Encouraged greatly by Diego Masson, Atsushi Sakai has started his conducting career as an assistant director for numerous opera productions, for Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, l'Opéra Comique, Festival International d'Art 
Lyrique d'Aix-en-Provence etc.  He has worked with modern orchestras such as Camerata Salzurg and Madrid Symphony Orchestra, and also for period instrument orchestras such as Le Cercle de l'Harmonie.  
In 2010, he has conducted L'Amant Jaloux by Gretry at l'Opéra Comique and was highly acclaimed by the critics.  More rececently, Atsushi Sakai has conducted Acteon by Charpentier for numerous opera houses in France such as Lille, Dijon, Arras and Valenciennes, with the Concert d'Astrée.