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Oimatsu Kitagawa


A flavor of Kyoto in the heart of Osaka. Found in the historic district of Nishitenman, Oimatsu Kitagawa brings together seasonal delicacies from across Japan in a breathtaking traditional kaiseki menu. Prepared by Chef Toru Kitagawa, who had to give up cooking for a while due to chronic wrist pain, every dish here is made with a true sense of appreciation.

Building on more than 14 years of culinary training in Osaka and Kyoto, Kitagawa’s cuisine takes the best of the two cultures. Marrying the peaceful atmosphere of Osaka’s Ichijunisai Ueno and the dynamic energy of Gion Sasaki in Kyoto, Oimatsu Kitagawa has landed on its own style that has lured many fans and won its first Michelin star in 2019.

Opened in 2012, the restaurant is located on Kotto-dori in Nishitenman, an area known as the home of geishas and tea houses. The machiya-style architecture of the restaurant resembles the elegant build of traditional wooden townhouses in Kyoto. A crisp white noren curtain hangs over the entrance, embroidered with a motif of the Big Dipper, the chef’s family crest. The restaurant sign is the work of a female calligrapher, Seien Tamada.

A pathway of stone steps leads you inside to the main room where just eight seats are set against the wide wooden counter. Guests can enjoy watching Kitagawa’s swift knifework. The private room in the back fits six people.

“Cuisine comes first but I want the space to impress the guests as well,” the chef says. True to his words, every detail from furniture to flower arrangement is curated to convey the beauty of Japanese culture. The tableware collection is full of his personal favorites that range from antiques to contemporary pieces.



Made with a true sense of appreciation.

Kitagawa’s cuisine is built upon the lessons he learned during his 14 years of apprenticeship. Ichijunisai Ueno in Osaka is a kind of restaurant that many guests like to have a light lunch and enjoy tea while guests at Gion Sasaki love to drink and eat until they are stuffed. The lunch menu at Oimatsu Kitagawa mimics that of Ichijunisai Ueno, while dinner feels more like Gion Sasaki.

Oimatsu Kitagawa’s omakase menu centers on fresh seasonal seafood, starting with an appetiser, followed by soup, sashimi, sushi, grilled dish, a few warm dishes and ending with rice. Upon request, the chef can add a meat dish as well.

Dashi, the essence of kaiseki cuisine, is made by slow cooking Rishiri kombu seaweed in water for more than two hours. Right before serving, the chef finishes it off by adding his original blend of hongare dried bonito flakes.

“The elements that matter in a dish are temperature, aroma, texture and of course, the surprise at first bite,” he says.

Kinme snapper is marinated with miso and sansho Japanese pepper buds and grilled over Kishu binchotan charcoal until it’s crisp on the outside. The fillet is topped with plenty of thin julienned leeks. The grill is served with a little glass bowl of junsai watershield marinated in Tosa vinegar.

White asparagus from Kagawa Prefecture is paired with horsehair crab from Uchiura Bay in Hokkaido over a creamy sauce of egg yolk vinegar. Pieces of soramame fava beans and little tomatoes add bright colors to the dish.

Famous for its deep aroma, abalone from Tokushima is steamed for three hours until tender. Tossed with shrimp, okura and jade eggplant, the fragrant dashi sauce brings all the different flavors together.

The soup is served in a lacquer bowl with a magnificent print of a water wheel. Inside is a piece of Ise shrimp dumpling, topped with fresh green peas tofu and aromatic Japanese plants like kogomi and kinome.

Placed neatly in separate seashells is a variety of seasonal sashimi. The day’s catch includes abalone, squid, sea urchin, new bonito, snapper and grunt fish. The soy sauce is flavored with Okinawan salt, sake, mirin and bonito broth.

The meat course is Matsuzaka wagyu beef. First grilled over high heat and then rested for 20 minutes, the tender fillet is cooked perfectly medium rare and spiced up with a small drizzle of sansho pepper sauce. Small potatoes and shaved burdock root are perfect sides.

Kitagawa buys from a number of selected vendors in the Osaka central market. He’s also found a great vendor in Tottori for produce like bonito, blackthroat, crabs and summer oysters. The eel is shipped directly from Biwa Lake. He also favors local vegetables like bamboo shoots grown in Osaka. For red meat, he likes Miyazaki wagyu beef.

He uses koshihikari rice from Fukui Prefecture. He also asks the farm to send him bags of straw, which he stocks in a special room at the restaurant and uses in various recipes like baked bonito. The salt is made on Yagaji Island in Okinawa.

Oimatsu Kitagawa cuisine #0
Oimatsu Kitagawa cuisine #1


Toru Kitagawa

Kitagawa was born in Osaka in 1980. In high school, he hated studying and all he did instead was play basketball. One day, he heard that his friend was going to train to be a pâtissier and just because he felt like doing something similar, he decided to look into becoming a chef himself. It all felt casual at start but that was how his culinary journey began.

After graduating from Tsuji Culinary Institute, he began training at the age of 19 at the main branch of Senba Kitcho, a high-end Osaka restaurant chain. When he was assigned to a smaller branch in Shinsaibashi Opa, he was given more responsibilities, allowing him to learn more important and complicated tasks.

He spent the next few years at Ichijunisai Ueno before he was offered his dream job to work for Gion Sasaki. He was already married but wanted the opportunity so badly he offered to move to Kyoto on his own and even take a lower pay. Instead, the owner of Gion Sasaki helped arrange the whole family to move to Kyoto.

His culinary career appeared to be taking off until he began feeling pain in his hands. More than 14 years of intense training had caused such great damage to his wrists that he couldn’t even hold a knife anymore. When he decided to leave Gion Sasaki, the owner of Ichijunisai Ueno invited him back to work with him despite his health condition. Kitagawa helped out at the restaurant while focusing on rehab. Thanks to his continued focus, his wrists gradually recovered and he was able to hold a knife again.

On June 20, 2012, his 32nd birthday, Kitagawa opened Oimatsu Kitagawa in the heart of Nishitenman. The news about his impeccable cuisine spread quickly and the restaurant became a hit among local and international gourmands.

Teamwork is also what guarantees the quality of service at Oimatsu Kitagawa. The staff often go out for late night ramen or drinks after work where they enjoy each other’s company rather than talk about business. The entire team and the chef even take a Japanese tea ceremony class together twice a week.

Kitagawa also has a rule that when he hands out salaries at the end of the month, he makes sure to put time aside to speak with every staff individually. On days off, he likes to go and try all sorts of restaurants in Kyoto and Tokyo. He also plays golf with guests sometimes.

“I was so lucky I was surrounded by great people when I was learning how to cook,” Kitagawa says gratefully. “Now I want to focus on paying back. I also want to dedicate myself on teaching younger chefs” He has so far sent off four apprentices into the world, and hopes to teach many more going forward.

Eventually, his dream is to own a small restaurant that fits about six guests, or even just one party a day. He hopes to further deepen his knowledge on Japanese cuisine and tableware, and continue showcasing the best of Japanese culture to his guests.


Kitagawa works with three or four liquor stores to find the right sake for his restaurant. Making sure the alcohol doesn’t interfere with the flavors of the food, he always has about 20 vintages in stock. The selection comes from across Japan, including Ouroku from Shimane Prefecture, Hiroki from Fukushima and Taka from Yamaguchi. He has several vintages of Tooru from Hiroshima Prefecture.

Among his favorite is Nechi Otokoyama, produced by Watanabe Sake Brewery, a small craft brewery in Itoigawa's pastoral Nechi Valley. It’s a treat to be able to find such a variety of rare vintages at a single restaurant.


Lunch/ Dinner
Oimatsu Kitagawa omakase menu
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
Reservation Request
Oimatsu Kitagawa omakase menu (More luxurious ingredients)
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
Reservation Request


Oimatsu Kitagawa


& UP
For 4-6 people
Kaiseki, Nishitemma
1F, 4 Chome-12-27 Nishitenma, Kita Ward, Osaka, 530-0047, Japan
Lunch:12PM-, Dinner: 6PM-9PM (LO)


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