stayed at: APA Hotel Kyoto Gion Excellent
Very nice Hotel, but very expensive due to it's location.
Gion Manzara - Food was very good, but it was very crowded, since our reservation came very late we only got seats at the bar. Early Reservations!
Izakaya Gionmachi Minamigawa - Very hidden Izakaya in a small alley, where our group got our own room to sit on the tatami floors with low tables and order from the staff who would check on us. Seemed very authentic and it was great there.
Ramen-Imadegawa - I think the best Ramen we ate during our trip. No englisch Menu and staff did not speak english, but a kind stranger helped us order the most common thing and it was just delicious!
Kyoto Imperial Palace - Very Interesting tour around the old imperial palace and the garden.
Fushimi Inari-Taisha - Famous Temple grounds with over a thousand "Tori", tourist hotspot so get there early to avoid overcrowding. The higher you go up the mountain path the fewer people you will see. Can recomment to set apart half a day or more to check out all the shrines and temples along the way
Gion - Oldtown, looks like straight out of an old samurai movie. Since there have been many problems with conduct of tourists there, area is very restricted now. Always Remeber: Please be mindful of other people and their culture!
Yasaka Shrine - Near Gion, Shrine area with park used for festivities. During our stay there was a sakura festival in the evening, with streetfood and many locals. Definitely visit a festival if you can!
Shijo Kawaramachi - Street with many huge stores and malls. Great for gift shopping!
Kinkakuji - Famous golden pagoda, very crowded but was still a nice trip
Kyoto International Manga Museum - If you have any interest in Manga, this will be an interesting stop. They have a giant collection of books which you can read there if you want (and can read japanese). Descriptions and museim information is also in english. They even have a room with plaster cast of hands of famous manga artists.
We took a 1-Day trip to Nara for following sights, since it's not that far from Kyoto:
Nara Park - Open grass field with the famous bowing deers. There are little stalls where you can buy rice crackers for the deer and the staff gives you instructions on how to feed them. Since the deers are free roaming be careful!
Todai-ji - Huge temple with many tourists, has a small museum area inside with english information.
Horyu-ji - World Heritage Site. Some of the temple buildings are the oldest wodden buildings on earth. Since it was a little bit out-of-the-way there were not many tourists. Englisch information available
2x Yasaka Shrine
3x Kyoto Imperial Palace