Every visitor to Japan develops, I think, a special relationship with Kyoto, the beautiful city that was capital of Japan for most of the country's history. Founded in 794 as Heian-Kyo, it was made in imitation of the great Chinese cities of the era, sporting a Manhattan-style grid pattern with wide, straight roads that are actually named, quite convenient as streets are generally not named in Japan. Of course, everyone loves the beautiful old temples, and whenever I'm in the city I've got a mental list of must-see sites that are among my favorites, from the bamboo forest at Arashiyama to Nijo Castle with its anti-ninja squeaking floors to Kiyomizu-dera, nearly destroyed in Godzilla vs. Mothra. History can be found at every corner, for example on the Gojo Bridge, the scene of a famous sword battle between the 7-foot tall warrior monk Benkei and the charismatic Yoshitsune more than 1000 years ago. When you go to Kyoto, you suddenly become linked with every other foreigner who's ever visited the cty. Even Albert Einstein, who spent several months lecturing in Japan, loved the city. As fall approaches, we'll be under attack from TV commercials reminding us of how beautiful the city is this time of year, with the slogan, "I've got an idea! Let's go to Kyoto!"
Here's the Kiyomizu-Dera commercial for Kyoto. Warning: it will give you Kyoto-lust!
And the commercial advertising my favoritest place of all, Sanjusangendo (the Hall of 33 Bays).