East Meets West

A pocket of peace away from Japantowns urban bustle. San Francisco’s Japan Center is filled with items any Tokyoite would crave: wacky tapestry, washi paper, unusual kitchenwares, and Hello Kitty paraphernalia. Busy restaurants serve up steaming bowls of tonkotsu ramen, teppanyaki, and donburi. Attached to the pulsing heart of this very San Franciscan community is Hotel Kabuki, a pocket of peace away from Japantown’s urban bustle.


An immersive dive into the spirit of the neighborhood, the Japanese influence honoring the destination is prevalent throughout, while the design and experience are wholly modern and sophisticated, with whimsical, bohemian accents. The 3,000-square-foot fitness center features extensive state-of-the-art equipment by Life Fitness and a 400-square-foot yoga studio. The Kimio Kimura-designed garden soothes the spirit, featuring a koi pond, trickling water, paths, and pebbles, maintained by gardener Kazuo Sonobe. The soon to open lobby bar will feature craft cocktails, sake, Japanese whiskey, and inventive bar bites.

Guests can expect additional character in the form of bikes on loan; meditation aides to utilize in the Japanese Garden; enhanced cable programming, including streaming platforms; spirited programming options in the fitness center; and additional nods to modern, Japanese culture throughout. Hotel Kabuki’s philanthropic partner is the Japantown Foundation, anchoring its ongoing commitment to supporting the community. At Kabuki Springs and Spa, you can soak bathhouse-style in a hot pool (104 degrees), cold plunge, dry sauna, and steam room.

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Just a pebble’s throw away is Lower Pacific Heights and chichi Fillmore Street. Local designers keep shop at Sunhee Moon and Margaret O’Leary, while Europe is well repped at brands Lilith and Jigsaw. That’s hardly the extent, though, with ten blocks of shops to choose from, and restaurants run by some of the best in the Bay Area—like Michelin-starred State Bird Provisions and The Progress, whose cuisine is very much in the style of Hotel Kabuki’s spirit: California ingredients with some Japanese techniques. A few other favorites include, Jackson Fillmore Trattoria, Woodhouse Fish Co., and SPQR.