When you open with something like asking directions, it usually won’t work to transition into personal conversation right away. There usually needs to be some other conversation in between first. That conversation can be about one of two things: you or anything else other than her.
Talking about yourself or telling a story is the first option. Follow up your directions question with a some commentary about why you aske for the directions. For example, if you ask, “Do you know if there’s a good place around here to get sushi?” You may follow up with:
“I have some friends coming into town. We are celebrating x, y and z.”
The other alternative is to talk about a third topic that is neither you nor her. You could talk about sushi restaurants or japan or something else related.
One thing to keep in mind is momentum. If she’s sitting at a cafe and you sit down next to her and open, it will be a lot easier to keep this type of conversation going than if you stop her on the street and ask her for directions. On the street, there is a lot more moment for her to give you the answer and keep going, where as in the coffee shop, she is just sitting there. By talking with you, she’s not investing as much so it may be easier to keep the conversation going. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t try to transition on the street, but expect your success rate to be a lot lower.