Eriyo Watanabe

Specially Appointed Professor at Nihon Pharmaceutical University

Founder and Director of Incense Research Institute (IRI)

Eriyo Watanabe is an international master of incense.  She has been offering Japanese incense ceremony in English, using the highest quality of agarwood called “kyara" in her original style to experience  mindfulness and self-awareness. 


And she is a well-known artist of incense making with carefully selected ingredients.  In the past 17 years, she has given lectures on the history and culture of incense from various places in the world.


In 2019, she invented fermented lotus incense which is produced by using the stamen and pistil of Japanese lotus flowers in Japan.  The fragrance is enchanting and her private session of incense ceremony to appreciate the aroma of fermented lotus incense is getting very popular for foreigners.  


Her incense seminars in English were held at the Embassy of Egypt, Embassy of Oman, the International House of Japan, Urasenke Tokyo Dojo, SHISEIDO, Firmenich, Estee Lauder, KIRIN, Unilever, Hyatt Regency Kyoto and many other places.  


Her academic background is unique.  After she studied art history at the Sotheby's Institute of Art in London,  she studied expressive arts therapy and received a Master's Degree from Lesley University.


With her love of Japanese art forms, not only incense ceremony but also tea ceremony and Japanese calligraphy as well as Japanese traditional performing arts such as Bunraku and Noh, she has offered unique workshops for many years.


Her overseas experience made her work international and inclusive for multi-cultural group. She grew up in Japan and lived in London, Paris, New York, Hong Kong and Boston for over 10 years. She has traveled to 51 countries in order to explore music, dance and rituals throughout the world.  Because of her travels and living experience, she actively interweaves the essence of various cultures into her sessions.


In 2011, the Incense Research Institute (IRI) was established by her with support of Prof. Ryohei Kanzaki of Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, the University of Tokyo and Mr. Kunihiro Nishizawa of Nikkei BP. IRI has been organizing various seminars and workshops in Tokyo.


■Her recent two interview articles:



Eriyo Watanabe

Founder and Director

Center for Arts and Wellness (CAW)

Incense Research Institute (IRI)

#301, 3-20-15, Tsurumaki, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo

154-0016 Japan

tel: 080-6552-4709