Japan 2012 - Kyoto city
Once you get into Kyoto City, you can immediately feel the difference compared to Osaka. Osaka has a big city feel. People are more hurried, and seem to be always going somewhere. Kyoto is not as crowded, and time seems to slow down a little bit here.
For centuries the capital of Japan, Kyoto was the administrative and cultural centre of Japan until 1868, when the Meiji government shifted the capital to Tokyo. You can still see the remnants of many old buildings interspersed with new developments. Behind the main streets are a maze of old streets waiting to be explored. Coupled with its compact size - the city seems designed for time-starved tourists.
Kamogawa is the main river that runs through the eastern side of Kyoto city. On the side of the river are lots of restaurants and tea houses with balconies overlooking the beautiful river.
It would be pretty hard to spot a girl in kimono in Osaka, but in my first hour in Kyoto I spotted several. Like any city that knows its worth - people here take great pride in their tradition.