We always appreciate your heartwarming support.
As people all over the world have been through these two years of harsh and unexpected periods, COVID-19 has forced us to change the plans for the Great Six-continent Adventure, which was originally an eight-year project. Though our adventure took a rather different, unexpected form, last year, our children tried publishing a book about our previous adventures. In addition, with the restrictions on moving between prefectures, we decided to ride around the Five Lakes of Mt. Fuji. Although we had never imagined these unstable situations, we are glad that we have shared the unforgettable moments and experiences. As always, we thank each and every one of you for kindly cheering us.
This year, we, the five members of the Sakamotos, originally thought of picking Taiwan as our next place for riding. This is because Taiwan has a unique bicycle tradition, and is friendlier to Japan. Moreover, the situation of COVID-19 has been settled down. However, things have gradually been getting worse there, so we gave up the plan and decided to ride around Shikoku.
In 2017, we rode along the Route of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, which is a route for Cristian pilgrims. This time, we are going to attempt a Japanese version of pilgrims. We are planning to ride there for around one month. Although we now are not sure whether we would keep our own style of adventures, in which we focus on communicating with the local families and people, we are riding for about 1,000 kilometers and making a pilgrimage at the same time.
Our initial plan was to ride towing Yamato, who is our 1-and-a-half-year-old son, by a child trailer. However, he is too young to do this, so Yoshika and Yamato join the adventure in the supporting car.
Although our original plan was to put an end to our great project in 2022, we will continue it for a couple of more years. The reason is that our first son and the second son are very much eager to take up more challenges with towing the third son.
A lot of things have happened that we didn't even imagine. Unprecedented and unexpected things may also occur in the future. We flexibly have to think about and deal with any situations each time. To achieve our goals, we will firmly believe in ourselves and keep our adventures safe and sound. During our original challenges, we would sincerely like to send you our news with always big smiles on our faces.
Our sons, Kentaro, who is 10 years old now, Kojiro, who is 8 years old now, and Yamato, who is 1 year old now, also say hello to all of you.
We have always appreciated your sincere and everlasting support.
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.