TV Producer Daisaku Kawase’s Five Boro Bike Tour Participation Report!
Falling in Love with New York Vol.3
Osamu Suzuki-san was supposed to speed through New York City on a bike together… or so I thought.

In preparation for Five Boro Bike Tour, I had already reached out to several people, including influencer Karen-chan (Karen Maruyama), who had articles up on Global Ride (GR), inviting them to join me.

Osamu Suzuki-san was also among them.

Through the connection of appearing monthly on Mr. Osamu’s radio program ‘Shin Radio Humanista’ on BAYFM, I extended the invitation. It seemed a pivotal moment in his life as he considered stepping down from his role as a scriptwriter, and I thought he might want to challenge himself with something new.

From Osamu-san, I received an immediate response: ‘I want to go!’ Despite not usually riding bicycles, he felt a certain ‘connection,’ perhaps due to his father’s previous role as the owner of ‘Suzukiya Rin-ten,’ a bicycle shop in Chiba. Moreover, his wife, Miyuki Oshima-san, and their son, Efu-kun, would join us.

This promised to be an exciting journey.

Preparations progressed steadily. We bought helmets for cycling in New York and also reserved tickets for the musical ‘ BACK TO THE FUTURE,’ which Osamu-san wanted to see. We even hired a bike guide to show us around Central Park.

And then the day of departure arrived.

I had already checked in early at the airport to drop off my Brompton as baggage. Soon after, Osamu-san’s family arrived.

“Osamu-san!”
“Oh, Mr. Kawase! Good morning. I’m just about to check in.”

I waited a little apart while they checked in, but there was no sign of it ending. Something seemed amiss. With a sense of unease, I approached the counter where Osamu-san was.

“What’s the matter?”
“It seems Efu’s ESTA hasn’t been approved.”

ESTA refers to the application required for entry into the United States. It hadn’t come through. Osamu-san applied for ESTA three days before departure.
While Osamu-san and Oshima-san’s were promptly approved, Efu-kun’s application had a credit card issue that required changing cards before progressing. It was expected the application would be approved soon after. However, for some reason, it hadn’t.

The application was approved In as little as an hour at the earliest, and several JAL staff members were working on it, but it did not go as smoothly as we would have liked.

“Kawase-san, I don’t want you to wait here, so please go ahead to immigration. I will catch up with you.”

It’s concerning, but there’s nothing I can do by staying here. My daughter and I went through security and decided to take a break in the lounge. JAL staff are doing their utmost to help, so I convinced myself we’d reunite soon.

However, it didn’t turn out that way.

Thirty minutes after parting ways, I received a LINE stamp from Osamu-san. It featured a character resembling a fearsome gorilla crossing its arms in an ‘X’ shape.

I was taken aback.
What, it’s not possible?
Can something like this really happen?

I immediately called Osamu-san. Indeed, he said the time had run out. And he had made a surprising decision.

“Kawase-san, despite JAL’s best efforts, it didn’t work out. This would have been my first Golden Week after quitting as a scriptwriter. I can’t go to New York alone, so I’m sorry we can’t go together, but I’m changing my destination.”

“Huh?”

“I’ve secured tickets to Ishigaki Island and a hotel, so I’m heading there now.”

I couldn’t help but admire his decisive action, knowing he’s Japan’s top scriptwriter, yet I felt a pang of apology filling my chest.

Seemingly sensing my feelings, Osamu-san continued,
‘Kawase-san, it’s okay. Maybe this just isn’t the right timing. Changing the destination from New York to Ishigaki Island, Oshima-san is bursting with laughter.’

Gradually, I began to accept the situation. With Osamu-san saying this, I resolved to enjoy New York with my Brompton from the bottom of my heart.”

Nevertheless, despite facing troubles at Haneda Airport on the day of departure, Osamu-san swiftly switched gears. Despite it being Golden Week, he managed to find a hotel and even secure a flight on the spot. Such audacity truly befits Japan’s top scriptwriter.

As a result, Osamu-san’s family headed to Ishigaki Island instead of New York. And then, just a dozen hours later, I touched down in New York City.

As a baton passed from Osamu-san, I made sure to bring along the “Suzukiya Rin-ten” sticker I had made for this occasion.

Finally, starting tomorrow for the next three days, with my beloved Brompton, I will paint Manhattan in rosy hues, fulfilling my long-awaited dream of experiencing that admired New York.”


To be continued in the next installment.

Text & Photo_Daisaku Kawase

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Profile

Daisaku Kawase
He is a Free Producer, the Representative of Days Co., Ltd, Global Ride Communication Director.
Born in Aichi Prefecture. With 16 years of road cycling experience, he loves scenic rides. He squeezes in rides between work and travels all over Japan with his bike. His beloved bike is a Trek. After working as a producer on programs like “Ariyoshi no Okane Hakken Totsugeki! Kaneo-kun,” “Oyasumi Japan Nemuiine,” and “Asaichi” at NHK, he became independent in 2022. In addition to producing programs, he also handles project production for government and corporate clients.

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