continents in eight years during my children’s summer vacations.
During my former journey, in which I rode all over the world in four and a quarter years, I encountered, communicated with, and interacted with people in 43 countries. In contrast, during the present adventure, my hope for us four has been to encounter and connect with people in families around the world. Another hope has been to widen many experiences with a lot of excitement. Still another hope has been, through these whole adventures, to closely observe how the children cultivate their communication skills, adapt themselves into the environments, get interested in things, and grow up. Moreover, I hope to pay intense attention to how parents educate their children and how the local communities get connected to them in the “real” world. After we get back to Japan, we are willing to share these experiences and knowledge with a lot of people with or without children.
We have already finished the first stage in New Zealand, the second stage in Spain, Portugal, and Switzerland, and the third stage in Canada and Alaska in three months for each. In each stage, we safely completed the rides for 800 or 900 kilometers blessed with a lot of warm supports from people. In the fourth stage, which was the first one for our second son, Kojiro, to ride on his own. We rode in four countries: Nepal, one of the developing countries; Bhutan with a lot of mountainous routes; Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam, which have scorching climates. Under these harsh and challenging circumstances, the total mileage remained less than 400 kilometers. After that, we had originally planned to go to Turkey and Georgia as the fifth stage, but we changed our plan to go to Hokkaido, Japan. That was because just before we left for the adventure, we found that we were expecting our third son. In Hokkaido, we rode for about 500 kilometers in two months. This year, in the sixth stage, Covid-19 forced us to regrettably give up going abroad and call off our adventure. However, as we were dying for bike rides, we tried riding around Fuji Five Lakes as an extra edition of the sixth stage.
Though our initial plan was to complete our whole adventure in eight years, fortunately our children are willing to continue the adventure for more years. Being grateful for your tremendous support over the years, we, as one team, will keep going on our adventures that make connections with many families all over the world and experience various cultures in each continent. We have always been very much appreciated for your warm and everlasting kindness.