Shinmachi Okyudo

Pamper the body with oriental medication

Have  you ever tried okyu (moxibustion)?

People say it feels refreshing, but using the fire is a bit scary… I’m sure there are many that is skeptical about okyu.

is run by a young doctor, Mr. Sukikara and is like a casual cafe with a wooden interior, not like those typical old smoky places that some might think of.


Mr. Sukihara explaining about okyu using illustration on a blackboard



Natural and relazing interior



To begin with, what is okyu?

‘Heating the body improves the blood flow, relaxes the stiffen parts and resolves coldness in the body. It comes down to something as simple as this’ says him.

‘People with hari (needle) and okyu experience is said to be around 5-6%. Okyu clinics are much less than that of needle. The reason why okyu doesn’t become the priority choice in improving one’s body is because of its vague image. That is why I keep the menu and explanation as simple as possible. Hoping that people can drop by causally’

The menu has only two: Medication and beauty. Only option available is to have them on eyes.


Okyu is made from white thin hair that is at the bottom side of mugwort leaves. Fluffy and soft.


For my okyu debut, I chose the medication menu, complaining about headache and back pain.

I start with filling out the interview sheet, then counselling with the doctor who asks me about my food, sleeping and laxation habits.

After this, it was the time for actual okyu!

I’ve imagined a white hospital like space, but it was like a beauty salon. Natural and luxurious.


Like a beauty salon



First, my pulse and body temperature at the back of my feet is checked. I can tell that he has a golden-hand at this point! He massages my shoulders and neck during okyu, it didn’t feel strong but was so relaxing.

My first okyu was ‘moxa-box’, which is used to warm up wider area. This was put on top of my stomach. It felt strange to see a smoke coming up from my body.


Moxa-box gradually warming up wide are



After a gradual warm up, we go on aiming at more particular points. Different parts felt different. A point that tingles with pain, where the warmth was relaxing or a point that the pain and heat would sting deeply. There were a point that I didn’t even feel any heat, where is actually ‘a point that the body has become too stiff’.

I was worried about falling asleep, but my body’s various reaction was so interesting, yet relaxing, that I was too excited to doze off. It might be the first time that I had faced my condition so carefully.


Various okyu


After 50 minutes okyu, my inner body felt so soft and my head & backaches gone. Plus I felt thinner, which is true in a way because the improved blood flow had solved swelling.

‘Okyu makes the muscle soft for sure. Unlike taking away a pain temporally, the fundamental cure is very healthy. I am hoping to spread this, even self doing at homes’

This is why he sells okyu goods to be used at home.


Various okyu goods to be used at home


Going home after this, I was surprised how naturally and softly I could lay down. I’ve realized how I always had been so stiff all over.

I better become a okyu-girl to take care of myself.


Address: 787-1 Shinmachi-dori Shomen kudaru Hiranocho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto (map)
Phone: +81(0)75-203-7601
Hours: 10:00-21:00 (Reservation needed in advance)
Holidays: Thursday, holiday