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Japanese tailor scales Mount Kinabalu in three-piece suit, leather shoes

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It is not exactly someone you would expect to see at the summit of Malaysia’s highest peak: A Japanese man in a three-piece suit and leather shoes, carrying a messenger bag and wearing an office ID.

But tailor and adventurer Nobutaka Sada was there on Wednesday, looking more like someone crossing the Shibuya intersection in Tokyo than a mud-stained mountaineer scaling one of South-east Asia’s tallest mountains.

TikTok videos of him climbing the 4,000m Mount Kinabalu have gone viral.

One clip, by @iceemin123, showed him actually trudging through a narrow, rocky trail in his business suit and leather shoes, carrying a bulky office bag.

Two other clips showed him finally reaching the summit and enjoying the breathtaking, majestic view, as other climbers in their jackets, cargo pants and hiking shoes milled around him.

In one video, he made a playful dash downhill beside a rope guide.

Mr Sada, 49, makes bespoke suits under his own label, “Sada”.

He said the climb to the summit of Mount Kinabalu, in the Ranau district in the Malaysian state of Sabah, was one way he thought he could promote his brand.

He has done other zany things in his suits.

He has a YouTube channel that shows him – always in a suit, vest, tie and leather shoes – snorkelling in the Genkai sea, climbing Japan’s 26th tallest peak Mount Shirouma (2,932m), skiing in Hokkaido and running a marathon in Tokyo.

Writing about his Mount Kinabalu climb on Facebook, Mr Sada said his suit kept him warm, even when it rained, and kept him on time for his “business meeting”.


SADAのオーダースーツで、マレーシアのボルネオ最高峰、キナバル山登頂に成功!標高4095mの富士山より高い山!更に、中腹の小屋に泊まり、星明かりの中、急登を登り詰め、山頂でご来光を拝むことも出来ました! 熱帯ならではの湿度の中、雨にも降...

Posted by Nobutaka Sada on Wednesday, March 22, 2023

“Sada’s order suit is okay for climbing Mount Kinabalu,” he said.

Reactions to what he did were mostly cheerful.

TikTok user @bunga said, “real definition of hard work”.


#mtkinabalu 21/03/2023.. meeting atas gunung???hayaaaa... mcm2...

♬ nhạc nền - franks - franks

Another user credited Mr Sada’s nation for its reputation of quality merchandise. “Made in Japan,” said @Name1.

Others had a more amusing take that fits the incongruity of the scene.

“Somebody gave him the wrong meeting room,” said @Necross.

mountainsSABAH/SARAWAK/LABUANsocial media