Probably, Kyoto is the number one popular spot for foreign tourists in Japan. It is a historically quite important city with a lot of well preserved architectures and it used to be the capital of the nation more than a thousand years ago.
Let me give you a quick geographic explanation first. Kyoto is about 500 km (300 miles) from Tokyo toward the west, and it takes about 2 hours to get there by Shinkansen high speed railway system to get there.
Most of the tourists come to Kyoto expecting to see old architectures as well as traditional cuisine and cultural events. I believe this town won’t disappoint you in any ways. There are countless numbers of temples and shrines here and there. Come to Kyoto in autumn and you’ll see beautiful autumn leaves in many temples. Spring is the best season for cherry blossoms. In summer, you’ll enjoy Gion-Matsuri festival (photo 15, 16, 17, 18) and taste of Hamo eels. Snow covered old townhouses and Japanese gardens are just spectacular.
When you arrive there, don’t forget to check out the Kyoto Tower in front of Kyoto Station (photo 19, 20, 21). Not only you can have a better view of Kyoto City from its observatory deck, Kyoto Tower itself is also a wonderful subject for your photography. Day, night, snow, rain, sunset, square format, panorama… you name it. The tower shows so many different faces of its own.