In the north west of Kyoto you find the area of Arashiyama. We went there to visit two sightseeing highlights, one is the Tenryu-ji temple, which is world cultural heritage, the second the impressive bamboo grove which surrounds the temple.
Markets are always fascinating places, especially far from home. There is an amazing roofed market in Kyoto, which is not completely overrun with tourists and where you can see normal people and sample the excellent food.
The second day in Kyoto I woke up a bit earlier and went for a little morning walk. Close to the hotel was a nice neighbourhood temple, where some elderly people where doing gymnastics, lead by a monk and the radio programme.
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.
Takayama is a small town at the start of the japanese Alps. It’s a very traditional town, with a historic center and lots of ancient (or at least ancient looking) buildings.
As a nerd, Akihabara is one of the places on the must-see list when in Tokyo. Akihabara is the electric town – hundreds of shops with video games, electronics, flashing lights everywhere, maid cafés, otaku culture, manga shops, …