What to Eat in Kojima Area in Kurashiki
The fact that Kojima is the denim capital of Japan is reflected in its culinary culture as well. In this part of Japan, you will find plenty of food, drinks and sweets that builds upon the famous jeans culture of the region.
It’s worth mentioning that Ai, or Japanese Indigo, is the plant that is usually used for coloring of Japanese Denim, and this plant is indeed edible. However, while there are a few different kinds of snacks and other foods made out of it, these aren’t actually blue.
The blue color from this plant comes from a chemical process that includes substances not suitable for human consumption. Without it, the plant is green. Due to this fact, the snacks and food that shares the same blue color as the popular pants from Kojima, are colored by regular food coloring substances.
On one of the back-streets in the Bikan Historical Quarter of Kurashiki, we stumbled across a stand offering “denim burgers”. While it just consists of a colored bread, a friend cutlet and some lettuce, it wasn’t really a culinary masterpiece. But at least it makes for a fun Instagram post.
Even the national alcoholic beverage of the country gets a denim remake in Kurashiki. While its simply a bottle of regular sake wrapped in denim, the packaging does indeed stand out and makes for a quirky and fun souvenir.
Yep, there’s even a small Kurashiki-based microbrewery producing an Indigo themed beer. And yes, the color of the actual drink is in fact blue. Taste-wise however, it tastes just like a light pilsner. Sold at most liquor-shops in Kurashiki.
Not that different from the Denim burger – A regular Nikuman, or steamed bun, but where the dough has been colored blue.
Denim Ice Cream
The most common denim-themed food, available at plenty of shops both in Kurashiki and in Kojima. The exact flavor and ingredients vary from shop to shop, with some even sprinkling som grinded indigo leaves on top of it. If you’re just planning to try one of these foods, we recommend that you go for this one.