5 Best Water Filters in Japan
Water Filter / Purifier Products You Can Buy in Japan
Continuing with the water-related articles, I would like to talk about water filters or water purifiers.
If you’re planning or considering living in Japan, one of the things you will be thinking about is water safety, especially if there are small children in your family. Although tap water in Japan is safe to drink, Families with babies and/or small infants may want to be extra sure that the water that their children drink is perfectly safe. Or even if you don’t have any children, there are people who don’t like the taste of tap water. In this kind of case, having a water filter can not only make your water taste much better but also make it even safer to drink.
Water filters come in a wide variety of types, sizes, and specs. With this, there is also a wide range of prices accordingly.
Here, I’ll explain the different types of water filters as well as the pros and cons of each type. I will also introduce some of the most popular water filters that you can buy in Japan.
Overview of Water in Japan
In case you were wondering, tap water in Japan is 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. This is because 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.
Water taste and texture
Other factors that make a difference in the taste and texture of the water are the “water hardness” and “water PH level”.
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”. Soft water is said to have a lighter texture which makes it easier to drink as opposed to hard water which is said to feel a little heavier to the stomach.
Next, we have the PH level of the water, which slightly affects the taste of the water. PH level determines whether the water is either acidic or alkaline. 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.
How do water filters work
The first obstacle you will encounter when purchasing a water filter product is the vast variety in styles, sizes, and price.
What makes each of these products different from the others?
The answer to that question is most likely to be the technology that goes behind the filtering / purification.
There are 5 basic technologies that you should know.
- Activated Carbon: This technology works for removing chlorine, chloroform, agricultural chemicals, organic substances, sediment, and magnesium.
- Ion Exchange: This method is good for softening the water and removing radioactive material.
- Reverse Osmosis: Good for effective removal of a high percentage of toxins including fluoride, hexavalent chromium, arsenic, nitrates/nitrites, copper, radium, salt, and more.
- Mechanical: Good for removal of physical particles and waste matter.
Water filter products usually consist of more than 2 types of filtering technologies, and depending on the combination of these technologies, the end product(purified water) will be different.
Our Five picks for Water filter products in Japan
Now that we understand the different types of filtering technologies and types of filter products, we will introduce to you some of the most popular water filter products that you can get in Japan.
As I mentioned above, these products use different variations of the different filtering technologies, thus making the end product having different qualities.
I hope you can find the right product for you.
1- Brita Water Filter – Pot Type
The first product on our list is the Brita Water Filter(Pot Type). Brita is the leading brand when it comes to pot-type water filters. It is sold in over 60 countries, and its popularity comes from the easiness of washing, comfortable size(2L), and of course, its high-quality water filtration.
The quality behind the filter for this pot consists of 3 different technologies which are:
- Superfine mesh: retains particles that come from the water pipes.
- Ion-exchange pearls: will make the water softer and protect your appliances from limescale build-up.
- Micro-carbon pearls: will absorb chlorine and other substances that change the taste and odor of the water.
The biggest advantage that this product has is its price. If you like drinking plain water and simply want your water to be safe to drink, then this product is more than good for you.
Another advantage that this product has compared to the others is that you can store the water in your refrigerator. So if you like having nice cold clean water for drinking, this may be the choice for you.
2- Cleansui – Direct Connecting Faucet Water Filter (Mitsubishi Rayon)
The second water filter product on our list is the Cleansui (Direct Connecting Faucet Water Filter) from the manufacturer Mitsubishi Rayon(Mitsubishi Chemical).
As is mentioned in the name of the product, this water filter is directly connected to the faucet so that the tap water that comes out is already filtered.
Usually, this type of water filter product tends to be bulky and sometimes difficult to install. But the Cleansui is relatively compact and is very easy to install, which is the main reason why it is one of the most popular water filter products out there.
It is also very durable despite its relatively low cost.
The filtering process consists of a hollow fiber membrane, Ion exchange material, and an activated carbon filter. This removes 15 types of contaminants from the water such as trihalomethane, chloroform, and more.
Since it has a compact size, this may be a good option for those who have a compact kitchen sink, which is pretty common if you live in an apartment in Japan.
3- Toray Water Charger torebi-no kasettexi
The next product is also a “faucet mount type” filter. It is the Water Charger torebi-no kasettexi from the manufacturer Toray.
This water filter is slightly larger in size and is more expensive compared to the previous product, but it has a feature that many people who have already owned a water filter find very useful; a digital screen that indicates the remaining filtering capability. Other filter products will just say the approximate duration of a filter (e.g. you need to exchange the filter after 3 months of usage), but obviously, this varies depending on the frequency that one uses the filter. So you might feel unsure if you are changing the filters at an adequate frequency.
This product will take away that uneasiness you have felt by showing you exactly when to change the filter. This means you will be using the product as efficiently as it can get.
The filtering process consists of activated carbon, a hollow fiber membrane(polysulfone), and an ion exchanger.
4- Panasonic TK-AS30-W Alkaline Ion Water Purifier
From here on, the products on this list will not only filter and purify the tap water in order to make it safer, but will also condition the water through electrolysis.
The TK-AS30-W Alkaline Ion Water Purifier is a water purifier product manufactured by Panasonic.
As mentioned above, this product can condition tap water in order to be either alkaline or acidic. This is very useful if you need to use the water for various purposes. With alkaline water, you can prepare delicious Japanese tea and it is also good for cooking. You can also make it neutral to prepare milk for your baby. And you can make it acidic in order to wash your face(it is said that slightly acidic water is good for your skin).
However, of course, it also has the technology to filter and purify tap water. There are 4 filters which are: Non-woven filter, two layers of activated carbon filters, and a Hollow fiber membrane.
5- Doctors Man（ドクターズ・マン）水素水生成器
Lastly, we have the Suisosui Seiseiki (Hydrogen water Generator) produced by the manufacturer Doctors Man.
This is a high-end water purifier that will filter and purify tap water. On top of that, it can prepare hidrógeno water!
Hydrogen water is, as you may imply, water containing higher concentrations of hydrogen.
It is said to be good for treating the excess active oxygen in your body, which is the cause of some diseases as well as skin aging.
In other words, hydrogen water is good for adjusting the immune system in your body as well as having skincare benefits.
You might imagine that since it creates hidrógeno water, this machine is loud. But it is silent even when operating. It also includes a Self-cleaning system that will function with just the press of a button. And the filter is really easy to replace.
Also, it is much more compact in comparison to other hidrógeno water generating machines.
If you want to go on one step ahead of everyone and be able to drink high-quality water, this may be one option.
What alternatives are there for Water Filters?
In the case that you are living in Japan and want to have access to high-quality water, options other than water filters include:
- Buying bottled mineral water
- buying or renting a water dispenser
Buying bottled mineral water is the simplest solution, but this will be expensive in the long run, not to mention that you will have to deal with throwing away all the empty bottles after consumption.
In the case of water dispensers, these might be expensive if bought, but in Japan, there are many services where you can rent the water dispenser for reasonable prices.
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!
I hope this article helped you to gain a basic idea of the different types of water filters as well as the types of products.
Water is one of the most important resources(if not the most important) that we as human beings need to sustain a healthy life.
Even if it is said that tap water in Japan is safe to consume, it is nice to know that you have alternatives to make sure that your the water your drinking is free of harmful contaminants. This, especially, if there’s a baby in your family.