The business end of town isn't much to look at - pretty dreary in fact - but find the tourist information centre at Omi Hachiman station, grab a map and hop on a bus (from directly in front of the TIC) and in less than 10 minutes you are in a gorgeous, well preserved area ripe for wandering.
From Kyoto station take the Tokaido line train to Omi Hachiman (650y) in neighbouring Shiga prefecture -its a 32 minute ride.
Plenty to see and absorb - you'll find photographic streets, bridges and waterways, temple and shrines, a lovely little traditional tile museum, craftspeople, fishermen (and fisherchildren!) and really friendly folk. There's even a cablecar and boat rides if your feet need a rest. And the local speciality foods are beef and aka(red) konnyaku if you are looking to sample their culinary wares. Definitely worth a day trip if you have time to spare whilst staying in Kyoto town.
In the grounds of the tile museum - I'll confess we didn't go inside the building but the grounds are free to stroll around and there's plenty to see - and a proud and friendly proprietor.
himure hachiman shrine
Gorgeous old streets and waterways