Attraction Ishibe Alley, Japan, 〒605-0825 京都府京都市 東山区下河原町４６３−３２ Published on: 06-04-2016
Image copyrights belong to authors
Why Ishibe Alley is special ?
Ishibe Alley is the must-see alley in Kyoto. Ishibe-koji, a quiet area of town lined with ryotei (restaurants) and ryokan (Japanese-style inns), is permeated with the romance of the Taisho Period. Ishibei-koji was originally developed as an area for rooms for rent, and luxurious rental homes. Its stone-paved streets add to the feeling of luxury.
This stone-paved alley, originally created during the early Taisho Period, connects Shimogawara Street and Nene-no Michi (The Path of Nene), and is lined with stone walls. Once a bustling red-light district, which was broken up during the Meiji Period, many of the traditional restaurants and inns still remain here. This was also a popular meeting place for famous celebrities and Kabuki actors.
What to explore at Ishibe Alley?
Ishibe Alley, as its name represents, is a narrow alley with continuous stone fences. Flagstones on the street were recycled from cobblestones which were laid on the track of the streetcar. Walking on the street, you may feel the Kyoto sentiment with the row of watered inns and restaurant inns.
As you walk through the alleyways you can admire the establishments in Ishibe which are not just for display. A lot of the establishments still function as tea houses, salons, restaurants, and houses filled with the muffled sound of families behind closed doors. You can enter to enjoy a cup of tea and watch lots of people walking on the street.
Walking through different paths around town and off the main paths, you can see some of the small gardens around the buildings which are reflections of the peacefulness of Kyoto. Specially, you can wear Kimono, the Japanese traditional clothes, then taking photography. It is really great.
How to get to Ishibe Alley?
From Takeda Station, take Keihan Main Line no. 201, 207 to Ishibe Alley. The entire trip costs 420 yen and takes about 32 minutes.
- Single most attractive street in Kyoto
- The historical old area of Kyoto
- Great traditional street
- To experience the historical phenomenon in Kyoto
- Peaceful Little Street
Ishibe Alley, Japan, 〒605-0825 京都府京都市 東山区下河原町４６３−３２
Tips for you
After leaving Yasaka Shrine I went looking for this street which took quite a bit to find and lots of help from the friendly locals. Definitely worth the effort. Ishibe Street is one of my favourite places in Kyoto and if you are interested in seeing traditional Japanese residential architecture and associated elements (timber, stone, lanterns, miniature gardens, water etc) this charming cobblestone street is it. There are lots of fabulous private homes with several houses now converted into restaurants (possibly very high end). Yes, I did see a young Maiko as I was nearing the end of the walk.