Route 8 is a unique route traveling along east to west from Lavender Town to Saffron City. The dirt road between the two towns winds around in a sideways "S" pattern, traveling past fields and meadows. Starting from the eastern side, Trainers exit Lavender and make their way west, where they come to a forest of trees blocking the path, which must be avoided by turning south and then west again to continue on though the route. The route then makes its way north past a field unclosed by a fence, which can be entered from a small gap which is filled by a cut-able tree.
If Trainers enter the field, they will come up to a spotted patch of tall grass surrounded by red flowers; this is the only patch of tall grass on the route. Rare, game-exclusive Pokémon such as Growlithe and Vulpix inhabit the tall grass. There is another small gap which is filled by another cut-able tree on the western side of the field that Trainers can exit, cutting the corner around the field.
At the western end of the route travelers can either continue west or head north. The western path goes through a gate to Saffron City; this will not be opened until a late stage in the game to prevent players from reaching an area in the game where their Pokémon would not be strong enough to continue through the storyline. Passage will be granted once the guard in the gate has had a drink. The northern route is the one players must first traverse. It bypasses Saffron City via an Underground Path and heads further west to Celadon City.
Between Generations I and III, Route 8 is almost identical. In both sets of games, there is a Trainer located to the left of the Underground Path building, a string of four Trainers near the northwest corner of the grass patch, a Trainer near the northeast corner of the patch and two Trainers near the eastern terminus at Lavender.
In Generation I, there is a Trainer directly south of the Underground Path entrance. In Generation III, however, he was found east of the Path.
Generation III also added a pair of Bikers who patrol the path between the Saffron gate and the west side of the grass patch. Also, there are Berries hidden amongst the grass in Generation III.
As with most Routes in Kanto in Generation II, Route 8 was considerably shortened, particularly in the area of the grass patch (where the route length was reduced by half). The route also saw many other changes. Instead of the large number of Trainers featured in Generations I and III, Generation II featured only three Bikers (the self-proclaimed Kanto Pokémon Federation) south of the Underground Path, a Trainer near the northwest corner of the grass patch, and another along the east side of the patch. By using Cut to pass through the patch, the latter two Trainers can be avoided. A PRZCureBerry tree also sprouted just northwest of Lavender.
The length of the route is the same as Generation III with only a few noticeable changes. The path coming from out of the gate is slightly longer and the Underground Path building has been moved to the small indent in the far left of the cliff along the upper half of the route. A Ylw Apricorn tree replaces the PRZCureBerry tree found in Generation II.
Route 8 made a brief appearance at the end of File 2: Cubone, where Red was seen taking the Route out of Lavender Town. Along the way, he encountered Blue, who told Red that he should be thankful for his help at the Pokémon Tower, until Red reminded Blue that he had been the one scared out of his wits by the ghost at the tower.
In the manga
Route 8 in Pokémon Adventures
In the Pokémon Adventures manga
Route 8 appeared in Kailing Kadabra, where Green was shown trying to get to Saffron City through the gate, but was kicked out by the guard.
In Generation I, one of the Gamblers here states "I'm a rambling, gambling dude!" which may be a reference to the 1969 song, Ramblin' Gamblin' Man by Bob Seger. In Generation III, the line was changed to "I'm a rambling, gaming dude!" to avoid the gambling reference.
Indicated by their defeated dialogue, it's possible that the Bikers battled here were the ones who were holding ill-mannered Pokémon battles in the Underground Path, causing it to be closed down.