Asked India-Experienced Friend About Essentials

pack with me

When it comes to relocating overseas, the concern is always the list of items to bring…

By chance, I had a friend who had experience living in India, so I decided to hear about the essential items needed locally!
Here’s the list with my friend’s brutally honest comments.

I wrote this with Japanese people in mind, so especially when it comes to food-related items, they may not align with your preferences. Please forgive me.


Electrical Appliances

Air Purifier

Essential, especially in winter when the air outside is so polluted that you can’t see through the windows. Available locally but it’s better to bring one for each room for peace of mind and safety. Japanese brands perform well. You can buy a used one from Mercari (Japanese Flea market apps) or Yahoo Auctions (Japanese auction sites) and sell it locally when you return. You can get a good price.

Rice Cooker

Essential. In case of power outage, you may not be able to use it, so a rice cooker that can be used on a gas stove (earthen pot) is also good.

Bread Maker

Many people bring their own. Those who make sandwiches or need bread for breakfast bake their own bread in their own bakery. Flour can be obtained in India.

Indians often eat Danish pastries and pies, so there are few good bakeries. In Gurugram, there is a delicious bakery run by Japanese called “iroha” and the famous “paul” (in the mall).

Microwave Oven

Available locally. It may already be installed in furnished apartments. However, it doesn’t have functions like defrosting or semi-defrosting as Japanese ones do. If you’re used to a specific model from Japan, it’s better to bring it along (although few people do).

Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

If you hire a maid, they will do the cleaning, but it’s said to be convenient. It’s also handy for personal use because it’s maneuverable.

Futon Dryer

It’s better to have one because it gets humid in winter.

“Futon” refers to traditional Japanese bedding that typically consists of a mattress filled with cotton or synthetic batting and a duvet or blanket. Futons are designed to be laid directly on the floor or on a tatami mat for sleeping.


In winter, the air is so bad that you can’t open the windows, causing mold to grow inside the house. They’re available in India but are expensive, so if you can bring one, it’s better.

Hair Dryer

Available locally, but there are no high-function ones that emit negative ions.

Voltage Converter

Available locally but may be in short supply. Since there are many rooms in the rental properties, it’s reassuring to bring as many as you can. Three should be enough.

Extra: Things You Don’t Need

Electric Carpet, Electric Blanket, Kotatsu → Not necessary.

A kotatsu is a traditional Japanese heating device typically used in the colder months. It consists of a low, wooden table frame covered by a heavy blanket or futon, with a heat source placed underneath.

For Kids

Indoor gym equipment

Indoor gyms, athletics, slides for children are very useful. Since the rooms are generally spacious, you should be able to install anything.

Since it gets up to 50 degrees in summer and the air is dirty in winter, there are few opportunities to play outside.

Picture books, books for learning Japanese(or your native language)

Since there are no Japanese libraries, if you want to study Japanese concurrently, books are necessary.

If you hire a maid, you’ll mainly speak English at home, so it’s difficult to improve your Japanese.

Floor Mats

Since the floors in India are hard and cold with stone, it’s recommended to use floor mats.

Sanitary Items

Mosquito/insect repellent

Essential because of dengue fever and chikungunya every year. It doesn’t have to be as strong as what the US military uses. Many people bring ant’s nest killer, mosquito coils, insect repellent sprays, and balsam.

Cockroaches are not often seen, but there are flies, ants, and mites. If you suffer from bedbugs, you have to move.

Toilet paper, tissue paper, sanitary products, diapers, etc.

They are expensive and of poor quality if you buy them in India, so it’s better to buy them in bulk and bring them.


Essential because the air in India is very bad. It’s better to have children’s sizes.

Quick Wipes

Dust and sand come into the house, so they are useful. It’s good to have them ready for use as soon as you move in.

They are available (apparently) but expensive and in short supply.

Medical Supplies

There are medicines in India, but it’s reassuring to have drugs with instructions written in your native language.

It’s safer to bring children’s medicines from your country. If you consult with a pediatrician before traveling, they may give you a little extra medicine.



River fish, salmon, shrimp, squid, and dried fish are available. You can buy chicken and goat meat. Pork was available at a Japanese supermarket called Yamato, but there was no minced meat (supposedly).

I used to buy a lot in Japan and froze it. It’s a hassle, but they wrap it in plastic wrap, freeze it in small portions, put it in styrofoam, and store it in a suitcase.


Generally, only sweet ones are available locally. It’s better to bring your favorite sweets for children.


You should buy the ones you usually use. Soy sauce, mirin, and sake are available at Japanese supermarkets but expensive.

I used the company’s food delivery system or bought extra in neighboring countries during vacations.

Retort food

Since it’s not easy to go shopping at a supermarket like in Japan, it’s reassuring to have retort food at home.

Extra: Things You Don’t Need

Dried vegetables → I brought them but didn’t use them. Vegetables are available in India.


Car sunshades

When the car stops, beggars come and knock on the windows. A sunshade that can be attached to the window with a suction cup is effective, but not available locally. I’ve never seen one.

Plastic containers

Essential. You can buy them at MUJI in India, but they are surprisingly expensive. Even if you have leftover ones, you can sell at the regular price locally, so it’s better to buy extra and bring them.

Winter clothes

Winter clothes are often overlooked, but it’s quite cold in winter. Moncler down jackets are not necessary, but I used thin down jackets from UNIQLO.


The water pressure is surprisingly low. A showerhead that increases the water pressure is recommended.

Since India has hard water, a soft water showerhead is also recommended for those concerned about hair damage.


Pens and pencils can be obtained locally, but gum tape and double-sided tape are of poor quality.

Local cutters also have poor sharpness.

Japanese-made pencil sharpeners are recommended.

Origami, notebooks, stickers, etc., can be bought at 100-yen shops, which are useful for bringing along a set.

Golf wear/goods

Even if you don’t like golf, there are opportunities to play in India, so it’s better to bring them.


Today, I listed items that were essential to my friend who had experience living in India.

I plan to write another article about what we brought to India and the items that were really useful later!

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