It has been a while since I visited Kyoto. I lived there for over 14 years in the late 80s and 90s and really fell in love with the city. Everything was great on a flying visit last weekend except for the cyclists who illegally ride on the sidewalks and ring their bells at you to get out of the way. They will even attempt to mow you down as you step off a bus.
I recommend a walk in the northern Higashiyama area near the Shugakuin Rikyu (Shugakuin Detached Palace) and then a stroll down Teramachi dori....and watch out for those bloody cyclists.
The beauty of Kyoto lies in its microcosms, not the overall city: a water dish here, a statue there, the sound of the nightingale as monks chant at sunset.