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our history
The two "ichi"
("ichi" means "the first")



2010, Shinichi Tanaka

The two Ichis – a duet for high pleasures


Shuichi Umino, general manager of Ichi, and Shinichi Tanaka, Ichi's executive chef, have known each other since 2010. They shared a vision: to bring the high pleasure of authentic Japanese culinary art to the culinary world. 


This passion brings them together twice: From 2010 to 2013 in Kiel's first sushi restaurant "ann" and since 2022 in the "Ichi". 

Our chef: Shinichi TANAKA


Shinichi Tanaka is originally from Kyoto and after studying art, he decided to become a chef. After more than ten years of training in Kyoto, 2007 he moved to Germany to face more challenges and worked, among others, as a chef in first-class Japanese restaurants in Cologne, Munich, Berlin - and now in Kiel at the "ann". 


On his journey through the world of Top-Japanese gastronomy, Tanaka developed his own distinctive style. In 2019, he becomes the executive chef at Matsuhisa Limassol, run by renowned Michelin-starred chef Nobuyuki "Nobu" Matsuhisa. This encounter inspires Tanaka to fully commit to the delicious chord of Japanese culinary art and regional ingredients. 


"Nobuyuki Matsuhisa is a pioneer and charismatic figure for Japanese chefs working abroad like me. From him, I learned the importance of focusing our attention on the use of regional ingredients and using them to create world-class cooking with Japanese flavor."

Shinichi TANAKA (Executive chef)

Since December 2022, Tanaka has now been dedicated to this mission at Ichi, giving guests unusual culinary delights – with fresh ingredients from northern Germany and fine Japanese culinary art.

Our owner and manager: Shuichi UMINO

Shuichi Umino is originally from Miyazaki and is a professional opera singer. He studied at the Music Academy in Tokyo. Since 1995 he has sung at the Eisenach Opera House and since 1998 at the Kiel Opera House. The small town in northern Germany becomes Umino's second home; he also finds new cultural roots in classical music, which shapes his professional life. In return, the desire grows in him to bring valuable things from the culture of his first home to Northern Germany. His passion for the ancient traditions of Japanese food culture and the modern sophistication of Japanese cuisine inspires him to take an unusual step: he opens the restaurant "ann", where guests can experience and enjoy the still very unknown Japanese food culture. 

Since 2020, Umino has been developing his vision for Japanese cuisine in his restaurant: in the style of traditional Kaiseki cuisine, he wants to offer his guests enjoyment for all the senses – but without having to import expensive ingredients from Japan. He is looking for a chef who can individually prepare dishes with Japanese finesse from a variety of regional ingredients, a chef who knows how to arrange them aesthetically, and who can create a menu that captivates the palate and the eyes – and he finds him: in Shinichi Tanaka.

Since December 2022, Shuichi Umino has now been realizing his long-held vision together with Shinichi Tanaka: 

“I want to offer our guests an unforgettable experience: at Ichi they can immerse themselves deeply in the incomparable Japanese food culture. The fact that we can create this feast for the senses with high-quality ingredients from Northern Germany makes me particularly happy. We have achieved something special: Japanese fine dining that can only be found here in Kiel!”

Shuichi & Yuko UMINO (Managing directors)

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