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Be Entranced by Japanese Aromas. Five Select Stores in Kyoto for Lovely Incense and Smelling Sachets

Aromas can be used for relaxation and to refresh. In Japan, there are "oko" incense and "nioibukuro" sachets with Japanese fragrances, in addition to essential oils, and they are popular as souvenir gifts. This time, we introduce five carefully selected specialty stores in Kyoto.

1. Kungyokudo

Kungyokudo, which was established in 1594, is in front of the famous temple, Nishi-Honganji. In addition to traditional senko incense and Japanese candles to offer at altars, it sells oko incense and nioibukuro sachets that can be enjoyed casually in everyday life. The Wa Shiki (864 JPY (incl. tax)) series that expresses the changing seasons through the scent of flowers such as cherry blossom, daffodil, and plum blossom, is recommended.

*The image is for illustrative purposes only

1. Kungyokudo

Nishi-Honganjimae Horikawa-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

2. Ishiguro Kouho

Next, we introduce a shop that was established in 1855, and is Japan's only store that specializes in nioibukuro sachets. Nioibukuro sachets, which have existed in Japan since ancient times, have traditionally been blends of powders of natural scents, consisting primarily of fragrant wood such as sandalwood and cinnamon, wrapped in kimono cloth. In addition to such traditional sachets, this shop also sells ones in the shape of flowers and animals that are meant to be left out, as well as ones that are like charms or bookmarks.
The Yuzen Dai (561 JPY (incl. tax), a set of 10 nioibukuro sachets of a variety of colors and scents, is recommended.

*The image is for illustrative purposes only

2. Ishiguro Kouho

72 Masuya-cho, Sanjo-dori Yanagino-bamba-nishi-iru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

3. tenkhodou

Next, we introduce tenkhodou, which has a workshop and store by the famous Katsura Imperial Villa. It's policy is to make products only with natural fragrant wood, using no artificial scents. It's products include primarily traditional senko incense and yakko burning incense used for Buddhist events and oko incense and nioibukuro sachets for everyday use. The Hanazuki (1,620 JPY (incl. tax)), a set of three types of incense of flower scents, such as lily and violet, and an incense holder, is recommended.

*The image is for illustrative purposes only

3. tenkhodou

47 Katsurahisakata-cho, Nishigyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

4. Shoyeido

Next, we introduce Shoyeido, which was established in 1705. In addition to the main store near Kyoto Imperial Palace, there are branches in Osaka, Tokyo, and Sapporo. It sells a variety of oko incense and nioibukuro sachets for use at Buddhist events and for everyday use. The Tagasode Gokuhin (702 JPY (incl. tax)) sachet with a clean aroma in a sachet made from traditional Kyoto Nishijin brocade is recommended.

*The image is for illustrative purposes only

4. Shoyeido

Karasuma-dori Nijo-agaru Higashigawa, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

5. Yamada-Matsu Koubokuten

Finally, we introduce a shop with a history of more than 200 years, Yamada-Matsu Koubokuten. The shop prides itself in its uncompromising dedication to quality, and sees the entire process through from direct procurement of fragrant woods from the source all the way through production. The Hanakyoka (set of five; 324 JPY (incl. tax)) set of indoor incense in the shape of cute flowers and plants is recommended. The set includes flowers in the shape of and with the scent of trees and flowers, such as pine, Japanese iris, and morning glory, that represent Japan's seasons and is popular as souvenirs and gifts. Items can be purchased duty free in the main store in Kyoto, so be sure to stop by!

5. Yamada-Matsu Koubokuten

164 Kageyukoji-cho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

How was it? These shops sell many elegant censers and incense holders as well, so take a look at them and pick out your favorites!

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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