I've heard of the traditional Japanese incense ceremony and I'm very interested in attending one the next time I go to Japan.

How do I find an incense ceremony to attend and what should I think about?

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    A start would be to look for the local terms involved in this interest, Kōdō especially kumikō and genjikō. Or maybe get in touch with some tour guide.
    – Newton
    Aug 28, 2018 at 13:30

1 Answer 1


A Google search on japan incense ceremony tourists returns numerous articles and offers:

Souhitsu Hachiya, the 21st successor to the Shino School of Incense, sits seiza, the traditional kneeling position, as he describes (through an interpreter) the history and culture of kodo – the Way of Incense. The other participants – students from various Asian nations, a married couple from India, and a few Tokyoites – seem to know as little as I about the subject. Mr. Hachiya and his forebears have dedicated themselves to this practice for over 500 years.

The Shino School of Incense is headquartered in Nagoya. For directions, and information on classes in English, visit: www.shinoryu.jp

Nippon Kōdō is Japan’s largest incense maker today. As well as selling incense, the company also offers a wide range of related services to customers to stimulate demand. “Our business is not solely about selling incense as a product,” Konaka says. “We are interested in everything that comes with it, from offering incense in traditional religious ceremonies to more modern uses in a contemporary setting. Our ambition, you might say, is not just to keep the old traditions alive but to create a new kind of incense culture at the same time by bringing those traditions to new audiences around the world.”

Koudo is the art of appreciating Japanese incense, and involves using incense within a structure of codified conduct. Koudo includes all aspects of the incense process, from the tools to activities such the incense-comparing games kumikō and genjiko. It is counted as one of the three classical Japanese arts of refinement, along with kado for flower arrangement, and Sado for tea and the tea ceremony. It is said to have ten physical and psychological/spiritual benefits or virtues. Fragrances are divided into 5 types; sweet, bitter, spicy hot, sour, and salty.

◆Pricing(per person) 7,200 yen

Niimi: The shop specializes in Japanese incense. Located on Ninenzaka (between Gion and Kiyomizu Temple) it offers a wide variety of incense.

Toji Temple: The UNESCO World Heritage Site is a Buddhist temple of the Shingon sect. The purification service ... costs around 3,000 yen.

Yamadamatsu Koboku Ten: The long-established shop specializing in incense is located near Kyoto Imperial Palace. It offers workshops to experience the basics of Kodo, including neriko-making. Reservations required.

Take this private lesson to immerse yourself in Kodo, Japanese incense ceremony. One of the 3 classical Japanese arts of refinement, Kodo is a unique experience that engages all the senses and is said to have physical and psychological benefits as you appreciate the nuances of Japanese incense

This is a Kodo (Japanese Incense or art of appreciating incense) program. Kodo (art of appreciating incense) is a traditional culture of Japan which was established in Muromachi Period, together with Sado (art of tea ceremony) and Kado (art of flower arrangement). We are a NPO organization sponsoring various Japanese traditional shows overseas and events for foreign embassies and consulates in Japan

Excellent experience. Very enjoyable. Got much knowledge about traditional incense and tea! I can feel the passion from the masters, very detail explanation and opened my eye on these traditional arts.


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