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Born out of love for his home of Awajishima, Chef Kota Ono’s dynamic kaiseki cuisine is made using luscious ingredients from the island off Japan’s Seto Inland Sea. From striped beakfish sashimi to straw-grilled wagyu steak, he sources almost all his ingredients from growers in the region that he has come to know so well. Set in a gorgeous ambiance, an evening at this star choice takes you on a culinary journey to the historic island.

Ono is located in the bustling downtown of Kitashinchi in central Osaka. Since opening at its current location in 2018, its superb cuisine has attracted a following of gourmands, making it difficult to secure a booking. Inside, details from the wooden furniture to the dim lighting create an enticing atmosphere. A wide lacquerware counter surrounds the chef in the kitchen where he performs his refined craft.

Through his food, Ono is trying to tell a story about his birthplace of Awaji Island. Located just 90 km away from Osaka, the historic region is known as the first island that formed in the Japan archipelago according to the country’s oldest writing. The warm climate, fertile soil and ample fishing grounds create an ideal environment for incredible produce. It’s known for a variety of specialty products such as onions and Awaji beef.

Born as the third generation of a restaurateur family on the island, Ono has built close relationships with the growers that he procures his foods from. He sources his ingredients daily and is able to pinpoint which grower has the best of what produce, whether it be seafood, meats, vegetables or condiments.

“I want to introduce more people to the delicious foods of Awaji Island and share the story of who grew them,'' he says. “It’s the least I can do to show gratitude to where I come from.”



celebrates the rich agriculture of Awaji Island

From fresh seafood to ripe vegetables, Ono’s seasonal omakase menu celebrates the rich agriculture of Awaji Island. Based on traditional kaiseki techniques, the cuisine is presented like art, bringing together different colors, textures and aromas of the season on beautiful crockery.

The opening dish is a cold appetizer of noresore, a seasonal seawater eel, and red clams. Served in a chilled dashi broth and sprinkled with fresh chives and wild herbs, the light texture is refreshing to the tongue.

Striped beakfish and sea urchin sashimi brings in the rich aroma of the sea. The fish is left to rest for a day for a deeper flavor. Enjoy with a pinch of sun-dried salt or ponzu sauce made from fresh yuzu citrus.

Grilled blowfish milt is paired with the rich flavor of hairy crabs. The creamy milt is grilled until lightly charred and served on a thickened sauce made with soft-shelled turtle soup and crab meat. Bamboo shoot and clam soup is full of umami. Made with clam dashi and Miyako Bijin sake from the island, the flavorful broth warms your stomach.

The strip of Kunugiza wagyu chateaubriand is grilled to perfection over smokey straw. The straw is first fermented to add a fragrant aroma to the meat. The seri water parsley and hirokko chive shoots balance well with the sweet fat. Sea bream rice is carefully cooked in a donabe pot with dried scallop stock. Garnished with wild Japanese leek, the warm, fragrant steam fills the air.

Almost all the ingredients used in Ono’s cuisine is procured daily from Awaji Island from producers the chef knows personally. He says that he is able to obtain the best produce because he is constantly in touch with them. “We know exactly who has caught the freshest sea bream and which farmer grows the tastiest bamboo shoots,” the chef says.

Not limited to fresh produce, Awaji is home to a number of food products and other local items made with high levels of craftsmanship. For condiments, Ono likes to use Senzan soy sauce, which is produced locally. He custom orders sea salt that has been sun dried during full moon and new moon. The Awaji sea water is rich in nigari, a coagulant typically used for making tofu, which he uses as seasoning. The selection of local sake and wines from the island are also superb.

Ono cuisine #0
Ono cuisine #1


Kota Ono

Kota Ono was born on Awaji Island in 1979 as the third generation of a local restaurateur family. The family restaurant was started by his grandmother and continued by his father. After graduating from high school, he began training in Nagasaki to build up his skills as a chef and learn how important it is to source high quality produce.

When he was 30 years old, he returned to his home island to work as a private chef. It was during this time that he traveled through the Hanshin region getting to know the local farmers and fishermen and learning about each of their produce.

He opened his first restaurant in Hyogo but had to close it after the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995 that caused devastating damages to the region. He continued to cook at temporary locations before finally opening Ono in Osaka in 2018. “My mission as a chef is not only to make delicious food but to make the most of the ingredients that the producers worked so hard to grow,” he says.

Ono plans to launch more projects that would help spread the reach of Awaji produce. He would like to collaborate with local producers to help them with what they do best. In addition to the restaurant, he is working on launching a bar and a casual sister restaurant in the same building to showcase more products from the island.


Together with a local wine maker, Ono has produced his original label that he serves at the restaurant. Made using Delaware grapes, the white wine has a refreshing taste and an elegant aroma that goes perfectly with soft Japanese flavors. They also offer an excellent sake pairing menu as well as top-class Champagnes.


Dinner (6PM/8:45PM)
Ono omakase course
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
Reservation Request




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Kaiseki, Kitashinchi
6F, 1-2-22, Sonezakishinchi, Kita-ku, Osaka City, Osaka Nearest sta
6:00PM-, 8:45PM-


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