5 Best Hard Bottled Mineral Water in Japan

Hard Mineral Water Brands You Can Buy in Japan

If you are planning to travel to Japan, or even planing on living in Japan, one of the things that you might have heard is regarding the water quality.

You might have heard that water in Japan is “soft”… but what does that actually mean? Is it any different from the water I’m used to drinking?

First and foremost, how safe is water in japan? Is it safe to drink tap water in Japan? And where can I buy safe mineral water in Japan?

For those who are worried that you won’t get used to the mineral water in Japan, don’t worry. You can still get the “hard” water that you’re used to drinking in your home country.

We will introduce to you 5 of the best hard mineral water brands that you can buy in Japan as well as the characteristics of mineral water itself. Hope you enjoy it!

*Please note that this article contains affiliate links.

Overview of Water in Japan

First of all, tap water in Japan is perfectly safe to drink. Japanese standards for tap water safety are high, even compared to other developed countries.

You might feel a different taste and texture compared to the water that you’re used to drinking. Japanese tap water (or Japanese water in general) is mostly soft, which makes it easier for the stomach.

Also, since tap water is disinfected by adding chlorine, you might feel a slight taste of it in the water. The amount of chlorine added to the water is just enough to kill pathogenic bacteria, but has no effect on the human body. Although, as I mentioned, some people might notice it in the smell and taste.

What is Hard Water?

Water hardness refers to the number of minerals (especially calcium and magnesium) dissolved in the water. Water containing a high concentration of minerals is known as “hard water” while water containing a low concentration of minerals is known as “soft water”.

Hard water is what you can mostly find in the US, Europe, China, and many other places. If you are coming from any of these areas, there is a good chance that you will feel comfortable drinking hard water.

The benefits of hard water come from the minerals that are contained in it. It is a good source for replenishing minerals after exercising and it also helps with digestion, stimulating the intestines. People on a diet tend to choose hard water because of these benefits.

Hard water is also said to add texture to food, therefore being a good match for making stew or soup.

Different variations in the number of minerals will cause a variation in taste and texture.

Acidic or Alkaline Water

Another factor that affects the taste and texture of the water is the PH level of the water.

PH level determines whether the water is either alkaline or acidic. PH levels go from 0 to 14, 7 being neutral. PH levels over 7 are alkaline, while PH levels below 7 are acidic. Alkaline water is known to have a slightly bitter taste while acidic water tastes, of course, acid.

Most bottled mineral water sold in Japan is soft and slightly alkaline. The texture and taste might feel different for you since most countries have hard water.

Our Five picks for Hard Bottled Mineral Water

Hard mineral water is rare in Japan. Most of the mineral water that you’ll find at convenience stores and vending machines will be soft water.

But here are 5 hard mineral water brands that you can find in Japan.

1-Family Mart (Natural Mineral Water from Kirishima)

Natural Mineral Water from Kirishima (ファミマの天然水霧島) is Family Mart’s own brand of water.

This is one of the very few natural mineral water brands in Japan that provide hard water. It is known for having a relatively high concentration of silica, which is said to have various beneficial properties for your health and skincare.

One thing you need to be careful of is that Family Mart’s brand of water can come from 3 different sources(Kirishima(霧島), Azumino(安曇野), and Tsunan(津南)). The other 2 sources are soft water, so be sure to check that the bottle says “Kirishima” before buying it.

The hardness of this mineral water is 160mg/L which means it is slightly hard. If you don’t like hard water, but would like to start getting used to it for its benefits, then this is a good water brand to start.

Type Natural Mineral Water
Source Miyazaki Prefecture
Hardness 160mg / L (Slightly hard)
PH level 6.6 ~ 7.2

2- Evian Natural Mineral Water

Next, we have one of the most renowned mineral water brands in the whole world, Evian.

If you’re traveling in a foreign country, to see a familiar product among the many unknown products is reassuring.

Although there are various foreign mineral water brands that you can find in Japan, Evian is the one you will see most frequently in convenience stores or other supermarkets. It is distributed by the beverage company “Ito-en”, so you can also find Evian water in Ito-en vending machines.

The reason why you can find this brand easily is because of its popularity in Japan. Although being heavier than the Family Mart water, it is still not as heavy compared to other foreign brands, which makes it relatively easy to drink while also benefiting from the minerals.

The only downside is that it is a little more expensive compared to Japanese water brands.

Type Natural Mineral Water
Source France
Hardness 304mg/L (Slightly Hard)
PH level 7.2 (Slightly Alkaline)

3- Inochi no Kousui (Calsium Water)

© 1996-2020, Amazon.com, Inc.

Following up is Calcium Water from the brand Inochi no Kousui (命の硬水).

“Inochi no Kousui” which literally means “Water of Life”, is a natural mineral water brand that gets its water from the depths of the Ise area(奥伊勢) in Mie prefecture(三重県).

The water hardness is 320mg/L which is one of the water that you will find produced in Japan.

As you may have guessed from the name of the product, this water has a relatively high concentration of calcium. Usually, if the water contains large amounts of calcium, it will also contain large amounts of magnesium, which usually makes the water taste a little bitter. But in the case of Calcium Water, The balance between calcium and magnesium present in the water is just right, making it pleasant to drink.

Type Natural Mineral Water
Source Mie Prefecture
Hardness 320mg/L (Slightly Hard)
PH level 7.3 ~ 8.2 (Slightly Alkaline)

4- Contrex

Next, we have Contrex. Another internationally popular brand. Contrex has a hardness of 1,468mg/L, and a PH level of 7.4.

This natural mineral water brand from France is popular in Japan within the dieting community. This is due to the valance between “number of minerals” and “drinkability”. It has a larger concentration of minerals compared to Evian, but it is easier to the stomach compared to Courmayeur.

You can find this water brand at the convenience store “Natural Lawson” or you can also find it online.

Type Natural Mineral Water
Source France
Hardness 1,468mg/L (Hard Water)
PH level 7.4 (Slighty Alkaline)

5. Hepar

© 1996-2020, Amazon.com, Inc.

The last hard mineral water brand on this list is the French brand, Hepar.

This is the heaviest brand of mineral water on this list, having a heaviness of 1,849mg/L which is the highest of any natural mineral water brand you can buy in Japan.

It has a really high concentration of calcium, so much so that you can get more than half of the daily recommended amount of calcium by just drinking this brand.

Although being very heavy, most comments you will find online refer to as being surprisingly easy to drink.

This is another brand that you won’t find very often at stores, but it is available online.

Type Natural Mineral Water
Source France
Hardness 1,849mg/L (Hard Water)
PH level 7.2 (Slightly Alkaline)

What alternatives are there for Japanese bottled water?

If you’re traveling in Japan, tap water and bottled water should be enough for most people.

But if you are living in Japan or are planning on it, there are other alternatives that you can take into account. These alternatives include buying a water purifier or tower water dispenser for your home.

Water purifiers can be found in large electronic stores, and you can find a wide variety of these. Prices can largely vary depending on their features and quality.

Water dispensers are especially getting popular in Japan due to the latest trend of rental water dispensers with competitive pricing as opposed to having to buy the purifier or dispenser.

If you are living (or planning on living) in Japan and want to try out renting one of these water dispensers, there are various websites that you can check. The problem is that pretty much all of these websites are in Japanese, making it a big challenge for people who are not comfortable with the Japanese language.

However, there is a service with a website that is completely in English where you can rent a water dispenser. Water Delivery Near Me is a service specialized to provide for foreign citizens. If you have any kind of interest in renting a water dispenser, you should definitely check it out!

▶Check out Water Delivery Near Me

I hope this article was helpful for you!

Water is definitely one of the most important things in our lives, and it is important that you feel safe drinking it. Even better if you are able to find a brand that provides water that matches your taste.

The spectrum of hardness in water is very wide, so even within the “hard water” category, there is a wide range of hardness. I hope you were able to find a hard water brand that makes water that suits your preferences.

▽Related Articles▽

▼Editor’s Picks▼

Written by

Born and raised in Costa Rica, I started living in Tokyo from college. I love traveling within Japan & around the world. Since I wasn’t born in Japan, I know the cultural impact that you can get when visiting Japan for the first time and what you might be worried about before your trip. And I’ve lived long enough to somewhat understand the nuances of the Japanese culture that make this country such an attractive place to visit. Hopefully I can provide to you both the information you’re looking for and the information you didn’t know you needed to know.