Oh boy. Kyoto was one of the places I was most excited for prior to embarking on our trip. There's just so much magic when you think if it, isn't there? When we were in Hiroshima we learned that Kyoto was originally a primary target for the atomic bomb but the US Secratary of War had been there for his honeymoon, so decided against it. Amazing how much culture was simultaneously saved and lost due to one decision.
One of our favorite activities we did while in Japan was biking around the countryside of Kyoto. We rented a couple bikes and started at the famous bamboo grove in Arashiyama. From there we sort of tried to check out some temples, but had more fun simply seeing a quieter side of Japanese life and observing everyday views such as rice paddies and a father and son fishing for crawfish. At the one temple we did end up at, we wandered around the grounds and made friends with some cats, which was I feel a special experience as cat have a special place in Japanese culture :)
We also hit the two major sites of the Fushimi Inari shrine with its thousand torii gates, and the Gion district where we briefly sighted a few alusive Geisha.
Thanks to saving some money on our flight through Flightnetwork, we were able to get a sweet deal on a fancy hotel in Kyoto and that was totally a treat. A 10 minute walk from our hotel was where we found the best Ramen AND Karaage (fried chicken) that we had the whole trip. We went twice in our three days there. The place was called Karako and if you ever go to Kyoto you MUST GO THERE. It was unreal. My mouth is watering....