If you're in the Kojima area of Kurashiki, be sure to stop by Neighbor Coffee Company, a sweet little cafe located just at the entrance to the up-and-coming "Jeans Street" designer shopping area.
Neighbor Coffee Company is located in central Kojima, on the north side of the Shimin Koryu Center (市民交流センター, which used to be the Seto Ohashi Bridge Museum). It's on the second floor of a corner building and is accessed by a really narrow circular staircase. The cafe doesn't really stand out when you're looking at it from street level.
However, once inside the cafe, it looks totally different: The cafe is bright, spacious, and modern but feels very relaxing and inviting. I love the mix of concrete, glass, metal, and wood; the simple lines of everything blend well to great effect. The concrete flooring has a "reclaimed" feel that is inviting. The two main walls are made mostly of glass, and even though the view isn't especially great, the effect still has that "wow" factor. Outdoor seating is also available.
The front counter displays gorgeous doughnuts from the "Doughnut Factory: New York City", arranged perfectly in their individual paper cups and sparkling like gems in the showcase. I was visiting with a friend, who ordered a Wild Blueberry doughnut and a Mango juice. I chose an Organic Sugar doughnut and a White Chocolate Iced Latte. Even though my coffee was iced, it was rich and smooth. It had obviously been properly made (and not just poured from a pre-made bottle of coffee). The Mason jar-like mugs were pretty cute too.
The doughnuts were AWESOME. Yes, they were more expensive than the 100 Yen donuts from Mr. Donut or Krispy Kreme but they were really worth their price. My friend and I traded bites, and even though the Organic Sugar doughnut was really great, the Wild Blueberry was even better! If you go to Neighbor, you should definitely try the Wild Blueberry doughnut.
Neighbor Coffee Company markets their own coffee beans, which you can purchase at the counter. The cafe also offers sandwiches in addition to a wide array of coffee and juice beverages, but it was impossible to get a shot of the menu without glare from the glass frame. For menu information, etc. see the website and / or Facebook page, both listed below. The website is minimal, but the Facebook page has nice some photos.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NeighborCoffeeCompany
Address: 岡山県倉敷市児島味野2－2－39 2F
Okayama-ken, Kurashiki-shi, Kojima, Ajino 2-2-39 2F
Hours: 8:00 - 20:00 Closed on Thursdays
There is no dedicated parking for the cafe, but there are several pay parking lots across the street. It is also accessible by walking from JR Kojima station and by bus. If taking the bus, get on the Shimoden bus at platform 4 OR the Shimoden "Jeans Bus" (has a design of denim on the side!) at platform 5 and get off at Kojima Bunka Center Mae (児島文化センター前） and walk down the street going east.