Last Updated on January 17, 2024 by IncenseJunction
High-quality incense is a great part of every meditation or yoga session. To be honest, there is no better quality than Japanese incense. There is a wide range of Japanese incense sticks, each with a different set of ingredients, colors, and aromas. So, you can understand how complicated it would get trying to find the best Japanese incense in the market.
Lucky for you, we have gone to the market, checked out most of the available options, and then narrowed down the options to the products on this list.
We have reviewed the top brands in the market and included a couple of their best products. Have fun choosing the right incense for you.
Japanese Incense Overview
The art of making incense has been one of Japan’s best-kept secrets for centuries. In ancient times it was China that exported incense to Japan and then it was soon that Japan started making their own. It has been those old traditional recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation.
Japanese incense is a true art form. In fact, in the late 1800s, Japanese incense took on a new form by adding a stick to the center of their incense, and when they brought this new idea to the Chicago World Fair in the late 1800s the world then caught on to the incense on a bamboo stick and grew to love it too.
Sandalwood and Agarwood are the two main natural ingredients traditionally used in Japanese incense. They also use cinnamon, clove, frankincense, and Patchouli, as well as other fragrant flowers and berries to make their unique blend of incense. Baieido (pronounced Bai- Ei- do) is one of the oldest Japanese incense companies dating back to 1657. Bai means “Plum Tree”, Ei means “Prosperity, and Do means “Shrine or Store”. Shoyeido is another 300-year-old incense company in Japan that continually produces the finest quality incense sold around the world.
What makes incense from Japan so special is the excellent care in growing the herbs, woods, spices, flowers, and plants that make up their incense. The recipes are hundreds of years old as well and they have truly made incense making into a thriving business known around the world.
Japanese incense is used for calming your soul, meditation relaxing your mind, purification rituals, religious ceremonies, removing negative energies from your room and yourself, medicinal purposes, and healing to name just a few of the wonderful benefits of burning Japanese Incense. The beautiful aroma that comes from the smoke is such an added bonus that will keep you coming back for more.
Here is a review of the top Japanese incense sticks we selected, read it carefully and pick your choice;
1. Nippon Kodo Review
Nippon Kodo is responsible for some of the best Japanese incense sticks on the market. The company has been producing high-quality incense since 1575 and has progressed to produce different sticks, three of which are on our list.
As you will notice in the Nippon Kodo review, high quality is not all you will get from the brand. You will enjoy historical craftsmanship that comes from more than 400 years of skill. The brand also uses some high-quality materials in the production of their materials. The materials are also gathered by a group of very careful researchers. Finally, the brand uses specific methods to maintain high standards in each incense stick.
So, which are some of their best products?
Nippon Kodo Morning Star Incense
This set features around 12 unique fragrances. These fragrances include Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Musk, Sage, as well as Frankincense, and Myrrh. One thing you will appreciate in the Morning Star Incense review is the number of sticks included in the review. There are 50 sticks for each packet included in the set. That brings the total to 300 incense sticks.
Once you purchase this incense set, you will receive an incense holder made of ceramic. Each of the incense sticks has a length of around 4.75 inches. Each of them will go for around 30 minutes without burning out. Smooth and consistent burning to the end.
One of the most popular fragrances in the set is Frankincense and Myrrh. It is a problem that the sticks tend to be smokier than you would expect. Nevertheless, the results are undeniably great. The set features 12 fragrances, giving you a wild variety to choose from. To be honest, not all the fragrances will be appealing to you. However, you should expect to find some of your favorites in the set of fragrances.
- A wide range of fragrances to choose from
- It is a sweet bargain considering the number of sticks you get
- The sticks have perfect results
- Each of the sticks will last for an adequate time to produce the desired results
- They are easy to light and maintain that light for a long.
- They are a bit smoky
- Some of the fragrances have a faint scent
- The incense sticks are smaller than you would expect.
Nippon Kodo Kayuragi Incense
When it comes to traditional Japanese incense, this is among the most respected in the market. It is even sold in Disneyland all over the world. The recipe used to make this incense is around 400 years old and was used by Japan’s Emperor for a long time. The recipe used to make this incense is quite guarded and the selection is precise to ensure top-notch quality and efficiency. So, what’s so special about it?
First, the incense set features five packs, each of which has 40 sticks. To make the deal better, you will get ceramic burners for each box. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? The fragrances included in the set include Green Tea, Japanese Cypress, Sandalwood, Aloeswood, as well as Cherry Blossom.
This item is a perfect gift. Here is the reason why. Each of the packets is elegant and beautiful, matching the color of the incense sticks. You can also use them for various purposes that include reduction of stress, relaxation, reading, massages, meditation, yoga, as well as reading and bathing. A perfect set of incense for different purposes.
- It doesn’t have a bamboo core, which reduces the general amount of smoke
- The scent is completely pure
- The sticks will burn for around 23 minutes each, which is an average
- The sticks burn perfectly without going off
- The selection of fragrances is perfect.
- The scents might be too strong for some people.
Nippon Kodo – Ka-fuh Incense Sticks
These are quite amazing incense sticks. Their fragrance is quite light and is a perfect set of incense sticks for everyone who has a sensitive nose. When burning these incense sticks you will notice a light cedar fragrance (read more about cedar incense benefits) with a hint of pine and earth. Considering that the fragrance is almost faint, you can expect the smoke to be light as well. You can barely notice the smoke being produced by the incense sticks.
This set features 120 incense sticks. They are packed in an amazing cardboard packet, which is quite elegant.
The incense does not produce much smoke. This is because they do not have bamboo at the core.
- They produce very little smoke
- A faint smoke and fragrance for people with sensitive noses
- They are reasonably priced when you consider the number of sticks you get
- They are pure scent, which is amazing if you like pure fragrances with no wood.
- They might be too faint, especially for those who are used to stronger scents.
2. SHOYEIDO Review
Shoyeido is among the most popular Japanese incense brands in the market. The brand, as you can see from many Japanese incense reviews, is popular for creating some of the highest quality incense sticks using the most natural ingredients on the market. There is a wide range of fragrances associated with the brand. The production of incense is handled by masters who are highly trained. They make use of some of the most ancient secrets to manufacture these perfect sticks. As a result, we enjoy the remarkable and subtle senses with a range of fragrances from which we can choose.
So, which is the best Shoyeido incense? Here is a list of three of the best products under the Shoyeido brand.
SHOYEIDO Plum Blossoms Incense Sticks – Baika-Ju
There are different types of incense scents. But the truth is that this is among the most popular and most appreciated. Plum Blossom incense does not have any synthetic material included in its production. They are all masala sticks that are made in Japan by hand and packed in amazing packaging.
The first thing you will highly appreciate about this incense is that it does not smoke as you would expect from certain brands. It features a very amazing and relaxing fragrance that will remain in your house even after the incense burns out.
The name comes from a flower. Nevertheless, it has a woody scent that is mixed with something as sweet as cookies. There are also other scents such as cinnamon and sandalwood that are included in this set.
The package features a single box with 150 sticks. Each of the sticks has a length of 5.25 inches and burns for around 30 minutes nonstop.
- The fragrance lingers in the house even after burning completely
- The scent is amazing and subtle enough to relax you
- Made using completely natural products
- The scents are unique and selected well.
- They might break easily if you tried to put them in an incense holder.
Shoyeido’s Moss Garden Incense Sticks – Nokiba
If you want a Japanese temple incense that is completely pure, this might be the solution you need. Let’s discuss why.
This set of incense features 500 sticks, although there is a smaller packet with 250 sticks instead. It solely depends on you. Each of the sticks has a length of 5.25 inches and will burn for around 30 minutes each. They are packed in a very convenient box that you can reuse.
The sticks are made using a technology that eradicates any waste in the ingredients, leaving 100% pure incense.
All the ingredients are completely natural and there are no synthetic ingredients or oils.
- They are made using traditional recipes
- It features a more powerful, purer scent
- All the ingredients are natural and you can tell from the scent
- They are affordable
- The scent will linger in your house for a while.
- They might be shorter than others in the market.
SHOYEIDO White River Incense – Shirikawa
This particular type of incense receives its name from the White River Valley in Japan. It will give you a comfortable and appealing sense of warmth, relaxation, and comfort. If you are looking for high-quality incense, then this might just be what you need. There is much to love about this incense.
A single box of the product features 80 incense sticks. Each of them has a length of 2.75 inches and will burn for around 20 minutes without going off. They use a coil recipe. Each coil will burn for around 2.5 hours. It is important to note that they are packed in an amazingly unique type of packet.
- The incense is of high quality and is sturdy
- They have a beautiful packaging
- The incense sticks are made using completely natural ingredients
- The scent is pure, clean, and fresh.
- They do not burn for a long time
- Considering the number of sticks you get, this might be an expensive purchase.
3. BAIEIDO Review
This is a high-quality incense brand that is responsible for creating some of the most amazing incense sticks on the market. The company started making incense in 1657. It is in Sakai, which is quite popular for the creation of fragrances based on Aloeswood. So, when you burn their products, you should expect a warm, spicy, or deep feeling. The name Bai means Plum Tree, Ei stands for Prosperity, and Do means Store or Shrine.
Let us look at some of their amazing products.
BAIEIDO Japanese Incense Kobunboku
This is an amazing incense that expresses Plum Tree. It features a reminiscent and sweet scent of plum blossoms.
It is made using natural and traditional formulas to create amazing sandalwood, agarwood, as well as cinnamon incense. The incense is made using amazing extracts from 15 plants. It is not only refreshing but also helps in improving general concentration. It is a perfect type of incense for meditation.
Each of the boxes features 250 sticks with a length of 14 cm.
- It is made using natural ingredients
- The scent is very relaxing
- They are affordable considering the quality and number of sticks
- They burn for around 45 minutes, longer than most.
- They might have an overwhelming smoke
- They are a bit expensive.
BAIEIDO Kai Un Koh Aloeswood Sticks
This incense is made using some high-quality ingredients. The amazing package features amazing scents such as Aloeswood, Sandalwood, Clove, Borneo Camphor, as well as Chinese spices.
Each of the sticks features a length of around 14 centimeters. The entire box is around 37 grams. They burn for a longer time, slowly, leaving a lingering scent in your house.
- They are an affordable option
- They burn slowly and properly
- The scent is amazingly relaxing
- They do not produce too much smoke.
- They have a limited list of fragrances.
Japanese Incense Rose Sawayaka
There is not much description of this amazing incense. It is made using a base of sandalwood, from a natural extraction. After that, a rose scent is applied to the base scent. That is the amazing mixture that prepares this scent.
They are not as long as other sticks, at only 5.25 inches. Additionally, they do not produce any smoke when burning and will burn for around 45 minutes, which is quite long considering their shortness.
Click here to learn more about incense rose.
- They burn for an adequate time
- They are made using natural products
- When burning, only a small amount of smoke is produced
- They are reasonably priced
- They will remind you of Japan.
- The scent is not for everyone.
4. KUNMEIDO Review
Kunmeido has grown to become one of the most popular brands in the market. They are recognized for their number one seller, which is the Reiryo Ko. They have more incense to present in the market, although none would match this selection. We have checked out their different incense types and here are two of the best from Kunmeido.
Kunmeido Reiryoko Small Japanese Incense Sticks
This set features around 75 incense sticks in the packet. They are known for creating an amazing set of traditional incense sticks with a sandalwood fragrance that you will love.
The sticks feature a length of around 5.5 inches and will burn for around 30 minutes. Some of the natural ingredients used to make this fragrance include makko powder, sandalwood, and other spices.
- They have an amazing packaging
- They burn for a long time, the average time to be honest.
- All the ingredients are natural
- The fragrance is subtle but perfect.
Kunmeido Reiryoko Regular Incense Sticks
This package features around 80 incense sticks. The incense is burned in one of the two main temples in Japan. It is extremely efficient in spreading an aromatic fragrance and is quite popular for its amazing packaging.
The scent of Sandalwood is from 100% natural ingredients.
- It is a traditional type of incense
- The fragrance is widely appreciated in religious rituals
- The package is perfect
- It is a perfect gift
- It is reasonably priced.
- The brand does not give a good description of the product.
5. Kungyokudo Incense Review
This brand was created in 1594, which is the third year in the Azuchi Momoyama time. It started as a sort of pharmacy. Ever since that creation, the company has been responsible for creating an array of incense that includes handmade and luxurious products that have been in the market for around 420 years.
Kungyokudo Japanese Incense
They have one amazing set of affordable types of incense with different fragrances to choose from.
The amazing incense scents are made using natural incense that does not have any bamboo or wood core. That means that the incense is completely pure and does not have any smoke to piss you off.
These Japanese Incense sticks are great for changing your mood and improving your comfort. It will help you relax and improve the fragrance in your house.
- There is a wide range of fragrances from which you can choose
- They are packed perfectly
- The cost is almost unbelievable
- They are beautiful with a low smoke output.
How do I know if my incense is good quality?
When it comes to buying incense, there are a lot of things to consider. But, one of the most important things to think about is the quality of the incense. How do you know if your incense is good quality? Here are a few things to look for:
The first thing you’ll want to do is take a look at the ingredients. Good quality incense will usually have natural ingredients like herbs, spices, and essential oils. These ingredients will be clearly listed on the label. If you can’t find a list of ingredients, that’s a good sign that the quality of the incense isn’t very good.
Another thing to look for is the burn time. Good quality incense will usually have a longer burn time. This means that it will last longer and smell better. If you find that the incense is burning too quickly, that’s a sign that it’s not of good quality.
Finally, you’ll want to take a look at the price. Good quality incense will usually be a bit more expensive. But, it’s worth it because you’ll be able to enjoy it for longer. If you find that the price is too good to be true, it’s probably because the quality of the incense isn’t very good.
Keep these things in mind the next time you’re looking to buy incense. By following these tips, you can be sure that you’re getting good-quality incense.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Japanese Incense bad for you?
Japanese incense is used in many households all over the world. It is not bad for you. In fact, Japanese incense has several advantages to the human body such as relaxation and relief of stress. However, if you have a condition such as asthma, the smoke might affect you. It is important to be careful.
What does Japanese Incense smell like?
Different brands in the market have a wide range of scents from which you can choose. You can have anything from lavender to frankincense. From white sage to aloeswood. Different people have different preferences. Therefore, you should choose one that you would really appreciate.
Where can I buy authentic Japanese Incense?
Japanese incense is available in different online and local markets. All you need to do is make sure it is an authorized source of original products. Check reviews and comments first.
How can I buy Japanese Incense?
You can simply visit your local marketplace for some of the Japanese incense. You can also visit any online store such as Amazon, Etsy, and Japanincense and choose from the available options. The process is quite simple. You should choose one type of incense, and then wait for the delivery of the requested item.
How long does Japanese incense last?
Japanese incense will last for around 20 to 25 minutes. However, this can vary depending on the type of incense you choose, as well as the conditions in your home. For example, incense made with natural ingredients will usually last longer than those made with synthetic ingredients.
Also, read: Difference Between Japanese Incense and Indian
We have gone through many brands and many incense products and have realized that these are the best. Each type of incense in the list is unique in a certain manner and has been approved to produce the results you would want. Pay close attention to the features, pros, and cons of each incense stick reviewed above, and make a comparison. Doing this will narrow down your choices and help you find the best deal.
If you have any incense-related questions, please feel free to ask in the comments!