LONDON -- Japan 2001, a series of events, is being presented across Britain to show the culture of contemporary Japan to Britons who normally are not familiar with Japanese life. Last May, a full-scale Japanese festival in London's Hyde Park opened the yearlong, nationwide project. As well as concerts and exhibitions, fashion shows, performances and conferences, Japan 2001 is arranging for British children to stay with Japanese families living in Britain. At Kew, a "Journey Through Landscapes" blends Japanese lore into the woodlands, lawns, flower beds and glass houses of these renowned, riverside botanical gardens. Carp streamers flying at each entranceway to the gardens set the immediate tone.

Keiko Sato and Haruko Miura photographed each other in front of Chokushi-Mon, which at Kew predates Japan 2001 by nearly a century. After the Japan-Britain Exhibition of 1910, this replica of a 16th century Kyoto gate was rebuilt for posterity. Once an alien presence, it is now set in a tranquil, authentic, subtly molded Japanese landscape. A stone, engraved with a haiku, reads in translation:

Even sparrows, Freed from all fear of man, England in spring.