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Shirakawa Dori Kyoto

Japan flag. Kyoto Guide: Shirakawa Dori (street)

Kyoto Area Guide: Shirakawa Dori 白川

Alley, Shirakawa Dori, Kyoto.

Kyoto's Shirakawa Dori is perhaps the most beautiful street in the former capital. Located in Gion, one of the licensed geisha areas in Kyoto, it is a graceful and ancient street.

Unlike much of modern Kyoto, which is full of clutter in the form of telephone poles and overhead wires, Shirakawa Dori ("white river street") is free of the wires. This affords a lovely view of the buildings and makes strolling a pleasure.

Much of the rest of the city reminds one of the early part of the 20th century in the United States, when competing telephone companies strung wires from tenements to poles. Not Shirakawa.

Shirakawa Dori, Gion, Kyoto, Japan.

Shirakawa Dori, Gion, Kyoto, Japan



Shirakawa Dori, Kyoto.Shirakawa Dori, Kyoto.

Shirakawa Dori is a short walk either from the Keihan Railways Sanjo or Shijo Stations.

On both sides of the street, there are beautiful wooden restaurants and inns.

Shirakawa street is also lined with willow trees, which are allowed to grow out. This too is unusual. In Kyoto, trees unlucky to be planted along streets are brutally pruned back to the nub twice a year.

Here however the willows hang gracefully over the river and cobblestones.

Most of the buildings have been preserved, giving a timeless feel to the area.

Shirakawa Dori, Gion, Kyoto, Japan.

Shirakawa Dori, Gion, Kyoto, Japan



Shirakawa Dori, Gion, Kyoto, Japan.

Shirakawa Dori, Gion, Kyoto, Japan

Shirakawa Dori area is also popular among couples of all ages as it is quite romantic day or night.

Directions To Shirakawa Dori

From the Shijo-Kawabata intersection (where the Minami-za theater is located), walk east one block to Nawate Street. Turn left and walk straight for 5 minutes. This is a rather tacky--if typical--street in Gion, but there are a few interesting shops on the way to Shirakawa. On your right. Look for the river.

On the Keihan Railways Kyoto line, get off at Sanjo or Shijo Station. For Shijo, use the directions above. Walk east on Shijo Dori away from the Kamo River.

From Sanjo Station, walk south along Kawabata Dori, the large street that runs parallel to the Kamo River, on the Gion side (not the river side). There is a small shopping mall with restaurants here. When you come to a series of bus stops, cross the street and head on to Nawate Dori. Walk about five minutes. On your left.

Shirakawa Dori, Gion, Kyoto, Japan.

Shirakawa Dori, Gion, Kyoto, Japan

Museums in Kyoto

For a full listing of Kyoto Museums & Art Galleries click here

Shirakawa Dori, Gion, Kyoto, Japan.

Shirakawa Dori with willow trees, Gion, Kyoto, Japan


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