Kyoto is the traditional Japan. While in Tokyo you feel like in a Megalopolis out of a bladerunner movie, Kyoto is somewhat the opposite: lots of temples, traditional houses, more people in Kimonos than in business attire.
The city is full of temples, which you should take into account for your visit – after the fiftieth temple it sometimes feels a bit too much…
All of the temples are in use, thus it often happens that you as a tourist step into a religious ceremony. Most often you get a friendly hint that you shouldn’t enter a specific area of a temple due to an ongoing ceremony.
The city itself is comprised of a lot of the traditional wood houses, in a large part you won’t find any skyscrapers. As it is an earthquake region (like all of Japan) fire is a constant threat. In all areas you can find these small firefighting assortments of a bucket and some water.
What’s fascinating about Kyoto is not only the impressive architecture and artistry of the temples, but also the side by side of past and future, of wooden houses and ultra-modern architecture like the train station or the Kyoto Tower.