Nenjudo is a Buddhist altar supply shop just down the street from Sensou-ji temple in the Asakusa district of Tokyo. We were able to find our way there by using the somewhat helpful photo tour located on their web site (entitled “is Asakusa at the top of a Mountain?” because you have to climb so many stairs to get to ground level from the subway).
Directions: Basically, when you arrive at Asakusa Station via Tokyo Metro’s Ginza line, leave the station from Exit 2 and turn left down the first street you come to. Or just find Exit 2 once you’re above ground. As this map shows, Exit 2 is right down the street from the outer gate Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate) of the Sensou-ji temple. (The walking tour on the left is for the Toei Subway‘s Asakusa Line, the tour on the right is for Tokyo Metro‘s Ginza Line.) There are grayish air conditioning units on the wall, as shown in the walking tour pictures in the right column. Nenjudo is not far down this street, on the right. (Note: when I visited, the façade looked different thanks to some sidewalk-sale style carts parked in the entryway.)
The store stocks just about all the whole Kunjudo range, as well as Baieido, Nippon Kodo, Kokando, Minorien, Seikado, Okuno Seimeido, Daihatsu, Shoyeido, Tenkundo, Gyokushodo, and so on. If you’re looking for other altar supplies or pilgrimage supplies, they seemed well-stocked.
I orbited the central counter about 100 times before finally just getting what I had originally come to the store for: bulk boxes of Kunjudo’s Karin Hien (Swallows in Flight) and Karin Zuitou (Golden Waves), for 3200 yen and 5300 yen. Pricey for me, but they will last at least until my next trip to Japan. Well worth it, since they’re both exquisite aloeswood scents.
The person who rang me up also threw a free box of Gyokushodo Jinko Hoen into the bag, yay!
I had been looking for the Kokando incenses that Encens du Monde exports, especially Whispering Bamboo and 1000 Years of Wisdom (Shouchikubai and Sennenkou, respectively) but they were located outside the entrance, and so I didn’t see them until I had finished checking out. They were around 1100 yen each for a bulk box, so my overly frugal side was kicking me for having missed out on a deal. On the other hand, one can easily buy them in the United States, with the Encens du Monde repackaging. For that price, though, I was hoping to share with other people.
While you’re in Asakusa, be sure to also check out Kappabashi-dori, where you can find all manner of culinary items, from food itself to cookware to dishes to plastic food. I also spotted some of the air-purifying Baieido Imagine scents at the door of one store.
Next to come: Kyukyodo in Kyoto, more Kyukyodo in Tokyo, and tying up loose ends!