- Ogikubo Shopping
trial packs ¥200, sets around ¥2000
- 3 Chome-6-24, Amanuma, Suginami, Tokyo, 1F
- Distance from Station:
- 7 minutes on foot from JR/Tokyo Metro Ogikubo Station
- 03-3393-3308 (Japanese only)
- 10:30am - 2:00pm / 3:00pm - 6:30pm, Closed during New Years holidays
- https://www.koju.co.jp/ (external link)
- Staff speak Japanese only. English descriptions of incense available.
The Scent of Japan to Take Home With You
[published March 2020]
A prestigious incense shop in Ogikubo, Koju has a long history of around 440 years. Established in Kyoto, the business moved to Tokyo and has continued to operate as a company specializing in incense. Koju also used to be engaged in official business with Imperial Palace.
Located on Ogikubo’s Kyokai-Dori shopping street, the scent of the shop will easily pull customers into its cosy space, wall-to-wall of many kinds of incense including traditional stick types, cones and scent sachets, as well as incense holders. Koju stocks traditional scented incense such as aloeswood and sandalwood like you can get in a Buddhist temple as well as modern scents such as rose, jasmine, cherry blossom, and even coffee. The scents are not overwhelming and great for souvenirs and gifts, even if you are not sure of the receiver’s preference.
Koju is an incense beginner friendly and foreigner friendly shop, happily serving their customer base that includes all ages and walks of life, male and female. Although Koju is a specific shop for Japanese traditional incense used often for ceremonial purposes, the shop assistants are friendly and helpful so even if you aren’t knowledgeable about incense, you can visit carefree. Best of all, the store provides an English description of the incense for international customers, so you can understand the proper uses for traditional types.
There are also workshops for beginners to learn traditional incense using an aromatic tree, but these are only available in Japanese currently. If you serious about it, however, they can introduce a class in Ginza at the Koju main store.
Koju’s variety of incense types and aromas makes it an ideal place to shop for souvenirs or gifts that literally contain the scents of Japan. Koju also carries seasonal items and trial packets that are cheap. Consider incense from Koju to savour your memories of Japan.