Akira is our friend from Kobe, Japan and every year he comes to visit us in Los Angeles, usually bringing a new Kinfolk frame with him. He works for Kinfolk in Japan, coordinating the frame construction and paint design, as a side job. During the day, he goes to a very traditional office job in Kobe, so working for Kinfolk offers him creative expression, as well as a little extra money to keep his love of cycling funded. (more…)
If you’re lookin’ to blacken out your track bike’s drivetrain, check out the newest collaboration with San Francisco’s Mash, who teamed up with Japan’s Izumi on three new chains. Offered in all black (pictured,) black with silver bushings, or black with gold bushings. Check out more at Mash SF.
When Jonny first rolled through the doors at Golden Saddle on this bike, I honed in on it. There was something familiar about the bike, yet I had never heard of the brand painted on the downtube. For some reason, it reminded me of an Eisentraut, or a Sachs. After talking to Jonny, he told me he works for Joe Bell, a literal living legend in the framebuilding world. Joe Bell, or JB as Jonny calls him, paints and has painted the frames of some of the most outstanding builders over the years. (more…)
In 1971, Panasonic Bicycles first began exporting bicycles to the USA and while their bikes in Japan are mostly consumer-level mamachari and other commuter cycles, this year at NAHBS, their hand-made division brought this beautiful randonneur with Shimano Ultegra, various Nitto products, and one of the wildest finishes I saw at the show.
XPDTN3 takes to Japan for three days of beautiful road riding in the mountains surrounding Tokushima. See more at XPDTN3.
Chari and Co teamed up with New Balance recently on an updated design of their U520 silhouette. Check out the promo video above and swoop a pair from Chari Japan.
Terry from 4K chased around Tommy from Blue Lug, Yoyogi while in Japan.
Osaka-based artist Concrete Road is inspired by bikepacking and Manga, the Japanese art style created in the 19th century. From product design to bikepacking portraits, Concrete Road’s work is worth a follow on Instagram. You can also browse the Concrete Road online shop.
Japan is one of my favorite places to travel in the world but it took a few trips there for me to have that realization. Partially because on previous trips, most of my time was spent in Tokyo, leaving much to be desired in terms of riding experience. The main reason was, however, is how embedded the Japanese culture is in their respect for nature. For a country that believes Mt. Fuji is a god, or at least god-like in the modern ethos, I hadn’t seen any of that first hand. Last year’s trip to Nagoya to see our friends at Circles really solidified my love for Japan, but it wasn’t until Cari came out to Japan for a week-long city tour that I saw the true nature of this amazing, yet small and intimate country. (more…)
The Japanese Odyssey is a self-supported race across Japan, totaling 2,400 kilometers. This race takes you from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, through the mountains, onto the island of Shikoku, before ending in Osaka.