A peaceful haven in the heart of traditional Japan. After getting to know Tokyo, my friends and I boarded the bullet train to the old capital of Japan, Kyoto (an obligatory stop in the land of the rising sun. Be sure to put quite a few days aside for this cultural hotspot.
If you make Kyoto the base and center of your travels in Japan, which I would recommend, there a few nice day trips you could start from there. This would be quite smart, because the little town of Kyoto with its 1,5 million citizens attracts the incredible number of 40 million visitors a year. One of the great spots around is Arashiyama. This little town is famous for many neatly restored temples and carved stone-buddhas, which are laid at the sideways.