Kyoto is without a doubt the symbol of the japanese culture, and its streets hide unexpected treasures. But Kyoto should not be limitated to the city. Its neighborhood and surrounding mountains can be even more interesting.
Less visited and less famous, dozens of small temples and gardens such as Daikaku-ji or temple of the Sagatoriimoto district, are really well maintained and intimate. This is also the area where foreign tourists will seldom go, and the atmosphere there seems more authentic, far from the busy area of Kyoto station.
One interesting experience would be to rent real kimonos in local shops and visiting the city in this way. I visited Kyoto for the first time in this way with a japanese friend, and this is still today one of my best travel memory. Discovering Kyoto in kimonos is also really popular in Japan, as did the two young ladies on this picture.