There are many things to love about the kimono, the elegant traditional robe that just screams “Japan”. But beautiful and steeped in tradition as it is, the kimono is not without its accompanying inconveniences: its long skirt, which stays pencil-straight right down to the floor, provides almost no wiggle-room and prevents the wearer from running…or even walking particularly fast, unless in comically short strides. Riding a bicycle, too, has long been out of the question – until now.

From Kyoto (which not uncoincidentally is also the city in Japan in which you are most likely to see kimono-clad women wandering the streets, soaking up the traditional atmosphere and taking selfies) the KOTO LX-20 is a bicycle specifically made to be easy to ride while wearing a kimono. And it’s not just a tradition-friendly bicycle, either – it’s a pretty awesome-looking machine in its own right.


With its low frame, you’d be forgiven at first glance for mistaking this bike for a Brompton or similar classic folding bicycle. The KOTO LX-20 dispenses with a cross-bar (top tube) altogether, and pushes the bottom bar down super-low to keep it out of the way of any long traditional robes you might feel like wearing while pootling around town.

It’s available in three kimono-themed colour schemes: violet, light blue, and a mysterious-sounding third colour that’s supposed to be the hue of natural unbleached cloth.

▼ Violet and light blue kimono-bikes. We can only assume the unbleached cloth colour isn’t pictured because it looks so good on camera, you’d be disappointed when you saw the real thing.


Each kimono-bike (they’re not actually called that, but they missed a trick there) is made to order from 48,800 yen (around US $450). If you’re in Japan, you can order one through the Kyoto bicycle and light vehicle organisation and complete the transaction through your local bike shop.

Each kimono-bike (ok, ok, “KOTO LX-20”), also features a Kashimax leather saddle and a 3-speed Shimano gear system.

▼ The saddle is wide, to stop your kimono catching on it when you get on and off. No, really.


▼ Like a cross between a Brompton and a mama chari. We’d like one to test out at the RocketNews24 office, please!

Source: Japaaan magazine,
Images: Japaaan magazine