Hanami-koji, or Flower Viewing Lane, is, together with its surrounding alleys, Gion's most popular preserved area. It starts from Shijo avenue and runs south up to Kenninji temple. Hanami-koji is lined with ancient wooden buildings from the 17th and 18th century, many of which now house exclusive restaurants specialized in local cuisine. Among these restaurants there are also a number of ochaya, which are traditional and expensive teahouses where guests are entertained by performing geisha and maiko.
The Shirakawa area is located around five minutes on foot north of Shijo avenue and runs along the Shirakawa canal. It is a scenic and quiet walk, lined with willow, maple and cherry trees and surrounded by historical buildings, considered as one of Kyoto's most beautiful streets. Several wood bridges scattered along the way provide access to traditional restaurants and inns located on the opposite bank, many of which offer rooms with beautiful views of the canal.
Gion Shijo Station
Bus no. 100, 206
The whole Gion area is best explored on foot. Starting from either of the train or bus stations, one can walk north from Shijo to reach the Shirakawa area and south to get to Hanami-koji.