Kyoto is the part of our Japan trip that we have enjoyed most. It’s remarkable how they were able to preserve the charm of the temples, alleys, and houses. I regret that we only stayed here for a night. We would have extended our stay in a heartbeat if our hotels for the succeeding parts of the trip weren’t paid for already. If it's your first time, please spend a couple of days here!
I recommend Kessei Guesthouse if you don’t have children or elders with you and if you don't mind walking for 10 to 15 minutes to reach the main road. The place is homey and it’s situated in a quiet residential area. It’s where we rented bicycles too to explore Kyoto.
Seeing human-powered rickshaws and geishas was surreal. If you're after traditional souvenirs, Kyoto is a great place to shop. We bought sweets, pastries, and tea sets which we did not see in Osaka and Tokyo. I’ll let the photos speak for Kyoto’s beauty. I will also include some snaps of Arashiyama (another charmer!) which we visited prior to going back to Osaka.
From our guesthouse, we spent about an hour to reach Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. We likewise visited the nearby Tenryuji Temple and Togetsukyo Bridge. Stroll until you reach the south side of the bridge where you'll see the Kyoto Music Box Museum.