JAPAN MOXA STUDY TOUR 24 March – 1 April 2024

House of Moxa is proud to present: 


Japan Moxa Study Tour

– Sunday 24 March – Monday 1 April 2024 (Cherry Blossom Season)


See how Mugwort is converted into Moxa & Learn about Moxa from some of Japan’s most well-known Practitioners

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 two of the leading practitioners in Japan, with over 85 years of practical experience between them and a wealth of knowledge about Chinese Medicine?

Then join me as we begin our adventures in Tokyo spending a day learning from esteemed practitioner of Oriental Medicine, Edward Obaidey at his clinic. While in Tokyo, we will also receive a blessing for a successful acupuncture and moxibustion clinic from the sacred shrine built by Waichi Sugiyama, who is considered the ‘godfather of Japanese Acupuncture‘ and inventor of the guide tube, and stay in a traditional Japanese Ryokan Inn.  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 of moxa are made at the Yamasho factory.  After that we will travel to Osaka and visit the Acupuncture & Moxibustion Museum plus experience a night sharing a modern Japanese house and meet with some local practitioners over dinner and discuss professional issues. We will then make our way down to Imabari on Shikoku Island where we will spend a day observing and then a second day learning from 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.  We will also be privileged to be able to enjoy a sushi dinner with sensei and his students, and share stories from his 55-years of clinical experience. Along the way, there will be time to enjoy many of the delights of Japan – depending on the season, we will hopefully be able to enjoy the magical Cherry Blossoms as we make our way down through the country, as well as do some sightseeing & shopping, eat great food at local eateries, visit beautiful parks as well as soak in an onsen hot spring or two!

Please note: the Tour overlaps with the Easter holiday – so please do not book if you are unable to attend during this period.


( (NB: DATES COINCIDE WITH THE EASTER BREAK – Good Friday 29/3, Easter Sunday 31/3)

Schedule & Dates for March 2024

Sun 24 March 2024          

  • Meet in Tokyo 5pm (if possible – to prepare before the official start on Monday)
  • Stay in Tokyo in a traditional Japanese Ryokan Inn (Asakusa)

Mon 25 March 2024          

  • Spend the day at Edward Obaidey’s clinic in Sangenjaya, Tokyo learning about Moxa
  • Stay in Tokyo in a traditional Japanese Ryokan Inn (Asakusa)

  Tues 26 March 2024         

  • Visit Ejime Sugiyama Jinja Shrine, Sumida   – built by Waichi Sugiyama, inventor of the guide tube and considered ‘godfather of Japanese Acupuncture’
  • Visit Kamaya Office, Shinbashi – receive explanations of how moxa is produced and how Ondan and Kamaya  Mini are made  (TBC)
  • Visit Sankei Moxa Supply shop (optional)
  • Stay in Tokyo in a traditional Japanese Ryokan Inn (Asakusa)  

Wed 27 March 2024

  • Travel to Kashiwabara, Shiga Prefecture in the foothills of Mount Ibuki, spiritual home of moxa in Japan (approx. 4 hrs by train)
  • Visit Kameya, producers of moxa since 1661, set in a traditional wooden building (NB: this is not a tour of the facility)
  • Train to Nagahama (approx. 1hr)
  • Stay at Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture (near Lake Biwa, largest lake of Japan & one of the oldest lakes in the world) 

Thur 28 March 2024       

  • Visit Yamasho (AM) and learn about the process of producing different grades of moxa  
  • Visit Sennenkyu Showroom 
  • Travel to Shin-Osaka (approx 1hr)  
  • Dinner with practitioners from the local region (& discuss professional issues – 2hrs)
       – Cost included in tour fees 
  • Stay in Shin-Osaka – experience staying in a modern Japanese-style house (Airbnb)

Fri 29 March 2024    (NB: “Good Friday”)       

  • Visit Acupuncture & Moxibustion Museum, Osaka 
  • Travel to Imabari City, Ehime Prefecture, Shikoku via Okayama (approx 4hrs by train)
  • Stay in Imabari 

Sat 30 March 2024         

  • Visit Ikeda Sensei’s clinic  for observation 1 day (alternating times between participants)
  • Sushi Dinner with Sensei and staff (& discuss professional issues – 2hrs) – cost included in tour fees
  • Stay in Imabari 

Sun 31 March 2024   (NB: “Easter Sunday”)

  • Spend day at Ikeda Sensei’s clinic – moxa teaching / practical session (lunch included in tour fees)
  • Stay in Imabari – special location TBC!!

Mon 1 April 2024

  • End of Tour


Tour Fee:

What is included:

  • Administrative fees
  • Tour hosting / interpreting (NB: I am not a professional tour guide or interpreter but I will do my best not to get us too lost and to get the general idea across!)
  • Accommodation for 8 nights from Sun 24 March to Sunday 31 March inclusive based on twin share (see separate tariff for Single Accommodation where possible)
  • Breakfast for 3 mornings (Sat 30 March to Mon 1 April inclusive)
  • All transport for Tour Itinerary
  • Training with Ikeda-sensei (1-day)
  • Observation at Ikeda-sensei’s clinic (1-day)
  • Training with Edward Obaidey-sensei (1-day)
  • 2 group dinners (1 with Ikeda-sensei and 1 with practitioners in Osaka)
  • Bento lunch at Ikeda-sensei’s clinic
  • Gifts for Ikeda-sensei, Edward-sensei and other places we visit


Option 1:  Early Bird / Payment Plan option : cost $AUD3500 Twin Share      

            OR $3800 for Single* Accommodation     

 -* NB: shared rooms separated by gender may only be possible at some locations

  • Pay $AUD500 deposit** once application accepted; then
  • $AUD750 by 30 November ($850 Single Accommodation)
  • $AUD750 by 30 December ($850 Single Accommodation)
  • $AUD750 by 30 January ($850 Single Accommodation)
  • $AUD750 by 29 February 

-**NB: Deposit non-refundable after 20 December


Option 2:  Early Bird Full Fee option : cost $AUD3300 Twin Share

            OR $3600 for Single* Accommodation

 -*NB: shared rooms separated by gender may only be possible at some locations

  • Pay $AUD500 deposit** once application accepted; then
  • Pay remaining amount by 30 November 2023 ($AUD2800 Twin Share OR $AUD $AUD3100 Single Accommodation)

    -** Deposit non-refundable after 20 December


 Option 3:  Full Fee option : cost $AUD3900

            OR $4200 for Single* Accommodation

  • *NB: shared rooms separated by gender may only be possible at some locations
  • Pay $AUD800 deposit** once application accepted then;
  • $AUD3100 by 30 January ($3400 for Single Accommodation)

    -** Deposit non-refundable after 20 December


What’s not included:

  • Airfare to/from Japan (best to arrive in Haneda if possible or Narita)
  • Personal 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
  • Meals other than 2 group dinners, 3x breakfast, 1x lunch (for all other meals, very reasonable options are available at local eateries eg; breakfasts $AUD10, lunches $AUD10-15, dinners $20-30) Total estimated $250-350 (or more if you want to indulge more)
  • Transport outside of the Tour itinerary; this includes (but is not limited to) transport from the airport to Asakusa on the first day, transport from Imabari to departing airport (or to other parts of Japan you may wish to explore after the Tour concludes), transport to any locations not listed on the Itinerary that you may wish to explore during any spare time, any taxi rides not part of the Itinerary that you may prefer to use rather than public transport
  • Luggage Porterage – when travelling between cities, it can be preferable to send large luggage ahead (& only take a small bag with you on trains)
  • Phone calls
  • Laundry


About your host: Catherine Kato

Catherine has been practicing as an acupuncturist/moxibustionist for the past 21 years in Melbourne, Australia.  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 the House of Moxa 16 years ago, with the goal of providing the highest quality moxa and associated products at reasonable prices from practitioner to practitioner. 

Message from Catherine: Please note that I am not a professional tour guide nor interpreter and have never visited most of the places on the itinerary! However, I will use my semi-fluent Japanese and knowledge of Japan and its customs to guide you on this inaugural moxa journey. My hope is that even if we get lost along the way, for it to be a fun and enriching experience for all participants!

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 55 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 learn directly from a true master – possibly one of the last chances we will ever get!

Edward Obaidey-Sensei

Edward Obaidey graduated from Acupuncture school in Tokyo in 1990, and has a very busy clinic there. He is also the founder of the Rare Apricot Society, an organisation dedicated to the practice and preservation of traditional Oriental Medicine.  Edward has spent over 25 years studying extensively with renowned acupuncturist/ herbalist Masakazu Ikeda, and is his main interpreter for his books, DVDs, and seminars. Many students (both Japanese and Western) have apprenticed and continue to apprentice with Edward. This community is generated by Edward’s obvious expertise, dedication and delight in pursuing and transmitting understanding of this art.

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 NB: this is just a visit to the outer building to breathe in some of the history!


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.

Terms & Conditions

  • Numbers are strictly limited.

  • Preferences will firstly be given to participants who registered for the original tour in 2020 that was cancelled due to the pandemic.

  • Once you submit an Expression of Interest form, we will be contacting you to ensure you are a good fit for the tour; once that has been confirmed, you will be invited to pay a deposit upon which your place on the tour will be confirmed.  

  • 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 $500 for Early Bird/Payment Plan option OR $800 for Full Payment option is non-refundable after 20 December 2023.

  • Full payment is due by 29 February 2024 for Early Bird/ Payment Plan option or 30 January for Full Payment option – failure to pay with no explanation may result in cancellation of registration.

  • Cancellations made before 20 December 2023 will result in a full refund of deposit and any balance paid, less any fees incurred.

  • Cancellations made after 20 December 2023 but before 29 February 2024 will result in a refund of any balance paid less the $500 deposit and any fees incurred.

  • Cancellations made on or after 29 February 2024 are non-refundable except for medical or other personal emergencies.*

 * Late cancellation due to medical or other personal emergencies: payments will be refunded when supporting documentation is provided less $500 deposit at the organiser’s discretion