Kyoto is not such a large city (mainly compared to Tokyo or Osaka), and quite a lot can be visited on foot. But you will need to use other means of transportation from time to time.
The city was build 1,300 years ago, following the very orderly city plan of the Chinese city of Xian where streets intercept at right angle. The grid pattern of Kyoto streets makes it an easy city in which to roam. There are a few main streets running East to West, and a few running North to South.
As a tourist, you’ll spend most of your time on the East part of the city, the Higashiyama district, where a lot of the tourist sites are located. Then, you’ll go on the West part in the North to see the amazing Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji) and a few temples around, and the South to enjoy the Arashiyama area and the beautiful bamboo grove. There are also a few places in the center of the city and around the South.
The public transportation system of Kyoto offers numerous possibilities, but unfortunately, it is not one unified system. There are buses, trains, subways around, but from different companies and unfortunately, they do not always work seamlessly together.
Here is a convenient web site to find information on how to reach places around Kyoto and to search for bus and rail routes in the city, including the city bus and subway:
Arukumachi KYOTO Route Planner “Bus and Train Veteran”
You will find more information on how to move around the city on:
Kintetsu Rail Pass