Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, probably is my favourite city in Japan when it comes to historical sights. There are so many beautiful temples and gardens in the city that you can spend many days just to cover all but you will probably get fatigued. So, spending about 2-3 days to cover the best and most-significant sights in a good relaxed pace.
When I planned to visit Kyoto, there were two places that I have to visit.
First is Fushimi Inari shrine and the Senbon torii. Maybe because red is my favourite color but I love this place so far. You can go hiking up the hill (about 4 km) walking under the torii gates all the way. I would say the best gates and all the best sights are at the base, so hiking is more meant to enjoy the nature.
My second must-visit place was Arashiyama bamboo forest. It is not quite like the photos that I came across when I was doing my trip research. It was very crowded and the colors looks really dull. Still I enjoyed the walk across the forest. Maybe because we visited the place in the evening and it was on the weekend. Perhaps it might look better in the early morning light when there is less people around. Of course, if you are in Kyoto, you should to visit Jinkaku and Kinkaku (One is more than enough, I feel)
We visited the Gion area and joined for the walking tour. It was a great fantastic tour with our guide explaining the culture and history behind Japan famous Geishi way-of-life. We wasn’t able to find any Maiko (Geishi apprentice) while we were there though because we were told that they may commute to different tea houses in the evening hours.