Planning Your Time
It would take several days minimum just to take in Kyoto's highlights, more if you want to bask in the serenity of the city's temples and gardens. You could easily spend a day each in Ohara and Arashiyama and walking along the Philosopher's Path. Nijo Castle takes about an hour to visit because its grounds are so large; otherwise, a half hour to 45 minutes at most sights is enough for most people. Walking around the old Imperial Palace and park is a nice one-hour stroll. The main part of Gion is easily done in half an hour because so much of its architecture can only be seen from the outside and not toured.