Kojima of Kurashiki City is the birthplace of Japan-made jeans.
Kojima, situated in the heart of Kurashiki City, Okayama, is long renown for cotton industry since
the Edo Period.
In the Meiji Period, a private cotton mill opened there to prelude the rise of a full-scale spinning industry.
Kojima has since come to be known as the town of fabrics.
Then, early in the 1960s, Japan-made jeans were manufactured for the first time,
thence the town came to be known as the birthplace of Japan-made jeans.
This is how Kojima Jeans stands out!
Charms of the Made-in-Kojima jeans in quality and excel all the others by all means.
Artisans in Kojima had long excelled in the age-old textile industry of the region,
and the tradition lived on into an astounding level of jeans-making technology the world’s top brands
crave for today.
Further, Kojima features its traditional indigo dying skill that brings out the synthesized indigo dying.
That ensures a unique process of color-off and creates charming shades of color.
Provided by Okayama Tourism Federation
Now, believe you me, there’s a place where you can customize your own high-quality jeans – just
the way you like them!
Just where do you go to do just that?
Well, you are only to go visit the house of that famous Kojima-born jeans manufacturers “Betty Smith”
to make an original pair of jeans just of your own.
You don’t have to be a jeans fan to know that cute mascot girl of an Afro-hair “Betty-chan” you have
probably met already.
“Betty Smith” is Japan’s first ladies’ jeans manufactures said to have been founded in 1962!
They handle a unique line of feminine jeans that go so tenderly with female fans of jeans, featuring lovely designs full of playful thoughts.
(By the way, they’ve come to handle men’s jeans as well.)
“Betty Smith” is located 10-minute or so drive from “Kojima JeansStreet” featuring some 40 jeans shops,
denim goods, dying workshop, etc.
Around “Betty Smith” are a chain of facilities, such sewing plant, museum, outlets, garden and dog-run course, etc.
to offer you opportunities of experiencing “looking around, shopping, touching, making and buying” all at a time.
Not just making your own jeans alone, you can also have fun experiencing all sorts of things.
Why not challenge making an original pair of jeans of your own?
At the back of the Jeans Museum is the workshop where you can “manufacture” a pair of jeans of your own.
You step inside the workshop, and you’ll see a set of jeans lining up to welcome you.
Here, you are ready to experience a fancy process of jeans-making on your own – fixing the buttons
and rivets of your liking and sewing up your choice of patch label.
Charges vary depending on your choice of jeans.
For men’s straights and ladies’ stretch-straights, you can experience for ¥7700 〜.
Those of you anxious to have jeans unique of your own, there are a variety of choices, 10 altogether,
to pick from: selvage-slim straight, straight-skinny, wide pants, long skirts, etc. (¥14300〜)
It’s quite an exercise pick just one out of such gorgeous options!
Of course, you can try them out.
Sizes vary from SS〜XXL to fit anyone from tiny to extra-large.
You pick your type and size; they can hem them up for you.
Then, you are to position the button (1), rivets (6) and label (1).
Buttons and rivets come in different shapes and colors: 24 different shapes ranging from star, flowers, pad designs, etc.
They offer 30 options of illustration and text to pick from.
There is such a collaboration item as “Hello Kitty” (extra charge) to challenge your art of selection!
Pick the materials and decide on positioning, and you are ready to challenge machinery work
– quite exclusive, mark you, in jeans-making.
You are to set your button on the machine, step right on the pedal and ready to go.
That’s all there is to do, but it takes a bit of trick. It requires some skill, so be sure to listen to what
the staff member says.
You’ve fixed the button and go on to fix your label.
You are advised to come with sneakers or other heal-less footwears to avoid possible mishaps.
Finally, the workman will use his machine to help you sew the label of your choice by hand.
All that takes about an hour. You have your own original jeans made right in front of you ready
to wear home!
Why not wear them on right there and go out for strolling around for fun.
Visit “Jeans Museum” to study the history of jeans
Right next to the experiment workshop stands Japan’s first “Jeans Museum” (admission free).
Jeans Museum exhibits 100-year-old replicas, sewing machines actually used 80 years ago,
and some valuable exhibits.
Make sure you follow the panels to track down the history of jeans.
It’s a MUST to reserve in advance for jeans-making experience
Jeans-making experience can be readily reserved in advance at the website of “Betty Smith”:
Select “Jeans-making experience” from the pull down-menu and click on the calendar a desired date/time.
The calendar shows the hours available and the numbers of visitors acceptable.
The blue background indicates “Acceptable” and the grey background “Temporarily accepted.
The “Full” icon indicates “Reservation full” and the “Wait” icon “Standing by for Cancellation”.
Once your day/time of visit is fixed, proceed to the following page to enter your name and mail-address,
phone number, etc. of applicant’s data.
Make sure that you are here to create original pair(s) of jeans quite of you own!
“Betty Smith” is the very spot where you can experience not jeans-making alone but also making
your own jeans with your own choices of rivets to drive your denim straps, plus the whole process of
denim work – all toward “creating to order” you own pair(s) of jeans.
Provided by Okayama Tourism Federation
You love your jeans as much, as you’ve made them yourself!
Wear them, and you fast recall the joyous memories.
Why not challenge making jeans of your choice to mark the fond memories of your visit to Kojima,
the home of Japan-made jeans.