Fureaikan (Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts) (Sakyo-ku) - Here you can many different kinds of crafts - the Japanese art of confections, "sweets" used in court ceremonies, Noh masks, wood block prints, paper mache objects (covered in gold leaf), high quality bows and arrows, purses to wear with kimonos, ornamental hairpins and boxwood combs, Kyoto style dolls, different styles of dyeing, weaving, and embroidery.
Heian Shrine (Heian Jingu) and Gardens - The Heian shrine, built in the 19th century, is a replica of the Heian era Imperial Palace. The effect of the huge torii gate, bright red orange columns and green tiled roof is striking. Don't miss the gardens - one pond has a series of stepping stones, another has a graceful bridge, other ponds have colorful koi. At each season, the landscape is gorgeous, blossoming cherry trees in spring, iris and blooming lotus in summer, maple trees turning color in fall, and snow in winter.
Kyoto Handicraft Center (Sakyo-ku) - See demonstrations of artisans making dolls, cloisonne and woodblock prints. Try your hand at woodblock printing or doll making too.
Mt. Hiei - It you want to get out of town, take a day trip to Mt. Hiei. (From Kyoto Station, take the train to Otsu, change to the Kiehan railway line, get off at the Sakamoto Station.) Ride the Sakamoto cable car up the mountain. At the top, there is a stunning view of Lake Biwa to the east.
Walk up the hill to the Enryakuji Temple
, the founding temple of Japanese Buddhism. In 788, the Tendai priest Saicho built the temple, at the request of the Emperor. The marvelous tolling bronze bell and the dark, austere study rooms of the temple evoke an earlier time.
Note: There is second cable car to the top of Mt. Hiei, the Eizan cable car, that goes up the east side. Take the Keihan Railway Eiden line, change to the Eizan line, get off at the Yase-yuen station. From there, take the Eizen cable car and ropeway (gondola) to the top.