Tokio, Kyoto and the places in between and around them form a trip on its own. You have modern city life mixed with ancient temples, near empty forests and traditional rural towns as Tsumago and Magome all in a relatively short trip.
Tokyo is a fine city to wander around. It has different neighborhoods with their own distinct character. There are temples, expensive shopping streets, busy intersections, crowds, empty parks, traditional people and dressed up Lolita's on a Sunday afternoon. And a subway to connect everything.
Kamakura and surroundings
The temple town of Kamakura is not to far from Tokio but seems a different world. Temples and ceremonies are mixed with tourism and shopping. You can take a walk through almost empty forests from Mase, home of a gigantic Buddha Buddha, to Kita-Kamakura without seeing a soul.
Tsumago and Magome
Between these two towns is an ancient postal road that is now used by tourists that have stayed in one of these small and traditionally build rural towns. Especially Tsumago has lots of atmosphere. Stay at a Minshuku, a family run pension.
Former capital and imperial city with an abundance of very different looking temples, a lot of them very impressive. On the other side of things the station forms is a temple to honor design and engineering in its own right.
Nara is a historical city where Japan's first capital was placed. Compared to Kyoto it has stayed compared to Kyoto it has stayed much more rural. Huge temples in a green surrounding. A great day-trip from Kyoto.
Small town with the Byodoin temple as its star attraction. The center of the temple, the Phoenix Hall is used for the worship and celebration of the Buddha Amida, or Amitabha represented by a large wooden statue. Another day trip from Kyoto.