There are over 1,500 Japanese expats living in Chennai, working for one of the 500+ Japanese companies. Some of the top companies that have offices or factories in the city are Isuzu, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Suzuki. Most of these factories are 40 or 50KM outside the city and there are Japanese townships and enclaves in each of these areas.
A new Japanese township called OneHub is being built 60KM south of Chennai which plans to provide work and housing for 1,500 international workers. Currently Hitachi has set up operations in the township with more Japanese companies looking to move in shortly.
For Japanese expats who work closer to Chennai, the Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR) and East Coast Road (ECR) areas are very popular with expats living in Chennai. In these areas you can find small apartments from 25,000 rupees per month to villas which can cost upwards of 200,000 rupees a month and come with gardens and swimming pools.
Consulate General of Japan in Chennai
The Consulate General of Japan in Chennai is located in Alwarpet.
Indo-Japan Chamber of Commerce
Although primarily aimed at facilitating business and commerce between Indian and Japanese businesses, the IJCCI also supports cultural relations between the two countries. It arranges events and exhibitions that showcase Japanese culture to the people of Chennai.
The other Japanese trade body in Chennai that organises a lot of cultural events and seminars is the Japanese External Trade Organization.
Japanese Schools in Chennai
There are no international Japanese schools in Chennai. Instead, most Japanese expat families send their children to the American International School. All the lessons are taught in English. The American International School is well equipped to educate children from a wide variety of countries. The cost is around $35,000 USD per child, per year.
Japanese food in Chennai has really taken off and found itself a willing audience. Many of the larger five star restaurants will now offer sushi and sashimi counters at their weekend buffets. There are also teppanyaki restaurants in the city.
That said, there are two big drawbacks when it comes to eating out in Chennai. The first is that meat products like beef and pork are not readily available in many restaurants. Chicken, lamb (mutton) and seafood is easily available in most places though. The second drawback is that alcohol is not served in most restaurants unless it is part of a hotel. For example the popular teppanyaki restaurant in the centre of the city does not serve beer, wine or saki. To enjoy beer or wine with your food you need to visit one of the four or five star hotels in the city.
Clubs and Organizations
There are plenty of groups and clubs to be a member of as a Japanese expat in Chennai. Internations connects people from all over the world and hosts regular events at different locations in the city. For expat women, the Overseas Women’s Club is a highly active club to be involved with.