Pinnacle of Craft

Celebrate the cuisine culture of Japan with Kyle & Katina Connaughton of three-Michelin star SingleThread

April 15 - 23, 2023

9 Days, 8 Nights from Osaka and Kyoto to Tokyo


Per person, limited to just 8 guests

Contact Us

+1 (503) 487-0363

Flawless and exquisite. So many delicately prepared dishes, each crafted with a purpose. You’re in one of Japan’s most exclusive kaiseki restaurants, the anticipation building as a kimono-clad server sets a delicate bowl before you. Inside, it’s a work of culinary art honoring centuries of tradition, perfectly matched with the season’s ingredients. All this week you’ve met chefs and artisans at the peak of their craft. You’ve dined at family homes and in some of Japan’s greatest Michelin-star restaurants. You’ve seen how the different threads of architecture, history, and cuisine culture are woven together. Tonight, full of joy and the spirit of celebration, you pause to honor the Japanese concept of ichigo ichie: one life, this one moment, and the opportunity to share in something truly special with us in Japan.

Along with us are Chef Kyle Connaughton and his partner Katina. The owners of three-Michelin star SingleThread in Healdsburg, California, have lived, worked and raised a family together in Japan. Kyle’s connections to artisans and master chefs run deep and are deeply personal. This is your exclusive invitation to the rarest and most delicious experiences in Japan, experienced through the relationships Kyle and Katina have cultivated over years and decades.

If you delight in the artistry of Michelin-star fine dining, Japan with Kyle and Katina Connaughton is the experience you’ve dreamed of. Join us for unparalleled access and behind-the-scenes meetups with chefs and artisans and with all the incredible artists who breathe life into Japanese cuisine culture today.

The Paragon Experience

Join us in celebrating the beauty of human potential

Intimate Access

Paragon provides unparalleled access and intimacy. Go behind the scenes through relationships cultivated over years and decades by Kyle and Katina Connaughton.

Force for Good

Paragon supports causes handpicked by our luminaries. On this departure a $50,000 donation is going to the nonprofit Culinary Institute of America to fund scholarships to study in Japan.

Pinnacle of Craft

Paragon explores the beating heart of Japan, experiencing it through the lens of chefs and artisans at the peak of their creativity and craft.

Celebrate People & Place

Join Kyle Connaughton, chef and owner of SingleThread Farm, Restaurant and Inn, and partner and farm manager Katina Connaughton, to explore Japan’s history, design, architecture, ceramics and cuisine culture—everything that you might expect—but shown in a way that reveals how these different threads are connected.

The Giveback

We believe that exploration and discovery are essential elements of the human experience.


Force for Good

It is time to redefine luxury as an experience that serves a higher purpose, one that serves to improve the lives of people and places. It's the reason why we are a Certified B Corp, because how we travel matters.


Handpicked Causes

Each Paragon experience supports a charity handpicked by our luminaries. We call it the The Paragon Giveback. On this departure a $50,000 donation is going to the nonprofit Culinary Institute of America to fund scholarships to study in Japan.


People & Planet

Our goal is that the places we visit are protected and flourishing for future generations. It’s why we are a certified Climate Neutral business, and why we support environmental and social-justice nonprofits.

The Itinerary

Day 1: Osaka

Welcome to Osaka! We’ll meet up with Kyle and Katina at our hotel, the new and impeccably designed Conrad Osaka, with sweeping views over the city’s bright lights and buzzing streets. Freshen up, and prepare for our introduction to Japanese kaiseki cuisine with an Osaka twist.

It’s a short walk from the Conrad to Noguchi Taro, a Michelin star kitchen hidden behind a nondescript door in the nightlife district. The simple counter here, exclusively ours for the evening, is presided over by the namesake chef, Noguchi Taro. Over 13 courses Chef Taro weaves a playful meal—Hokkaido hairy crab with Akashi octopus, bamboo-charcoal bread with hamo (eel) basil pesto, his signature chicken wings—with ingredients that are fresh and of the moment, all designed to dance on the palate and awaken the senses. It’s an ideal introduction to Japanese hospitality. And it’s the perfect way to celebrate the start of our journey together.

Day 1: Osaka Highlights

  • Arrivals throughout day
  • Car service from airport to hotel
  • Private dinner at Michelin star Noguchi Taro
  • Stay at Conrad Osaka

Day 2: Osaka

After breakfast and a leisurely morning at our hotel, we’re off to explore the roots of kaiseki and traditional Japanese cuisine culture at the Sen no Rikyū museum. Rikyū was a native of the Sakai City area of Osaka who, in the 1500s, popularized tea and tea culture among the aristocracy of Kyoto. Rikyū’s chado (way of the tea) is at the heart of modern kaiseki and key to appreciating Japanese cuisine culture. We’ll honor Rikyū’s legacy with a traditional tea ceremony flawlessly presented by an experienced tea master.

After lunch we experience another of Sakai’s traditional crafts, knife-making, at the workshop of Tadashi Enonami, where we can admire firsthand the 600 years of family tradition that go into his famous fire-made cutlery.

Dinner tonight is casual and exquisite at the foot of the Ikoma mountains.  We’ll visit the Daimon Sake Brewery, known for using fresh mountain spring water and only the finest rice in their coveted and complex sake. While their spirits are exceptional, the real treat is Mikune-Tei, the distillery’s farm-to-table restaurant where menus evolve seasonally and respond to the availability of local ingredients. Going back in time is a travel cliché, but it’s hard to describe this experience as anything but.

Day 2: Osaka Highlights

  • Tea ceremony at Sen no Rikyū Museum
  • Knife-making at Enonami
  • Dinner at Mikune-Tei
  • Stay at Conrad Osaka

Day 3: Osaka to Kyoto

Breathe in the smell of sea salt and ocean air at the Akashi Bay fish market. Unlike most fish auctions, the experience here is small-scale and up close. We’ll get a rare insider’s look at the lighting fast auction of the day’s live catch, brought straight from the boat and whisked off to Kansai area restaurants to appear on menus the same evening.

In the afternoon, we arrive in Kyoto. After settling in at our ryokan, we’ll regroup and head for dinner at three Michelin star Kikunoi—it’s exquisite and flawless, one of Japan’s top kaiseki restaurants and among Kyle’s personal favorites. The setting here is almost as breathtaking as the food. After dinner, we’ll stretch our legs with a night walk through the Gion temple district—free of crowds—where mystery hides in the narrow alleys and geishas run from house to house.

Day 3: Osaka to Kyoto Highlights

  • Akashi Bay fish market & auction
  • Dinner in Kyoto at three Michelin star Kikunoi
  • Stay at Hiiragiya Ryokan in Kyoto

Day 4: Kyoto

Wake to a traditional Japanese breakfast served in-room at our ryokan. Then, we’ll meet Chef Yoshihiro Takahashi of Hyotei for a personal guided walk of Nanzen-ji Temple, one of Japan’s most important Zen shrines. We’ll say farewell to Chef Takahashi and continue our walk along the Philosopher’s Path to the Silver Temple. Here, we’ll pay a visit to another friend of Kyle’s, Robert Yellin, the globally respected authority on Japanese ceramics, at his home and private gallery. We’ll wrap the morning at Honda Miso, exclusive provider to Japan’s royal family since the 1400s.

Lunch is a private Shojin Ryori bento—traditionally prepared for Buddhist monks and containing no animal products—at Tenkyu-in Temple.

After some downtime at the ryokan, we’ll walk Kyoto’s cobblestone streets and embrace its romantic atmosphere as we cross the lush grounds of Nanzen-ji Temple for dinner at three Michelin star Hyotei. It’s operated here just outside the temple’s gate for more than 400 years; you’ll recognize the 15th-generation owner and chef, Yoshihiro Takahashi, from our walk around the temple this morning. This is widely considered Kyoto’s finest kaiseki restaurants and our access is deep, and personal. 

Day 4: Kyoto Highlights

  • Nanzen-ji Temple walk
  • Robert Yellin Gallery visit
  • Tenkyu-in Temple lunch
  • Dinner at three Michelin star Hyotei
  • Stay at Hiiragiya Ryokan in Kyoto

Day 5: Kyoto

Now that we’ve eaten some of the finest meals Japan has to offer, today we’ll see where local produce is sourced as we are led by Kyle, Katina and Lurra’s Chef Jacob Kear on a morning market run in Ohara, an ancient farming village north of Kyoto (more on Chef Jacob in a moment).

The rich smell of pine greets us up in the mountains at Miyamasou, a very special two Michelin star kaiseki restaurant and ryokan. Kyle’s close personal relationship with the Nakahigashi family means we’ll have the opportunity to experience tsumikusa ryori (gathered-herb cooking), an ancient approach based on foraging for almost all ingredients: herbs, roots, vegetables, even salamanders. We’ll learn by doing, then sit down together for an unforgettable lunch.

Back at the ryokan, the afternoon is ours to rest and relax. We’ll meet again in the evening en route to Michelin star Lurra, where Kyle’s friend and former colleague Chef Jacob Kear presents a modern version of Kyo-kaiseki (Kyoto kaiseki). Chef Jacob represents a new generation of chefs pushing boundaries and unafraid to reinterpret traditional methods. We spent the morning shopping with Chef Jacob; tonight we’ll reap the delicious rewards.

Day 5: Kyoto Highlights

  • Ohara market tour
  • Lunch at two Michelin star Miyamasou
  • Afternoon to explore Kyoto on own
  • Dinner at Michelin star Lurra
  • Stay at Hiiragiya Ryokan in Kyoto

Day 6: Kyoto to Tokyo

At SingleThread more than 50,000 pieces of dishware and lacquerware tell a story of the seasons, of a moment in time born by Katina’s farming and floral and by Kyle’s culinary craft. Much of their crockery comes from Iga Prefecture—one of the oldest pottery-making regions in Japan—from the kilns and workshops of the eighth-generation Nagatani family and the subject of Kyle’s book on donabe clay pots. We’ll tour the original 17th-century kiln (now a UNESCO site) and see the artists at work in their gallery. The family will prepare a donabe meal for us in their historic home, a pure heartfelt expression of Japanese ‘omotenashi’ hospitality.

After lunch we head back to Kyoto and board the shinkansen (bullet train) to Tokyo. We’ll have a few hours to settle in at our fabulous Tokyo lodgings. Then it’s off to a private dinner at members-only Wagyu Mafia, founded by self-taught chef-turned-wagyu experts Hisato Hamada and Takafumi Horie. It’s a progressive kaiseki, breaking traditions and boundaries, deliciously showcasing the theme of wagyu beef.

Day 6: Kyoto to Tokyo Highlights

  • Nagatani-en pottery workshop
  • Lunch with Nagatani family
  • Bullet train to Tokyo
  • Private dinner at Wagyu Mafia
  • Stay at Aman Tokyo

Day 7: Tokyo

The morning is ours to enjoy. Relax and enjoy the Aman facilities, go shopping, or simply wander Tokyo’s endlessly fascinating neighborhoods. In the early afternoon we’ll meet for a sushi lunch in the Ginza district, at Hakkoku. Chef and owner Hiroyuki Sato is young, groovy and a food scene superstar. He brings his musician’s sensibilities to the food he prepares: not only does it look beautiful, it tastes beautiful, too. This is the perfect spot to step back and appreciate the storied history of sushi, and why Ginza became and has remained the most important neighborhood in the world for the craft of sushi. After lunch, join Kyle and Katina for a shopping journey through Kappabashi and Akomeya for gourmet foods and crafts, or continue exploring Tokyo on your own for the afternoon.

Dinner tonight is at one of Japan’s most difficult reservations to get: DEN, with two Michelin stars and the #11 ranking on the World’s 50 Best list. A frequent collaborator with Kyle, Katina and the SingleThread team, Chef Zaiyu Hasegawa offers an elevated and deeply personal take on Japanese home cooking. It’s modern washoku cuisine that’s highly seasonal, based always on whatever is fresh or blooming in the ocean, pasture and forest.

Day 7: Tokyo Highlights

  • Morning on own
  • Sushi lunch at Hakkoku
  • Optional shopping in Kappabashi and Akomeya
  • Dinner at two Michelin star DEN
  • Stay at Aman Tokyo

Day 8: Tokyo

It’s an early wake-up call for those who want to walk the floor at Toyosu Fish Market. We’ll have rare access in this non-public market: Kyle works closely with one of the oldest family-owned fish companies here and has credentials for the market floor. We’ll help pick out seafood—regularly sent to SingleThread for same-day delivery—and sample some of the freshest sushi imaginable.

If you skip out for some sleep, we’ll all meet up again for lunch at Yakumosaryo, owned by design company and SingleThread collaborator Simplicity. It occupies a beautiful minimalist home in Tokyo’s western suburbs. We’ll pull up to a nondescript residential gate and be welcomed graciously inside for a modern kaiseki lunch with chefs cooking not only at the table, but actually right on the dining table. We’ll finish in the tea house for matcha and a demonstration of traditional wagashi making.

You’ll have the afternoon to do any last-minute shopping or exploring ahead of dinner: a casual izakaya meal—small plates with plenty of sake and beer for toasting—at Tama, accompanied by Kyle’s friend and The Japan Times restaurant writer Robbie Swinnerton. Our farewell dinner is a celebration of so many things: of Japanese cuisine culture, and of the bonds formed with Kyle and Katina, and with each other. It’s our last night, so of course we won’t skip on Tokyo’s karaoke and cocktail scene, where dimly lit bars beckon and the seasonal concoctions go down easy. Kanpai!

Day 8: Tokyo Highlights

  • Private access at Toyosu Fish Market
  • Lunch at Yakumosaryo
  • Farewell izakaya dinner at Tama
  • Cocktails and karaoke
  • Stay at Aman Tokyo

Day 9: Departures

Alas, our time together in Japan has come to an end. After breakfast we’ll say farewell to Kyle and Katina and have time to tick the last few items off your Tokyo bucket list before the afternoon transfer to the airport.

Our nine days together have been a journey hosted by luminaries and tastemakers who are truly at the pinnacle of their craft, offering us rare access, intimacy and discovery. We hope as you go forward in life, this truly special trip will serve as a reminder of the Japanese concept of ichigo ichie—one life, one encounter, a chance to learn an appreciation for something truly beautiful and special. Until next time!

Day 9: Departures Highlights

  • Breakfast and farewells
  • Afternoon transfers to Tokyo airport

Where We Sleep

Our luxury hotels and historic ryokans are the ideal combination of modern elegance and gracious tradition, pairing perfectly with our journey.

Conrad Osaka


This is one of the newer luxury hotels in Osaka, on par with the most premium hotels in the world. It sits atop a tall tower on Nakanoshima island in the heart of the city; on arrival, exiting the elevators at the 40th-floor lobby, you're greeted by huge contemporary art installations and sweeping views across the city. The service and amenities are impeccable, from the indoor pool to the ultramodern spa.

Hiiragiya Ryokan


Founded six generations ago in 1811, this family-run ryokan channels centuries of art and tradition into flawless luxury. Each room follows its own motif and deft nuances of craftsmanship tie it all together—reed ceilings, hand-carved transoms and Koyamaki (Japanese Umbrella pine) bath suites all seem to naturally drift toward the inn’s breathtaking garden. This is a home away from home for artists of great renown and members of the Imperial Family.

Aman Tokyo


It's one of Japan's iconic luxury properties, an urban sanctuary drawing design inspiration from traditional Japanese residences. The elegant rooms have views over the Imperial Palace Gardens and (on clear days) Mt Fuji on the horizon. It's a serene place to end our trip, with a Zen calm that captures your heart and soothes your spirit.

Atomix Korea


Per person based on double occupancy

Essential Info

For questions or to speak with a Paragon travel concierge, please call or text +1 (503) 487-0363 or email

  1. What does the price include?

    Eight nights at exclusive five-star accommodations including some of Japan’s top properties; exclusive VIP access, culinary experiences and tastings; private access with local guides and cultural experts; private travel and transportation from beginning to end; airport transfers; all entrance fees; daily breakfasts, most lunches and dinners including Michelin-star dining at some of Japan’s most iconic kitchens.

  2. What does the price not include?

    International roundtrip airfare to Japan; travel insurance; activities not included in the Itinerary; hotel incidentals including room service, laundry service and hotel bar tabs; food and beverages not included in itinerary; gratuity for our Paragon tour leader.

  3. Who is going on this trip?

    This exclusive Paragon experience is limited to 8 guests, plus Kyle and Katina Connaughton and our Paragon team.  You can expect to be joined by a diverse group in terms of age, background and interests—including solo travelers, couples and friends traveling together. This adventure is for travelers age 18 and above.