Kojima Jeans Street

Japanese Jeans and Kojima Jeans Street

Probably everyone has owned a pair of jeans in their lifetime. It is usually made from denim and the term “jeans” refers to a particular type of trousers called “blue jeans”, invented by Jacob W. Davis in partnership with Levi Strauss & Co. in 1871 and patented in 1873. Prior to being patented, the term “blue jeans” had already been in use for some time for various garments.

Store jeans

Blue jeans in Japan

Denim jeans made an impact in Japanese fashion fairly late in the game.  After World War II, the American Occupation of Japan saw an influx of pop culture and Western fashion, including the iconic indigo denim jeans.

Today’s Japanese-made denim jeans boasts of qualities that make the craft distinct from denim jeans made in other countries. Denim jeans made in Japan is no longer associated with American clothing. Rather, it has become an exclusive tradition in itself due to the meticulous dye and weaving process that goes into creating every pair.

Hank Dyed or dyed by hand with coloring sourced naturally from the Japanese indigo plant, Japanese denim-making is proudly a Japanese craft. It incorporates ancient traditional methods that can be traced back to the cultivation of the indigo plant in the 7th century. Around this time, Japanese artisans learned to extract dark and deep shades of blue.Okayama Castle

Okayama Castle

Kojima Jeans Street, “Holy land” of Japan-made jeans

For many blue jeans enthusiasts from Japan and around the world, Kojima Jeans Street in Okayama Prefecture is the mecca of jeans made in Japan.

About 30 kilometers south of Okayama center is the port town of Kojima. The quaint little town has been cultivating cotton for decades and is one of the pioneers in the textile industry. Over time, Kojima’s popularity waned but in recent years, locals have come together to revive interest in the area. The idea of recreating the town with a unique concept yet still staying true to the history and culture of Kojima came into fruition with “Kojima Jeans Street” along with other historical sites such as Okayama Castle and Korakuen Garden.

Portugal Umbrella Sky Project

Portugal Umbrella Sky Project

Shop, dine and explore the Kojima

You may have come across images of “umbrella streets” from around the world that paint such a pretty picture. The Umbrella Sky Project developed by the firm Sextafeira Produgues is dedicated to creating numerous low-cost urban concepts. The Umbrella Sky Project began in 2011 as part of the Portugal’s annual Ágitagueda Art Festival as a means to provide shade for people walking the city’s narrow streets during summer.

In Kojima, several galleries, restaurants, cafes, and boutiques line the trendy port town. But you won’t find a single umbrella strung on rooftop cables. Instead, you will be amazed at all the blue jeans hanging along the streets in various shades of indigo. Laundry day, definitely not! Every store along Kojima Jeans Street offers a unique concept, from selling vintage jeans to one-of-a-kind piece. There’s so much to discover in Kojima!