JAPAN MOXA STUDY TOUR – postponed until it’s safe!

House of Moxa 

is proud to present: 


Japan Moxa Study Tour


See how Mugwort is converted into Moxa & Learn about Moxa from a Master Practitioner

Have you ever wondered how mugwort leaves are converted into the lovely fluffy moxa that we use in practice?  And how the different grades of moxa are made? Would you love the chance to learn about using moxa in clinic from one of the leading practitioners in Japan, with over 50 years of practical experience and a wealth of knowledge about Chinese Medicine?

Then join me as we begin our adventures in Tokyo visiting Kamaya, a major moxa supplier, as well as a sacred shrine built by Waichi Sugiyama who is considered the ‘godfather of Japanese Acupuncture’ and inventor of the guide tube.  We will then journey to a lesser-known part of Japan in Shiga Prefecture in the foothills of the famous Ibuki Mountain, the spiritual home of mugwort growing in Japan, and where some of the biggest moxa producers are still based.  There we will witness the process of how moxa and all the different grades are made.  After that we will travel to Osaka and visit the Acupuncture & Moxibustion Museum there plus experience a night sharing a modern Japanese house in Osaka and meet with some local practitioners over dinner and discuss professional issues. We will then make our way to Zentsūji Temple on Shikoku Island, one of the top three pilgrimage destinations in Japan, before travelling to Imabari City where we will spend two valuable days in the presence of Master Masakazu Ikeda-sensei, one of the most famous living acupuncturists and moxibustionists in Japan, who will enrich us with his theoretical and practical teachings of using moxa.  The tour will conclude with a dinner with Ikeda-sensei and his students.


Mon 7 Sept         

  • Fly to Tokyo
  • Stay in Tokyo (Asakusa)

Tues 8 Sept         

  • Visit Kamaya Office, Shinbashi – receive explanations of how moxa is produced and how Ondan and Kamaya  Mini are made  
  • Visit Ejime Sugiyama Jinja Shrine, Sumida   – built by Waichi Sugiyama, inventor of the guide tube
  • Visit Sankei Moxa Supply shop (optional)
  • Stay in Tokyo (Asakusa)  

Wed 9 Sept         

  • Travel to Kashiwabara, Shiga Prefecture (approx. 3.5 hrs by train)
  • Visit Kameya, producers of moxa since 1661, set in a traditional wooden building
  •  Train to Nagahama (approx. 1hr)
  • Stay at Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture 

Thur 10 Sept       

  • Visit Yamasho (AM) and learn about the process of producing different grades of moxa  
  • Visit Sennenkyu Showroom 
  • Travel to Kyoto / Shin-Osaka (approx 2hrs)  
  • Visit Acupuncture & Moxibustion Museum, Osaka – optional
  • Dinner with practitioners from the local region  (to discuss professional issues – 2hrs)
       – Cost included in tour fees 
  • Stay in Shin-Osaka – experience staying in a modern Japanese-style house (Airbnb)
     – Cost included in tour fees  

Fri 11 Sept          

  • Travel to Zentsūji, Kagawa, Shikoku via Okayama (approx 2hr)
  •  Visit Zentsūji Temple – optional
  • Travel from Zentsūji to Imabari  (1.5-2hr)
  • Stay in Imabari

Sat 12 Sept        

  • Observation at Ikeda-Sensei’s clinic
  • Stay in Imabari 

Sun 13 Sept        

  • Ikeda Sensei’s clinic – lecture / practical session
  • Dinner with Sensei and staff (to discuss professional issues – 2hrs) – cost included in tour fees
  • Stay in Imabari 

Mon 14 Sept        

  • End of Tour


Tour Fee:

(includes administrative fees, tour hosting/interpreting, training/observation with Ikeda-sensei (2 days), 2 group dinners, 1 night shared accommodation in Osaka, gifts for Ikeda-sensei and students and other places we visit

Option 1:  cost $A1300 (Early Bird / Payment Plan option)

  • Pay $300 deposit by 13 March (non-refundable after 13 May); then

  • $250 by 13 April

  • $250 by 13 May

  • $250 by 13 June

  • $250 by 13 July 

Option 2:  cost $A1500 (Full Fee option)

  • Pay $300 deposit by 13 May (non-refundable after this date); then

  • $1200 by 13 July

Additional Expenses.
It is up to each participant to contact Raffaella Gatto, Travel Advisor at Travel Associates 0417 364 797 or 9956 2100 or  [email protected] and book and pay for the following themselves:

  • Airfare to/from Tokyo (Haneda if possible or Narita) – look out for cheap airfares but check stopovers/ flight times – Qantas, JAL & Virgin often have the most direct routes.  Any prices quoted are only valid for that moment and may change at any time.  The closer we get to departure, the more expensive the seats will become.  NB: If you wish to stay in Japan for much longer after the tour concludes, be sure to book your flights ASAP as school holidays starting at the end of that week will ensure prices will most likely rise drastically.  

  • Accommodation (except for 1 night in Osaka) – if possible, please stay at the nominated places (to be advised upon registering); contact me if you wish to be paired up with someone for twin share accommodation (although this cannot be guaranteed – and remember Japanese hotel rooms are much smaller than Western ones so it can be very tight with 2 large suitcases! If you choose a Japanese-style room option with futon beds, there might be a bit more space).

  • Travel Insurance – including medical expenses – we will do our best to assist in any way with medical or other matters but cannot be held responsible.

  • JR Pass Voucher 7 Days (to be issued in Japan but must be purchased before leaving – I will send instructions upon registering).

Additional Expenses you will be responsible for
, include (but are not limited to):

  • Meals other than 2 group dinners; when booking accommodation, a breakfast option may be selected for some places for an additional charge if not already included (otherwise 7-11 & other convenience stores etc are very handy in Japan for rice balls, etc)

  • Other modes of transport that the JR Pass can’t be used for – this includes transport from the airport to Asakusa on the first day (you are better off not starting the JR Pass until Tues 8/9, or possibly even Wed 9/9 depending on if you plan to stay longer – I can help you work this out once you know your travel plans); plus subways in Tokyo/Osaka, taxis when necessary.

CPD points – To Be Confirmed (AACMA / ATMS)

Total Cost of Tour: you should budget for around $3800 – $4500 for the entire tour including tour fee (paid to me as above), airfare, accommodation, insurance, transport, meals, etc.  This price will vary depending on the exchange rate at the time, which airfare you book, whether you book shared or single accommodation, how much you spend on meals, etc.

Masakazu Ikeda-Sensei

Since graduating from Meiji Oriental Medical Institute in 1968, Masakazu Ikeda has devoted himself to the clinical practice of Acupuncture, Moxibustion and Herbal Medicine. Over the subsequent 50 years, he has trained practitioners from many countries around the world.  He has also written 23 textbooks and presented 100’s of workshops. Several of his books have been translated into English. We are very privileged to be able to visit his clinic and see him in action as well as learn directly from a true master.

Ejima Sugiyama Shrine

Ejima Sugiyama Shrine was built by Kengyo (born Waichi) Sugiyama, said to be the “grandfather of Japanese acupuncture”. A blind acupuncturist, he invented the guide tube to help him to insert the needles painlessly.  The 5th Tokugawa Shogun Tsunayoshi gave him this land in gratitude, for curing his insomnia, and helped him establish the first school for blind acupuncturists in Japan.


Nestled at the base of Ibuki Mountain, the spiritual home for mugwort-growing in Japan, Kameya has been specialising in producing high-quality gold moxa since 1661.  Set in an old wooden building steeped with history, a visit to Kameya is like taking a step back into the past.



Established in 1895, Yamasho has been making traditional Ibuki moxa for over 100 years, as well as more modern easy-to-use products.  Their moxa is all processed in-house, so at their brand new factory we will delight in learning about the detailed process involved with converting mugwort (artemesia vulgaris) leaves into different grades of moxa. 


Sennen-kyū began producing Ibuki gold moxa in 1949. In the 1970s they started producing products to address the so-called negative perception of moxa being “hot”, causing “burns”, leaving “scars”, and that it “required someone else” to perform it.  Since then they have been leading the way in promoting moxa to the general public and have developed various products that are easy for the layperson to use, including platform moxa and moxa patches that don’t need to be lit.

Zentsūji Temple

Zentsūji Temple is one of the top three pilgrimage destinations in the entire country and is the birthplace and spiritual home of Kobo Daishi (774-835 AD), a highly influential Buddhist monk who founded one of the major schools of Buddhism in Japan, the Shingon sect. He is often credited as having brought moxa to Japan, but acupuncture and moxibustion actually predate him by a few hundred years!  The temple also plays an important part in the famous 88 temple pilgrimage (Ohenro) of Shikoku.

Your host, Catherine Kato

Catherine has been practising as an acupuncturist/moxibustionist for the past 18 years.  Prior to that she studied Japanese for many years and lived and worked in Japan for a total of five.  Her love for Japan and moxa led her to start House of Moxa 13 years ago, with the goal of providing the highest quality moxa and associated products at reasonable prices from practitioner to practitioner.  She is not a professional tour guide nor interpreter and has never visited most of the places on the itinerary, but she will use her semi-fluent Japanese and knowledge of Japan and its customs to guide you on this inaugural moxa journey.

Terms & Conditions

  • Numbers are strictly limited. 

  • Tour is subject to a minimum number of participants attending; in the case of there being insufficient numbers, all payments will be reimbursed.  The organisers cannot be held responsible for any outstanding cancellation fees that may be incurred.

  • The schedule is subject to changes due to circumstances beyond our control.

Cancellation policy

  • Deposit of $300 is non-refundable after 7 May 2020.

  • Full payment is due by 7 July 2020 – failure to pay with no explanation may result in cancellation of registration.

  • Cancellations made before 7 May 2020 will result in a full refund of deposit and any balance paid.

  • Cancellations made after 7 May 2020 but before 7 July 2020 will result in a refund of any balance paid minus the $300 deposit.

  • Cancellations made on or after 8 July are non-refundable except for medical or other personal emergencies.*

 * Late cancellation due to medical or other personal emergencies: $1,000 will be refunded when supporting documentation is provided