The Biggest Japanese Community in Germany: Business Life in Düsseldorf
As of 2019, there were more than 1,500 Japanese companies operating in Germany, 500 of which were located in or near Düsseldorf.
In the early years post-World War II, Japanese companies began to set up offices in Düsseldorf, and in the present day, the city has developed into a home for Japanese companies.
This article will describe work and life in Düsseldorf, one of the most famous Japantowns in Europe.
Overview of Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf is the capital of NRW (North Rhine-Westphalia), one of the most industrialized regions in Germany, and is a metropolitan area with a population of approximately 600,000.
It is the eighth-most populous city in Germany and is one of the country’s most economically developed and high-income areas.
Being the capital of the state of NRW, it is home to many foreign as well as German companies and has therefore a relatively high ratio of foreigners among its population.
As will be mentioned below, the city is home to the largest Japanese community in Europe and is the home to other large communities consisting of, for example; Greek, Russian, Turkish, and Polish nationals. According to population statistics, nearly 20% of the population is foreign, which means that the city is cosmopolitan and tolerant of different cultures.
Such economic and cultural attractions make Düsseldorf one of the best cities to live in Europe.
Düsseldorf & Japan
Düsseldorf has developed as an economic center along the Rhine River, and early on Japanese companies began to set up offices in the city. As a result, Düsseldorf has a large Japanese population and is now nicknamed “Little Tokyo” and “Japan am Rhein” (Japan on the Rhine).
There are many Japanese-related buildings and restaurants throughout the city, and Japanese gardens and Japanese spas can also be found, all of which are rarely seen in other European cities.
The “Japan-Tag” event held every year in May attracts nearly one million tourists from all over Europe. It is held in order to promote Japanese culture in Europe and attract local visitors.
Due to this background, Düsseldorf is very popular among Japanese and other Asians seeking employment in Europe and Germany, and we, therefore, introduce many applicants to the city every year.
Business life in Düsseldorf
So, what kind of life awaits you if you work in Düsseldorf, a multicultural city where European and Asian cultures mix?
Düsseldorf is a multicultural city full of diversity, with Japanese restaurants and a wide variety of high-quality Japanese food that is rarely available in Europe.
If you are in Düsseldorf, you may find yourself working for or doing business with a Japanese company.
There are many different industries in Düsseldorf, such as manufacturers, suppliers, food, restaurants, and grocery stores – even Germans can feel that the atmosphere differs from other German cities.
Stefan, a 28-year-old German from Stuttgart who has been working in Düsseldorf for three years. “I’ve been interested in Japan and have traveled there before, but I studied business at university and didn’t know much about Japan. Düsseldorf has convenience stores and Japanese pubs that are open until late, which is rare in Germany, so I feel like I am in Japan and it is very convenient. I have to negotiate with companies from various countries, and, of course, there are business and negotiations with Japanese companies among them. Thanks to this, I am learning about real Japanese business culture.”
In particular, Düsseldorf’s main street, Immermanstrasse, is lined with izakaya (Japanese-style pubs), which are not only a place for Japanese expatriates and local employees to relax but also a popular dating and reunion spot for Germans and others.
Jan, a 26-year-old Belgian, moved to Düsseldorf when he got a job and is now working for a Japanese company in Düsseldorf. He is one of the people who were attracted by the charm of this cosmopolitan city.
“Immediately upon moving to Germany, I lived in another city, but it wasn’t a very nice place to live and I experienced a lot of difficulties. In Düsseldorf, on the other hand, the Germans in the city are used to foreigners (in a good way), and there seems to be less discrimination, so it is rather easy to make German friends.”
The work-life in Düsseldorf, a cosmopolitan city with an exquisite mix of Eastern and Western cultures, maybe the perfect utopia for those who want to satisfy both the comfort of Japan and the adventurous spirit of working in Germany at the same time.
For more information on employment opportunities in Düsseldorf, check out the following links.
- The Biggest Japanese Community in Germany: Business Life in Düsseldorf
- 5 Advantages of Working for Japanese MNEs in Germany
- Manners When Having Dinner With a Japanese Boss or Colleague
- Monochronic vs Polychronic Cultures: Difficulties Europeans May Face When Working with Japanese People
- How to See Somebody Off in Japanese Business Culture and Customs