Masao (Yusuke Sekiguchi) is a lonely 9-year-old boy who decides to spend his summer vacation looking for his estranged mother, whom he has never met. Kikujiro (Takeshi Kitano) is an immature man who has never had any serious responsibilities. When his wife gives him 50,000 yen to travel with Masao, the journey begins. Brash, loudmouthed and opportunistic, Kikujiro hardly seems the ideal companion for little Masao. Their excursion to the cycle races is the first of a series of adventures for the unlikely pair which soon turns out to be a whimsical journey of laughter and tears with a wide array of surprises and odd ball characters met along the way.