Yutaka Higuchi / Business Trainee
The Russian Federation boasts the largest total land area—an expanse that is about 45 times the size of Japan, and on the other hand, the population is about 143 million, primarily in the capital of Moscow and the second city of Russia, St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad), concentrated on the European side. Especially the city of Moscow, where I am posted on assignment, is approaching a population of 11.5 million, the megacity with the largest population in Europe. While there are rows of modern high-rise office buildings and shopping malls in the city, there is a unique atmosphere that is different from other European countries, as Moscow is dotted with Stalin architecture and Russian Orthodox churches. Located in the center of Moscow, the Kremlin is a masterpiece, and along with the adjacent Red Square, it is a popular tourist attraction.
There are many fascinating cities in Russia, not only Moscow, and among them, St. Petersburg along with Moscow is a city that tourists cannot miss, with a great many points of interest, including the State Hermitage Museum, which is counted as one of the three major museums of the world.
Incidentally, when you talk about Russia, many people have the image of it being cold, at any rate, and the winter here is long, dark, and cold. One of the pleasures of these cold winters is going to the theater. Depending on the seat, tickets are readily available at a reasonable price (the Bolshoi theater is special, and a bit expensive), so you can freely enjoy the theater. A theater date is popular, right along with a walk in the park date, for Russian people too. I also recommend both borscht and vodka to warm up your cold body from the core.
Russia will be packed with sports events going forward, holding the Sochi Olympics in February and the FIFA World Cup in 2018. Although only a small number of Japanese tourists visit Russia—a total of about 80,000 per year—why not take this as an opportunity to plan a trip here? Even if you come here on business, I would certainly recommend that you to keep your schedule a bit flexible so that you can enjoy Russia through tourism, cuisine, and theater. I eagerly welcome you and look forward to your visit!
Marubeni Group magazine "M-SPIRIT" VOL.79 (January, 2014)