Kino is the protagonist in the story. They are described as being around 15 years old, with short black hair, large eyes and a fearless face. They usually wear a black jacket, brown overcoat, white shirt, goggled cap and wide belt with lots of pouches. They travel with the motorcycle, Hermes. The two have a symbiotic relationship - Kino provides the balance, Hermes provides the speed, and together they can travel anywhere they wish.

Kino a skilled shooter, and carries two "persuaders" - One hangs on a holster from their belt; this is a .44 single-action revolver called "the Cannon", which uses liquid explosives in place of gunpowder and is drawn with Kino's right hand. The other is held in a clip in the small of their back; this is a .22 automatic pistol named "the Woodsman" (Mori no Hito, based on the Colt Woodsman) which takes special bullets and is drawn with their left hand. Kino is an unusually quick draw and practices every day before dawn. They also carry several knives hidden in various locations around their body. Usually, however, Kino tries not to get too involved in others' business, being invariably polite to anyone they meet, and resorting to violence only in extreme situations.