Oh Kyoto, what can one say about you: a beautiful, peaceful, perfect place!
Ok, of course, I am exaggerating, but possibly only because I compare it with places outside of Japan. Kyoto-life is a real “bubble” life in Japan, people are very friendly, generous with their time, words and deeds and slow (in a good way) in their thinking and living. And besides all these, children love it, because there is always a park or a less busy place nearby.
In order for praise it now for you, who come for a shorter period of time, Kyoto is the cultural, historical and religious capital of Japan. You will find here the traditional meeting the modern in the every day life with all conveniences – another plus when traveling with kids. On every step you will encounter the long history of culture, craftsmanship, religion and not mentioning the beautiful nature in the city (yes, there are many bigger green areas!).
I am not sure, if it is only me, who comes from a mountainous area and prefers this, but I always feel a bit lost in big cities. However, you can very rarely get totally lost in Kyoto, as you can orient yourself quickly around the mountains and the Kamogawa (Kamo river) cutting the city in half. The river is also a “hub” for kids during all seasons (you can stroll freely, run freely, watch ducks and other birds, bike along or just sit and have a picnic under the cherry trees all along the river, while kids play with stones and water).
How to get to Kyoto
You can get to Kyoto from Kansai Airport directly by the fast train Haruka (1 hour and 20 min., stopping also in Osaka) or from Tokyo station by Shinkansen (2 hours).
How to get around
Kyoto is very conveniently planned with train lines and bus routes (even though buses tend to be quit slow and full, especially during peak seasons). Also, it is not the best idea to take a stroller, even the smallest one, into a bus. So, if you can choose, rather take a train and walk a little, if needed, you will for sure find something nice on your way! Also, don’t forget to buy ICOCA card in a bigger station, so that you do not need to calculate your train fare every time you take a ride. With ICOCA you just charge the card and swipe it when entering and exiting.
Another option is to rent bicycles and ride them all around the city, when the weather is comfortable. There are also rental shop offering bikes with child seats, even the electric ones (near Kyoto station – http://www.kctp.net/, can be delivered to your location – http://chirin2.com/, KYOTO OKAZAKI TSUTAYA BOOKS Bicycle Rental at Rohm Theatre).