Kojima Jeans Street @ Okayama


Hello readers! I'm so glad that MCO has finally ended! Although domestic travel is currently allowed, however, oversea travelling is not. I miss Japan so much so therefore, I would like to share the details of Kojima Jeans Street at Okayama. Promised you all I will share the full info of this place but I had totally forgotten. Thank god I still remember the details so I can blog about it now.

If you read my previous article about Things To Do In Okayama then you should know this is one of my favourite place on the list. Denim fans from all over Japan come to this shopping district of reformed older storefronts to visit about 30 shops, cafes, and general stores from jeans brands known around the world for high quality.

See, even Momotaro is wearing jeans here. Lol~ Although just a small town in the prefecture of Okayama, Kojima has managed to play an integral role in the Japanese textile industry since the early twentieth century. Kojima's textile production history stretches back hundreds of years, but it wasn't until post-WWII that Japan became one of the largest producers of Japanese workwear and Japanese school uniforms. The first pair of Japanese jeans were produced in Kojima in the late 1960s.

Kojima Jeans Street is a special street. First thing you notice is the road surface, it's a blue-denim colour! They purposely make it the same shade as denim so you can feel you're in the denim fantasy!

When you had arrived this street, don't forget to take a commemorative photo underneath the numerous pairs of jeans hanging above the street.  It is a MUST photo taken here just like what I did on this photo.

We all know there are so many vending machines in Japan. However, have you ever saw a vending dress in denim? It is something new, isn't it? Of course, I wouldn't miss a shot with it.

Another worthy shot would be the biggest denim jacket that I ever have seen. When you think of Momotaro, you think of Okayama.

There are so many shops selling denim merchandise and this cafe called Salon De Denim caught my eyes. Wondering why? Looking from the outside, it does looks like an ordinary cafe but when enter, you can see there is many small denim packets display on the table. Guess what? Inside the small denim pouch was actually the coffee beans. So creative right?

Meet Betty Smith! Founded in 1962, this museum shop is operated by the venerable jeans manufacturer Betty Smith. As the only jeans museum in Japan, the Betty Smith Jeans Museum not only introduces visitors to the jeans-manufacturing process but also allows visitors to work in the museum's workshop customizing their own pair of jeans by attaching their choice of parts (buttons, rivets etc) as well as to try their hand at making mobile phone straps (fee required).

Outside of the museum, you can see there are a jeans museum theme vending machine and a white car with the Betty Smith sticker.

Took a photo with the Betty Smith statue. I even copy her hand gesture and put it into my pocket.

These entirely custom-made jeans can also be shipped internationally. A nearby outlet shop, where visitors can purchase high-quality jeans, allows visitors not only to experience the process but also to go shopping. There are some artists who purposely came here to customize their jeans. You can see some photos are displayed there.

I'm so glad that we got the opportunity to customize our own keychain. Since it was Hello Kitty's 45th anniversary (used to be a huge fan when I was younger) so of course, I choose the Hello Kitty button. Turns out the outcome not bad right? You can check out the making process in the video (bottom part of this post).

There are also many merchandises of Betty Smith that you can shop. From hat, accessories, cushion to the small pouch and so on. At first, I thought to want to buy a denim bucket hat as a souvenir but unfortunately, we are in a rush, so eventually, I didn't buy it. If I'm gonna revisit this place, I'll definitely buy the hat.

Besides, you can also purchase some denim clothing here too. There are denim jackets and jeans for you to give it a try. Again, we got no time for that as we need to go check out the history of jeans in Okayama.

In the span of a few decades, Japan has firmly established itself as one of the best denim producers in the world. As many of the American brands that inspired the first Japanese jeans chose to outsource their work overseas, the jean producers in Kojima chose to keep things local, refining their craft and continuing to use vintage looms and old techniques. The result is a culture of denim fanatics and an array of brands being headed up by true craftsman that care as much about their products as their most loyal customers. 

Many of the brands in Kojima produce denim from vintage weaving machines known as shuttle looms. The result is a high-quality denim fabric that is only half the width of the rolls produced by newer machines but one with a more durable finished edge originally referred to as "self-edge".

I'm so glad to get to know the history and saw all the design from the 70s to 00s. It was interesting to see the 80s jeans that my mom and dad used to wear before we were born.

Last but not least, some group photos with the girls! The trip wouldn't be amazing without them. Looking forward to travelling with them soon.

Come and see for yourself the latest recommendations and trends! Just 5 minutes from JR Kojima Station via rent-a-cycle (fee required), Kojima Jeans Street is conveniently accessible. 


Location : 5-2-70 Shimono Town, Kojima, Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture.
Opening hours : Daily (9:00am – 6:00pm)
How to access : About 10 min by taxi from JR Kojima Station.

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