Kyoto is considered the cultural capital of Japan, and was the home of the Emperor of Japan from 794 until 1868. Kyoto is endowed with an almost overwhelming legacy of ancient Buddhist temples, majestic palaces and gardens of every size and description. For many, just the name of Kyoto conjures up the classic images of Japan: streets of traditional wooden houses, the click-clack of geta (wooden sandals) on the paving stones, geisha in a flourish of brightly colored silks, a tea master deliberately warming water and making tea.