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The Shirakawa River (白川, Shirakawa) is a river in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. The river originates in the foothills of Mount Hiei on the outskirts of Kyoto, winds through the Geisha district of Gion, and eventually flows into the Kamo River. Its name, which means "white river" in Japanese, probably refers to the white coloured sand and gravel that it carries from the hills east of Kyoto. Many ochaya (geisha houses) and restaurants line the banks of the Shirakawa as it passes through the geisha district of Gion, in Kyoto.