Japanese incense has been used to purify, cleanse, and unwind for other a thousand years. During this time it has come to be seen as one of the highest quality incense varieties in the world.
Join us as we look into the history, uses, and types of Japanese incense. You’ll find out where to buy the best Japanese incense for yourself, including online incense stores, as well as centuries-old destinations within Japan.
1. NIPPON KODO – MORNING STAR INCENSE
We love this ultimate set of 12 different Japanese incense fragrances. The delicious fragrances included here are: Green Tea, Lavender, Cinnamon Patchouli, Jasmine, Rose, Cedarwood, Amber, Vanilla, Green Tea, Lavender, Sandalwood, Pine, Musk & Cinnamon. Each fragrance includes 50 total incense sticks for a grand total of 600 sticks! Also included is a ceramic incense holder and each stick lasts about 30 minutes. Each stick measures 4.75 inches in length.
This incense tends to be a bit smoky because its definitely a bargain incense, its a real deal! The Green Tea is one of the most popular scents. Overall its just so much fun to pick and choose from 12 scents, having so many options to choose from is great. Although you’ll probably not love every single scent in the set, you’ll definitely come away with some favorites that you are excited about. This is a great starter set for someone passionate about incense, it does a great job of filling the room with a light, pleasant aroma.
2. SHOYEIDO’S PLUM BLOSSOMS INCENSE
Shoyeido offers many different scents of incense but their Plum Blossom incense is definitely a fan favorite. This box comes with 101 sticks which are each 5.25 inches. No synthetic materials were used in the production of this line of incense, its all natural. These are masala stick incense, made in Japan. The packaging is loving and comes with paper written on with Japanese words. This incense is not too smoky, with a pleasant fragrance that lingers in the room for hours. Although named after a flower, this incense seems to have more of a woodsy, rather than floral scent, mixed with cookies or something sweet. Sandalwood, cinnamon, spices are featured in this incense. LEARN MORE
3. NIPPON KODO KAYURAGI – KAYURAGI SANDALWOOD INCENSE W/ HOLDER
Next up we have a popular incense from the brand Nippon Kodo Kayuragi. You’ll receive 40 sandalwood sticks with this set in additional to an incense holder. The incense holder is a small 1″x1″ wooden square. It also comes in a nice wooden box, so no worries about any damage while shipping. We like the burn from this incense and these sticks are 100% incense. They are about 7-8 inches long and have a smooth, solid aroma. The aroma you get from the Kayuragi is of a forest in the autumn and these incense sticks are great to use during meditations.
This brand of incense is so well respected that its sold at Disneylands around the world! Their incense is based on a recipe created by Koju over 400 years and used by the Emperor of Japan. Nippon Kodo Kayuragi closely guards their incense recipe secrets and take special care in selecting the materials used to produce it. They are passionate about passing on the incense culture from years to come!LEARN MORE
4. NIPPON – NIPPON KODO ALOESWOOD
This next incense comes in a box of 300 sticks! The fragrance featured here is aloeswood and this incense is dependable, with a long shelf life. Right out of the box the incense smells like a spicy sandalwood, when burnt the flavor gets much more complex. The sandalwood does overpower the fragrance of aloeswood a bit. The scent is rich and woodsy and very natural. This incense arrives in a large box and should last you quite a long time. It’s a great scent to meditate to. There tends to be a fair amount of smoke when you first light the incense but it dissipates pretty quickly as it continues to burn. Pick up this incense for a very reasonably priced incense to use daily at home. For guests, you might want to invest in one of the more premium incenses mentioned in this article.LEARN MORE
5. BAIEIDO KOBUNBOKU REGULAR
This next set of incense includes 250 sticks of incense. Kobunboku means of the plum tree and you definitely get the scent of plums with this set. Baiedo features a very traditional incense recipe and this one features notes of Agarwood, Sandalwood, Camphor, Borneo and Cinnamon. 15 total plant extracts are featured in this incense. Each stick is 5.5 inches and Baiedo is a trusted incense brand that has been around for over 300 years. Their secret incense is passed down from many generations orally which is pretty impressive. This incense is meant to aid your concentration which helps during meditation and is made in Japan.
This is a high quality product! The scent is light and not overpowering, but it easily fills the entire room. Pick up this incense if you are looking for an ideal meditation incense.LEARN MORE
6. KAFUH – NIPPON KODO – KA-FUH (SCENTS IN THE WIND) – CYPRESS (HINOKI)
These incense sticks are extremely light in fragrance, they are a great pick if you have a sensitive nose! It has a light cedar, earth and pine fragrance and gives off a very light smoke. You don’t even see the smoke coming off of the stick. 120 sticks are included with this set and they arrive in a cardboard box. This is because they are “less-smoke” incense sticks which give off less smoke because no wood, its just pure, pressed incense. LEARN MORE
7. ESTEBAN TECK & TONKA JAPANESE INCENSE STICK
This next set from Esteban Paris features an elegant set of 40 incense sticks. The key notes of this incense include: nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, sandalwood, patchouli, ambe and tonka bean. The sticks measure 6.2 inches in length individually. These incense sticks are super rich and refreshing, they have an expensive scent. This is high quality stuff from their Teck & Tonka collection . Esteban Paris is a high end perfume brand from France which has been in business over 30 years. They sell over 8 million products yearly and are an offshoot of the already featured incense brand Nippon Kodo Group which has sales of over 100 million. This is a great pick for a high end incense!