We stayed in the traditional Gion district in an Airbnb. The location was great, very close to public transport and temples. Our Airbnb was decorated in a minimalist Japanese style - I felt like I was in a Muji store and loved every minute of it. Earn a travel credit on your next Airbnb stay by using this link.
Bring comfortable shoes for walking! We mostly wandered all over Kyoto and Nara, from one temple to the next. Wear comfortable shoes during the day, recover with a shiatsu massage in the evening! Also - if visiting in June (rainy season) like we did, a light rain jacket and packable umbrella will save you from sudden showers.
Nara - Surprisingly, I enjoyed our day trip to Nara much more than I anticipated. There are loads of temples here to explore, and it is slightly (though only just) less crowded than the temples in Kyoto.
Wander Gion at Night - Many tourists hang around the streets of Gion to catch a glimpse of a Geisha or Maiko on her way to an appointment with a client. Though it seems horribly touristy, it is exciting to see the bright colors of a kimono flash in the traditional streets.