can you drink tap water in japan

Can You Drink Tap Water In Japan? Is It Safe Or Not!

05 June 2024Shopify API

Concerned about water quality in Japan and wondering if can you drink tap water in Japan? Here's a blog on the quality of tap water in Japan. Read on to find out if it's safe to drink tap water in Japan.

Let's start the discussion without delay!

Can You Drink Tap Water in Japan?

Japan's tap water is safe to drink. The national water infrastructure is robust, and water purification facilities are well-maintained in Japan, resulting in high-quality, tap water in Japan. 

The majority of Tokyo's and major cities' water supply comes from dams, reservoirs, or rivers.

Japan is one of just around fifteen countries in the world that has pure water. If you're thirsty, a glass of tap water will quickly quench your thirst.

With plenty of water resources, it is a matter of great relief that tap water in Japan is extremely safe to consume.

Japan's tap water safe to drink

Tap water in Japan is required to be examined by law & as of 2019, 51 verified entrants must fulfill tap water regulations.

Safety varified tap water

And our Japanese government ensures that each household receives only water that passes this stringent assessment.

On top of that, our country is 15 among 196 countries with portable tap water that is absolutely safe to drink, making us feel fortunate as Japanese citizens.

Portable tap water

So, I think I have explained the drinkability of tap water adequately, but there is an underlying issue I would like to discuss & that is the smell of tap water.

Why Does Japan Provide Drinkable Tap Water?

Following WWII, along with Japan's rapid growth in economy and population, demand for home and industrial water rose; prompting the construction of multi-purpose dams to ensure a stable and adequate water supply. Simultaneously, legislation governing water quality were enacted to safeguard citizens' hygienic safety.

Japanese water safety requirements are among the most stringent in the world, even when compared to EU, US, and WHO norms. This criterion takes into account the amount of E. coli, mercury, and arsenic found in the water.

Although safety requirements differ based on location, drinking tap water is generally safe in Japan. Some cities, such as Tokyo, have a bottled water version of their tap water being sold!

What is the Smell of Tap Water in Japan?

Some people (especially if you're sensitive to certain scents) may notice that there's an odour in the tap water in Japan. This is because of chlorine.

chlorine in tap water

You can drink clear water owing to the use of chlorine, but the tap water may have a chlorine odor.

It doesn't matter if you use it for coffee, tea, or cooking; however, the odour may be noticeable if you drink it straight.

Drinking tap water straight

Anyway, you already know that drinking tap water is safe in Japan, but a simple indication to tap water identification along the roadside may help you.

How to Identify Drinkable Tap Water in Japan?

Everything in my homeland is approached in a methodical and sensible manner, which is something you can't help but admire.

Drinking water tap in the park in Japan

And drinking water is no exception!

After enough time in the country, you'll notice that most parks feature two water taps, one on each level.

Two water tap in each level

The concept is quite easy to grasp!

Humans can sip water from the top-mounted faucet.

On the other hand, the lower-level tap is for animals to assist them in satisfying their thirst and handwashing and other such functions.

Okay, now a question may arise in your mind: how does Japanese tap water feel or taste?

Well, that's really exciting!


Let's have a look!

Taste of Japanese Tap Water

The tap water of Japan is primarily soft, and pH level ranges from 6 to 7.

Soft water has a gentler flavor and is easier to drink than hard water.

The water that has high mineral content is hard water.

Once, a European friend of mine came to Japan for a holiday trip & after a few days, she noticed something unexpected.

soft water with gentle flavor

She realized her skin & hair got smoother than before that she could ever imagine.

Then I explained to her that soft water is kind to hair & skin due to the lesser amount of minerals.

Soft water good for skin and hair

According to WHO criteria, soft water has less than 120 milliliters of magnesium per liter, whereas hard water contains more than 120 milliliters per liter.

But those who are used to hard water may feel inadequate after drinking soft water.

No worries!

There is also a way to do it.

If you choose to drink hard water during your trip, there is a huge variety of mineral/bottled water available in Japan

Mineral water

Wanna know more about it?

Here you go!

Bottled Water in Japan

Even though tap water in Japan is safe to drink and has a variety of health advantages, some visitors may feel weird drinking tap water.

For them, our vending machines, convenience shops, and supermarkets offer bottled water with variations in types.

Vending machine in Japan

I have mentioned the notable ones below!

Regular Bottled Water

You'll discover a wide range of typical mineral water grades originating from sites like Mt. Rokko and Mt. Fuji in Japan.

Pure water springs may be found in these locations.

pure water

As a result, the brands that provide this sort of water will differ based on where you purchase it.

Some well-known brands, like Crystal Geyser and Evian, are available from where you can buy regular bottled water.

Sparkling Water

Sparkling water ( Tansan in Japanese) is a carbonated drink available in vending machines and supermarkets.

Pure carbonated water

They are mostly considered refreshment water.

Suntory and Wilkinson are two of the most well-known carbonated water brands.

Aroma-Infused Water

In Japan, you may obtain aroma-infused and flavored water in addition to the sorts described above.

Although these water bottles resemble conventional mineral water, they have a distinct scent.

This implies they may have a sweet taste or a fruity or citrus aroma.

Flavored water with citrus aroma

The only way to tell the difference between plain and flavored water is to look at the packaging.

On the label of flavored water, you'll almost always see illustrations of fruits.

Furthermore, in comparison to conventional water, this sort of water is a little more expensive, costing roughly 140 yen.

Okay, the next one is Tokyo water, which has an interesting term.

Tokyo Water

So, if you go to Japan's malls and supermarkets, you'll certainly see Tokyo water.

Bottled tokyo tap water

It's just bottled Tokyo tap water, with an intriguing philosophy behind it.

The entire point of Tokyo tap water was to exploit it for public relations objectives in Tokyo.

Though paying money for tap water may seem strange, I will suggest you buy one of these anyway & keep it as a souvenir.

Alright, I have nothing to tell you regarding this topic. So, let’s wrap it up here.


Hopefully, you have got an extensive answer to, can you drink tap water in Japan.

So, next time when you will come to Japan, don’t hesitate to drink from a tap.

Lastly, stay healthy and keep traveling.

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