Facts On Japan's Drinkable Tap Water

福島

Translated by Lester Somera

Written by Hiromasa Uematsu

2020.06.03

Japan's tap water supply is safe to drink and holds the property of being soft water. Does Japan's water taste different compared to the one from your home country? Read this article to learn more about Japan's drinkable tap water.

Japan's Tap Water is Drinkable

ga_water_20151123a

Japan's tap water is drinkable and safe. The national water infrastructure is reliable, and purification facilities are well-maintained, so the tap water is good quality and easy on the stomach. Most of the water supply in Tokyo and major cities comes from dams, reservoirs, or comes from rivers.

Japan is one of only fifteen or so countries in the world with clean water. If you're feeling thirsty, a glass of tap water can easily solve the problem.

Water intake is always important and easily forgotten during a trip. Thirsty travelers will not be able to fully enjoy the sights, and could even potentially make themselves very sick. Be sure to stay hydrated in Japan.

Tokyo Tap Water is Even Sold in Japan

Some readers may be thinking that even if the tap water is safe to drink, mineral water just tastes better, so there's no need to drink from the tap.

Why not give Tokyo tap water a try? Bottled Tokyo tap water is available for sale as well. This product was created to promote the city and can be purchased for around100 yen.

Japan's Water is Soft

ga_water_20151123c

Some visitors to Japan, particularly those from Europe, may notice something strange when they drink Japanese tap water for the first time. This is because the water supply in Japan has a different hardness level compared to the supply in Western countries. Hardness level is an indication of the concentration of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, dissolved in water.

Including tap water and spring water sources, the water in Japan is mostly soft. This is different from the water in European countries. Soft water has a milder flavor than hard water and is easier to drink, but to someone used to hard water, soft water can taste inadequate.

Unfortunately, hard water is difficult to obtain in Japan. If you want to drink hard water during your trip, it would be easiest to purchase mineral water such as Evian or Contrex.

ga_water_20151120d-700x466

Hard mineral water is comparatively easy to find at Japanese convenience stores

Japanese Dishes Owe Their Flavor to the Delicious Water

Since hard and soft water contains different tastes, it is only natural that they are each suitable for using to make various dishes. It is said that Japanese food like soba and tofu are particularly delicious because of the mild taste of the water used.

There is also dashi, which is created by simmering kombu (kelp) and other ingredients to make a base for cooking. It is said that soft water is more effective at extracting the flavor components.

ga_water_20151123b

The bitterness and astringency of Japanese teas are also easier to draw out with soft water. It helps to make the difference in flavors more pronounced.

Japanese water may be difficult to get used to for some people. However, it is also an important component of Japanese culture. When you try it, think of it as another part of experiencing Japan.

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.