Kyoto's busy Shijo street -- now bordered with arcades, single-item shops, and fast-food -- was something quite different a hundred years ago. Shijo street is located in the center of Gion, the Geisha district of Japan's old capital city, Kyoto. The ancient Shijo-dori, originally constructed as a means for travellers to get directly to Yasaka shrine, is now one of Kyoto's businest streets, full of cars and tourists. Remnants of the street's rich cultural past remain, including hundreds of narrow alleyways leading to quiet courtyards where one can still catch a glimpse of an ancient way of life. Chihana, which translates to "flower patch," was at first difficult to find. It didn't help that the name was written in little kanji: チ花. The restaurant is located at the end of a long and dark alley no wider than an arm's width sandwiched between two modern shops off this busy street. With each step into the courtyard the sound of traffic dissipated into the darkness. At the end was an unlabeled sliding door -- common in this area of Kyoto where private Geisha dinners are held.