When I got my Bike Friday in 2011, I started using "gunte" (軍手, literally "army gloves" = cheap cotton gloves) as my cycling gloves. These are the kind of gloves people normally wear while picking up trash or doing gardening, but they're really cheap (25 yen a pair on Monotaro), offer some protection in a fall and will wick sweat when you wipe your face. I just cut off the finger ends of the gloves, used them for a while and replaced them with another pair when they got too dirty.
From there I graduated to Bicycle Line (BL) "Mugello" gloves that I really loved. They had this string between the fingers, near the base, that made them really easy to pull off with the fingers of the other hand. They were not the most expensive, looked alright and worked well for me. Unfortunately, I lost my pair after about two years and couldn't find another pair. Y's Road seemed to stock them only once a year, around when people switch from winter to summer gear.
Next I picked up a pair of Y's Road own brand gloves which were cheap, available in the right size and and also easy to remove. Their biggest drawback was that between the Velcro strap and the rest of the glove they leave an exposed spot near the base of the thumb that ends up getting extremely sun-tanned. I ended up with this curiously dark spot on the back of both hands, like the markings on the wings of some butterfly. The gloves took some damage in a crash last December (protecting my hands, which is their primary job) and started gradually disintegrating afterwards.
So I went back to Y's hoping to make the season for BL this year. Nothing was in stock at the Wear Shop in Shinjuku in early March and I was told to come back in late March/early April. It was mid April when I finally found the gloves in stock, but only in sizes S, M and L -- sorry, no XL! Not a single one, regardless of colour. Unfortunately those sizes are useless to me.
So I went online and found two shops in Europe that sold those gloves. The Bicycle Line online shop will only ship to addresses within Europe, so it wasn't much help, but a French retail site called XXcycle.com did have them in stock and offers shipping to Japan.
I have ordered two pairs so that I'm prepared, should I ever lose or destroy one again
Do you have a favourite pair of gloves?