Umi main image




lavors of the ocean, pure and simple. An atmosphere that is intimate, rustic and warm. A hearty irasshaimase welcome echoes around as you step into this comfortable space with a history of over 40 years. Once the home of a sushi legend, this restaurant now thrives on the experience of its fifth-generation master, whose clear message is one of maintaining the restaurant’s distinguished name and legacy, albeit with a renewed touch to the flavors.

A short walk from Gaienmae metro station against the backdrop of black painted timber, a crisp white noren hangs above the wooden entrance with calligraphy characters for ‘ocean’ and ‘flavor’, read as “Umi”. Entering the intimate and welcoming interior, you find contrasting tones of timber in the warming dark walls and the pale, clean counter. The walls are adorned with traditional samurai swords and ecru seat covers give the interior a somewhat rustic feel, almost like being in someone’s home. Stacks of variably shaped dishes are within arms-length of the chef who busily works behind the counter entertaining guests, who wait in expectation of the next delicious morsel to reach their plates. Along the main counter that seats eight and two cozy tables, small wooden “reserved” signs show the sushi chef has been awaiting your arrival.



Rustic and warm

The omakase menu includes approximately seven appetizer-like dishes in addition to the sushi courses. These may include his signature dish of brown rice or soy-marinated peanuts, showcasing Chef Shimamoto’s versatility and skill. His experience working in kaiseki restaurants, though abbreviated, has shaped his current role as a sushi chef. Some sushi chefs may leave their guests to their own devices to dip fish slices in soy sauce. Shimamoto, however, does not allow it. He always creates the most appropriate sauces to accompany his sashimi courses by combining kombu, onion, or other flavorful ingredients with soy sauce.

The following courses in the omakase menu consist of 15 to 16 pieces of nigiri. Kohada is presented first as a unique start to the sequence of fish, followed by white-fleshed fish or squid. The chef’s intricate knife skills highlight the beautiful pattern of the fish, and each piece at once satiates and brings anticipation for the next piece.

Nigiri with impossibly tender anago, umami-rich seasonal crab, purple uni from Hokkaido, and a bite of custardy omelet create the foundation of Umi’s new legacy.

Fish, shellfish, and vegetables change monthly and reflect the significant impact of season on the menu. Chef Shimamoto makes final menu decisions each morning from among the ingredients which have been procured and set aside in Toyosu Market specifically for Umi.

Chef Shimamoto’s tuna aging acumen is especially noteworthy since he takes the location of harvest as well as the method into consideration. His special piece “o-toro no zuke”, soy-marinated fatty tuna belly, is phenomenal. Before he serves the o-toro zuke, he always presents something warm like a grilled or steamed dish to ready guests’ palates.

Umi cuisine #0
Umi cuisine #1


Seiichi Shimamoto

The story behind Umi centers on Hokkaido native and sushi legend Chef Nagano. At the helm of Umi for more than 20 years, together with sushi master Nakazawa, Nagano was responsible for developing many of the latest trends in sushi. But in 2015, he was struck down by illness and died far too young. The world of sushi still had much to learn from him. One of his most significant gifts to his apprentices was teaching them to shape sushi not with their skills but with their hearts.

Umi is now in the capable hands of Seiichi Shimamoto, who was born in Hyogo Prefecture in 1973. At age ten, he vowed to become a sushi chef the moment he witnessed his brother-in-law, ten years his senior, shaping sushi. His journey began at age 16, and at 18, he joined Osaka’s Kuromon Sakae Sushi as an apprentice, training there for the ensuing six years. After working at various sushiya, Shimamoto set out for Tokyo at 33 years old, assisting with the launch of sushi restaurants in Meguro and Shibuya. Next, he worked at the Jiyugaoka favorite Sushidokoro Saji before joining Umi as the fifth-generation master in October 2021. On the work front, it has been 35 years of total dedication to sushi, but on days off, Shimamoto loves exploring all kinds of eateries and cuisines with his wife.
Paramount in Shimamoto’s vision for Umi is that he maintains its status as a premier sushi restaurant from which prominent sushi chefs set off to create their own restaurants. This includes the likes of itamae at Sushi Ryujiro, Higashiazabu Amamoto, and Sushi Taira. To that end, Shimamoto’s daily focus is on delighting guests with a sushi experience that is both fun and delicious.


One thing that will never change at Umi is the ceramic tableware used to present sushi. With dark greens and browns and a thick, earthy quality, the pieces have a touch of blue, bringing a sense of the ocean inside. Another dish is a collection of squares that resembles the skin of a crocodile. One course may be presented on red-brown earthenware with jagged edges, followed by another of smooth and pure white lines to highlight the deep yellow tones of plump uni.


Lunch (Tue, Fri, Sat, Sun only)
Umi Lunch ONLY course menu
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
Reservation Request
Umi Omakase course from Feb 2024
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
Reservation Request




& UP
Sushi, Aoyama
1F, 3-2-8 Minami Aoyama Minato-ku Tokyo
Lunch: 12PM, Dinner 5pm and 8pm seating
Wednesday and Holidays


  • ×