Kyoto is famous for its abundance of cultural heritage and it really deserves this title. More than 1,000 historical sights from shrines to temples await you in the city. It's simply overwhelming as it's hard to walk around the city without seeing a sign for a historical site right next to you.
Here is my perspective on what you should see (and what I did). It's a good idea to rent a bike for Day One but it's also walkable.
– Start your day with the Ginkaku-ji Temple
– Continue through the Philosopher's Walk
– At the end of the walk head for the Zenrinji-temple, Eikan-do
– Get lunch and climb up into the Shoren-In Temple
– If you still have some energy left today head for the Fushimi Inari Shrine
– Start with the Myoshinji Temple on Kyoto's west side – the area houses a number of temples which have separate admission prices. You choose which ones you'd like entry to, at about $5 per person (although you can wander the walking paths for free)
– Bike or taxi to the Ryoanji Temple and its gorgeous Zen garden
– Prepare for the crowds at Kinakuhi-Temple – but it's worth fighting them as the Golden Pagoda is a sight you won't forget so easily
Take it slow in Kyoto though – there is always a surprise lurking behind the next corner. Try not to get too ambitious with all the historic sights.