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Kojima, Japan’s Denim Mecca

by Jack Guy

Feb 13, 2020

© Bazruh | Dreamstime

Destinations / Asia

Japanese denim is highly prized among fashionistas, and one town in particular is a must -ee for denim heads.


Kojima is an otherwise unremarkable town on the south coast of Honshu island, which feels a million miles from the manic energy of Japan’s big cities. But this is the birthplace of Japanese denim, where around 40 denim specialist shops hawk wares.


Once you get to Kojima, head to Jeans Street, four different streets packed with denim. You’ll see pairs of jeans hanging over the streets, and denim wherever you look.


The story begins with Kojima’s history as the home of the textile industry, which used to make school uniforms and work gear. However ,when denim became increasingly popular, the factory owners saw an opportunity to ride the wave and started making denim products.


Big John was the first Japanese denim brand, and it was soon joined by many others. Today people will pay hundreds of dollars for jeans from brands such as Studio d’Artisan, Momotaro and Pure Blue Japan, and they also make jackets, aprons and other products, too.


To get to Kojima, head to the transport hub of Okayama and take a train south for around an hour. The city is around four hours by train from Tokyo.



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