This post will mostly cover the Arashiyama area which has a lot to offer on its own with souvenir shops, tea houses and also Onsen. I would recommend spending a whole day here since it is also a bit remote from the center.
The Kimono forrest located on the leave side right after leaving the gate of Arashiyama station. Kimono fabrics are displayed in seethrough tubes. At daylight it does not seem to be too impressive but it provides nice photos at night when the lights are turned on. There is also a metal ball in a water basin depicting a dragon. It is said that if you wash your hands here you will receive luck.
If you are aiming to go to the bamboo forrest you might as well go to the nearby Kameyama park. The path is easy to walk and it features a view point into the valley were the sun sets.
The Bamboo forrest of Kyoto is probably one of the more iconic spots of Japan. However it is smaller than expected – way smaller. The path which has up to 15 meter tall well maintained bamboo left and right stretches only about 100 meters. Since amboo is thin and more packed the term forrest is legit, however quite compressed.
There is a paid monkey park were you can observe wild monkeys. After a hike to the observation area you are supposed to get a nice city view. I did not have enough time to visit the monkey park anymore, however a friend told me that it would have been worth it.
If you google iconic pictures of Japan this is one of them. The golden building in the picture is not even a temple but just a pavillion, a teahouse so to say. However this golden pavillion is most photogenic, since no people can actually intrude the photo and it’s color is as golden as the photos convey. The garden area itself is nice but in comparison with the other garden areas nothing too significantly more amazing. it is more remotely located but there is a nearby bus station. The entrance fee is 400 Yen.