“Rising Son” Chronicles 2,500-Mile Bike Ride Through Japan

An American businessman, his half Japanese son, a bicycle, and a 2,500-mile trek through Japan. That’s the premise of Rising Son, a new book by Charles R. Scott. Scott and his then eight-year-old son, Sho, took a splendid journey, covering the length of Japan on their trailer cycle, riding from Soya Misaki, the northernmost point of Hokkaido, to Sata Misaki, the southernmost point of Kyushu. (Okinawa was not included in their itinerary.)

Scott and Sho, who is now ten, made an appearance at Kinokuniya last week with special guest star Saya, Sho’s little sister. Father and son had a reading, autographed books, and answered questions about their adventure while Saya colored.

Rising Son, Japan, cycling, Charles R. Scott, NYC, Kinokuniya, books, travel, Japanese culture

Charles and Sho Scott sign their book at Kinokuniya

I noticed right away that Sho is easygoing and not afraid of strangers, and he was quite comfortable talking about his trip. We chatted about Japan’s game rooms, noisy arcades filled with UFO Catchers and every video game imaginable. He was almost nonchalant about his epic accomplishment.

That’s not to say he isn’t appreciative; he knows what transpired when he was eight years old wasn’t a typical What-I-Did-On-My-Summer-Vacation tale. He realizes that his bike ride along the coastline and through the mountains of Japan was a special opportunity that not all children his age – or adults his father’s age, for that matter – will ever have, an opportunity that has provided him with countless treasured memories.

A few of those memories floated by Kinokuniya customers in the form of a slideshow, pictures of Charles and Sho Scott with people they met during their two-month odyssey, through which the Scotts, who were named “Climate Heroes” by the United Nations, raised money for the UN’s Billion Tree Campaign.

I’m in the early stages of reading the book, and so far it’s delightful. Stay tuned for a review.