Yamadamatsu Koboku-ten, Incense Store

Yamadamatsu Koboku-ten, Incense Store © Iry

Culture of Incense 

Incense is said to have been introduced to Japan along with Buddhism around the 6th century. During the Heian period (794–1185) it was popular among nobles, and during the Warring States period (1467–1590) it was commonly used by warriors to soothe themselves, and so it has been used for all kind of things throughout the ages. At present it is commonly used by people to relieve day to day stress.

The incense experience

A wide variety of programs have been prepared in the Yamadamatsu Koboku-ten to relay the history of incense culture, as well as some displays of fragrant wood and various items for sale. The most popular is the Mini Bunko Experience where you will hear a short lecture about incense first and then learn about 3 different kinds of incense. It is held from Monday-Saturday from 10:30 to 14:00. You cannot just drop in so please be aware that you need to make a reservation.

There is also the Bunko Practice Experience, the Genji Incense Experience, and other courses. Please do not wear excessive perfume or cologne to the store as the scented wood’s fragrance is very delicate and can be overpowered. 


From the subway’s Karasuma Line, go to Maratumachi Station (丸太町駅) and it’s a 7 minute walk. You can also take the city bus Karasuma Marutamachi stop (烏丸丸太町) and it’s a 7 minute walk from there.

Description: Yamadamatsu Koboku-ten, Incense Store

Sights Yamadamatsu Koboku-ten, Incense Store (山田松香木店)
Address 164, Kageyukoji-cho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Phone / Fax Phone: 075-441-1123
Duration 1Hour(s)
Business Hours Monday:10:00-17:30
Closed dates Public holidays NEW YEAR'S HOLIDAY Summer season
Corresponding Language English
Recommended Season
Spring (March - May)
Summer (June - August) Autumn (September - November) Winter (December - February)
Recommended target Family Couples Adult (ages 20+)

Map: Yamadamatsu Koboku-ten, Incense Store