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Yakitori Ichimatsu


For the depth and delicate umami of chicken, Yakitori Ichimatsu tops the list, delivering culinary bliss through the sumptuous flavors of yakitori in a full-course dinner. Because of its straightforward chargrilled preparation, yakitori demands great-tasting quality ingredients and a chef’s skilled eye. The combination of this chef’s love for chicken, dedication to his art, and passion for delighting guests has elevated yakitori from food for the masses to a genre of its own.

Located near Osaka’s Kitashinchi nightlife district and the business town of Nakanoshima, Yakitori Ichimatsu puts a spell on chicken lovers. The modern chic exterior in black tones makes way for an interior with counter seating and a semi-private room where the charcoal grill takes center stage, so all can admire the skillful preparation. Chef Takeda’s career started with an ambitious goal of going independent after just one year of training. The restaurant he created then still operates, but his attention now is on Yakitori Ichimatsu, which began its days in Kitashinchi and moved to Nakanoshima eight years ago. Motivated by a desire to create more authentic yakitori, the move has meant a departure from the highly innovative yakitori cuisine served in the restaurant’s Kitashinchi days. Chef Takeda wanted to create a space that fostered guests’ relaxed enjoyment of his cuisine and allowed for closer communication between chef and guest, to share the stories of the various chicken parts and the best way to eat them. The formula is clearly a success, as Chef Takeda is now the proud recipient of a star.



The depth and delicate umami of chicken

Yakitori could be described as one of Japan’s national foods, alongside tempura and sushi. Loved by all and readily available, you might not consider yakitori a culinary must-do, but in terms of quality of ingredients, preparation, and service, Ichimatsu sets itself far apart from the izakaya yakitori experience. With an eye trained over three decades, Takeda has an innate ability to assess the chicken ingredients and wield his chargrilling skills. He pays close attention to skewering, charcoals, seasoning, doneness, the chargrilling process, and the order in which dishes are served.

A full dinner to savor every part of Hinai Jidori chicken, the course of 18 dishes features twelve to thirteen yakitori items complemented by a selection of dishes, from soups to sandwiches, to highlight Hinai Jidori’s incredible umami. It typically begins with a bite of ricotta cheese oden. The incredibly warming winter dish of oden involves a savory broth in which various foods are simmered for hours to soak up all the flavor. This particular dish steeps a morsel of ricotta cheese in chicken dashi seasoned with soy sauce. The delicious mouthful warms your tummy, readying it for the course to come.

Next is chicken rubbed with salt, pepper, and herbs to cure it in the same manner as prosciutto and then sliced thin for melt-in-the-mouth perfection. Another of the chef’s signature specialties sandwiches a generous helping of pâté made from chicken meat and skin flavored with garlic between thinly sliced bread.

Then the skewered deliciousness begins. The precious part of the upper thigh referred to as the “oyster” is charred to enhance its plump and juicy texture. A meatball made from chicken thigh, skin, cartilage, and mince is spicy and juicy, seasoned slightly differently every day as demanded by the chicken with black and sansho Japanese pepper. The key to a taste you have likely never experienced with a chicken wing is the skin-wrapping technique, which locks in flavor, and a method in which the skin is spritzed with junmaishu sake as it is crisped over charcoals. Other skewered delicacies include the freshest liver and gizzard, flesh from the neck and parson’s nose, and a skewer called chochin combining oviduct flesh with immature egg yolks, all determined by the deliveries each day.

Guests will be pleased to learn they can order extra skewers of their favorite items. But also know that the meal will be completed with a simple but profoundly satisfying grilled onigiri rice ball followed by a refreshing dessert like plum sherbet.

The chicken served at Yakitori Ichimatsu comes from pedigree Hinai Jidori hens from a producer in Akita Prefecture, visited by Takeda often. Having been raised in a clean environment for 180 days, the chicken has delicious pure-flavored fat and flesh with excellent texture. It has a rich umami but a very refreshing essence, which means you never grow tired of the flavor throughout the course. It is a chance to savor different parts and appreciate their unique textures and flavors. Yakitori depends entirely on ingredient quality, so if ever chicken arrives that does not meet his standards, Takeda contacts the producer to discuss, providing motivation to deliver an even better product to meet Ichimatsu’s needs. It is a relationship in which the producer and chef push each other to higher heights. The beverage list includes beer, wine, shochu, sake, and whisky. The chef recommends natural wine and champagne for their ability to accentuate the flavor of the chicken. A five-thousand-yen sake and wine pairing course is also available.

Yakitori Ichimatsu cuisine #0
Yakitori Ichimatsu cuisine #1


Hideto Takeda

Hideto Takeda was born in 1972 in Osaka. Motivated by a part-time job at a yakitori restaurant in his university days, Takeda became fixated on a dream of owning a yakitori restaurant. Through an acquaintance, he joined a famous yakitori restaurant in Saga Prefecture’s Karatsu – a well-known chicken production area. He threw himself into training, pushing himself to take the lead and gain more experience than those around him. He gained skills in chicken preparation, cookery, and restaurant management, and always jumped at the chance to stand behind the charcoal tending to the gently sizzling chicken. He never gave up even after remonstrations that it was too soon, and he credits that attitude for his current success. True to his word, after just one year of training at age 23, Takeda opened a yakitori restaurant in Yao, Osaka. It still operates today, 27 years later, with a style very different from the high-end course cuisine at the Nakanoshima location, allowing customers to order one stick of perfectly charred chicken at a time. Along the way, wanting to deliver higher quality authentic yakitori to guests, Takeda opened Yakitori Ichimatsu in Kitashinchi at age 34, later moving it to Nakanoshima in 2014. He earned one star in the 2023 Osaka guide.

Takeda is driven daily by the simple vision of giving guests delicious yakitori, with a wish that ever more people from home and abroad may taste his sumptuous fare. To that end, he is currently considering expanding overseas. He also wishes to pass on his chargrilling skills and techniques built from an innate sense and a wealth of experience to the next generation of staff members and yakitori lovers.


With cuisine like yakitori, the preparation must highlight and not interfere with the chicken. One crucial factor, therefore, is how the flesh is skewered. You cannot simply poke the skewer through; it requires carefully assessing the best way to arrange it and the best place to pierce based on the chicken part. At Yakitori Ichimatsu, the skin on thigh meat, for example, is pulled and spread over the plump flesh, resulting in crisp, aromatic skin that protects the juicy flesh within. The meatball is shaped loosely around the skewer without too much pressure on the meat. In every case, Chef Takeda skewers the ingredients to be neither too thick nor thin, so the morsels cook evenly and waft the wonderful aroma of charcoal.


4PM, 6:30PM and 9PM
Ichimatsu omakase course from March 2024
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
Reservation Request


Yakitori Ichimatsu


& UP
Yakitori, Osaka
1F, 1-5-1, Doujima, Kita-ku, Osaka, Osaka
4PM, 6,30PM and 9PM seating
Sunday and Monday


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