Translated by Lester Somera
Things To Note When Drinking Mineral Water In Japan
Written by Hiromasa Uematsu
Japanese tap water is drinkable, but for those who prefer mineral water, this article highlights the places you can buy from and the varieties available.
As the previous article stated, Japanese tap water is safe to drink. For those travelers uncomfortable with drinking tap water, however, this will not likely change their minds nor preferences. This article will talk about how to buy mineral water and the various kinds available for purchase in Japan.
Places to Buy Mineral Water
You can buy mineral water at supermarkets, convenience stores and vending machines. In stores, the bottles will be displayed in these kinds of refrigerators.
In the refrigerator, various kinds of coffee, energy drinks, juices and alcoholic beverages are sorted into broad categories. Mineral water is sorted in the same way. Clear bottles containing pristine water will vary in price by volume, but generally cost 100-150 yen.
Types of Mineral Water
1. Regular Mineral Water
There are many bottled varieties of this mineral water, all drawn from places like Mount Fuji and Mount Rokko, where clean and delicious water spring forth. For this reason, store lineups will vary by region, and may contain water from a well-known spring in the vicinity. It would be good idea to pick up some local water as a souvenir of your trip.
World-renowned water brands like Evian and Crystal Geyser are normally available too.
One thing to remember is that Japan's water supply generally consists of soft water, and mineral water is no exception. If you want to drink hard water, please purchase foreign brands like Evian.
2. Sparkling Water
In the past, non-carbonated mineral water was the standard in Japan. Carbonated products gradually made their way into the market, and now they are both sold in stores.
The packaging will state 炭酸 in kanji, or "sparkling water" in English, so look for these markings on the label.
3. Flavored and Aroma-Infused Water
Some Japanese water products may look identical to regular mineral water, but are scent-infused. They can contain citrus fragrances, fruity aromas, and even have a sweet flavor.
There are even yogurt-flavored varieties being sold.
Naturally, you can distinguish the difference by looking at the packaging. Most flavored or scented varieties will have pictures of fruit on the label. Also, as a general rule, these varieties will be slightly more expensive than regular water.
If you want to drink regular water, pay close attention to the packaging.