Japan has been exporting world-famous raw denim for decades now. Samurai Jeans (サムライジーンズ), founded by Toru Nogami in 1997, is one coveted brand that is still hard to find overseas; New York City shop Blue In Green is the only authorized retailer in the United States. So of course when denim freaks land in Osaka, the Samurai flagship is often their first stop. The original 15 oz straight cuts were inspired by Levi’s 501s, but the label now offers heavier weights and skinnier legs, as well as pairs with a vintage Lee vibe. Fans obsess over the texture and fading properties of the fabric, and often show up prepared to buy multiple pairs. (Jeans start at 23,800 yen—about $218 USD—and climb upward of 60,000 yen [$550!] for ultra-limited-edition runs.) For the raw-curious, it’s worth the pilgrimage.
2-5-5 Nakatsu, Kita-ku, Osaka, Japan; +06-6371-3619.