SAN FRANCISCO — Kathy Nelsen, director of spas at Joie de Vivre Hospitality, has joined the San Francisco Japantown Foundation’s board of directors.

The board elected her as a director at its April 21 meeting.

Kathy Nelsen
Kathy Nelsen

Joie de Vivre hospitality — with Chip Conley, Nelsen, and Your Space Design — renovated the spa now known as the Kabuki Springs & Spa (, in 1998. The location has been home to a public bath since 1972.

Nelsen has traveled extensively worldwide seeking the waters, the beauty and the serenity of other cultures and their bathing rituals to create a paradigm for the spa experience in the Bay Area. She opened her first spa, Miracle Baths, in a converted Baptist church on Fillmore Street in San Francisco in 1977. She has opened Indian Springs in Calistoga, the Claremont Spa in Oakland, and is currently the director of Kabuki Springs & Spa as well as the director of spas for all Joie de Vivre Hotels.

The San Francisco Japantown Foundation’s mission is to support cultural, community and educational activities for San Francisco Japantown. Its vision is to preserve and honor Japantown’s history by fostering and providing funding for activities that reflect the Japanese American heritage, and to engage Japanese of all generations and all experiences. The foundation was formed in December 2006 through generous endowments by Kintetsu Enterprises of America, Jack Hirose, Hats and Amey Aizawa, Union Bank, and Minami Tamaki LLP. Since 2007, the foundation has provided more than $635,000 in funding to the community.

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