BHUBANESWAR: Members of Japan hockey team on Thursday visited Dhauli peace pagoda (Shanti Stupa) located on the outskirts of the City. The Shanti Stupa at Dhauli is a Buddhist structure built jointly by the Japan Buddha Sangh and Kalinga Nippon Buddha Sangh in 1972.The 26-member team, which is in the City to participate in the FIH Men’s Series Finals, was given a warm welcome at Panthika. They were accompanied by Odisha Sports swimming coach Koichi Watanabe, who is also a native of Japan.
The team members went around the Stupa and visited the nearby temples. General tourists at the venue were surprised to see the Japanese players and posed for selfies and photos with them.Head coach of Japan team Siegfried Aikman said the trip to Dhauli was once in a lifetime experience for him and the players. “The State is truly India’s best kept secret.
I was here during the Hockey World Cup last year and I know how green and clean the City was. Despite the devastation caused by cyclone Fani, it is great to see the spirit of people who are working hard to rebuild their lives and the City,” he said.Elaborate arrangements were made by the Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) for the players. Japan will face India in the semi-finals on Friday at the Kalinga Stadium here.