SARANSK, June 20. /TASS/. Princess Hisako Takamado of Japan, who is the first member of the Japanese Imperial Family to visit Russia over the past 102 years, said she would tell as many Japanese citizens as possible about Russia.
"This visit is a great honor for me. I will bring all my impression about Russia to Japan and tell the biggest possible number of people about this," the Princess told reporters on Wednesday.
Saransk, the capital of the Mordovia Republic, was the first Russian city which she saw besides Moscow, where she had a connection at the airport. "I’m going to visit two more places in the future," the Princess said.
The Kyodo news agency earlier reported that Princess Takamado also plans to go to Kazan, where the Japanese team’s training base is located, and to Yekaterinburg, which will host a match between the national team and Senegal.
As Honorary President of the Japan Football Association, Princess Takamado attended the June 19 match between Japan and Colombia in Saransk and also visited the Mordovian Erzia Museum of Visual Arts and a regional museum in Saransk.
Earlier on Wednesday, she visited for the first time an Orthodox church, the Cathedral of St. Theodore Ushakov. The Princess was accompanied by the representatives of the Saransk eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church, who organized an hour-long excursion for her at the church.
"I have been only to one Orthodox church, and that’s the cathedral in Saransk. It is absolutely marvelous and is a symbol for all residents of the city," the Princess told reporters. The construction of the Cathedral of St. Theodore Ushakov began in 2002 and lasted for four years. The cathedral is 70 meters long and is the highest church in the Volga Federal District.
The Princess praised the level of cultural development in Mordovia. "I was able to attend various cultural events and I understood that the cultural level in Mordovia is very high. Many artists and performers were born here," she said.
Princess Takamado stressed that 2018 is the Year of Japan in Russia and the Year of Russia in Japan, voicing hope that this helps Russians to know about Japan’s culture, and the citizens of the Land of the Rising Sun to get to know about Russia.
Beginning from 1998, Princess Takamado has been visiting all FIFA World Cups to encourage her team. Last time, a member of the Imperial Family visited Russia in 1916 as a representative of the allied power during World War I.