Japan takes its history very seriously. If you are visiting Kyoto, be ready to take a peak into the history of Japan through its religion and architecture. Begin your morning with a visit to Kiyomizu-dera which is a UNESCO world heritage site. The temple is open from 6 AM and gives the most amazing views of the city. It has a large veranda which is supported by tall pillars. It is a part of the Historic Monuments of the Ancient Kyoto and includes a number of shrines. If you can start your day early, you will be able to avoid the crowd that flow into the temple throughout the day. If you are a photography enthusiast, early morning view of the city will make your trip worth it!
It offers great views of Kyoto from the viewing platform and even though it was touristy the place is so serene and grand it's worth a visit. I don't know if it was because it was my first temple visit in Japan but I was so facinated by the architecture of the temple and what kind of smaller temples there were in the compound and the carvings on the structures and how each building was designed.