Naoko Kikuchi learned the Koto, Shamisen and Juita singing tradition whilst growing up in Sendai, Japan. While she was in Sophia University, Tokyo, she joined the Sawai Kazue koto Ensemble international tour. Subsequent studies included a private tutorship (Uchideshi) with master Sawai, where she received the highest grade of Master, and a NHK academy award for Performance of Traditional Japanese Instruments.
Recent engagements have included the Agiago festival (Italy), "Refugium" Crosssound festival (Alaska, U.S.A), and the Japanese week in Yemen (Sanaa, Yemen). Also with the Berlin Philharmonic " Move in international Berlin,"Further appearances have included Ballet am Rhein, (2014) Dusseldorf and the Mozart Sommer festival at National Theater Mannheim (2016)
Now she performs and teaches regularly in Frankfurt and Tokyo . She is a member of EnsembleModern, the AsianArt Ensemble (Berlin) and the Eric Schaefer Jazz quartet “Kyoto mon Amor.