Is Water in Japan Safe? The Everything Guide to Drinking Water in Japan

The Everything Guide to Drinking Water in Japan

Everyone knows water is essential to our health and bodily well-being, but you have no idea how serious that is. If you’re dehydrated, not only will your skin be less lustrous, and hair more brittle, but the detoxification process will become slower, next thing you know, the digestion is delayed. Eventually, tons of waste and matter start to build up and accumulate inside your body, which ends up an unhealthier and heavier version of you. In short, adequate hydration is essential to your daily life.

In pursuit of proper hydration, people tend to turn to bottled water for solutions, which made selling bottled water a multi-billion-dollar business. Meanwhile, a vast majority of people have access to a municipal water supply. This is the tap water we’re talking about, the water which comes straight out from the faucet of your bathroom and kitchen, for many people in this world, this is their primary source of drinking water.

But now the problem comes down to this, is the water you’re drinking safe? Could my tap water one day become contaminated?  Read on to get a clue: Health-wise, which is better, bottled water or tap water? Or, maybe, none of the above.

*Please note that this article contains affiliate links.

Is water hurting your health?

I don’t know about you, but questions about the quality of tap water are one of the reasons which keep me up at night. Doubt like, has the water been contaminated? Just how old the pipes in my building might be? Really creeps me out! And, when you are someone who is on social media most of the time. By this day, you are most likely been socially shamed out when you post a picture of yourself with a shining, plastic bottled water.

But guess what, not just the ethical dilemma you’re facing but there are more to come. For example, have you ever wondered, why your hair felt more variegated after coming to Japan? Your skin is also somehow softer, even without duly massaged with creamy lotion? Skin issues? Simply gone! Aside from fact that you’re basically in a different region on Earth, but I’m telling you, there’s something to do with the water.

Many European countries are home to some extremely hard water, cities like Athens, France, and London are no strangers to it. There’s hard water, with no surprise, there’s soft water. Their difference is determined primarily by the amount of minerals it contains; FYI, hard water is the one with a higher quantity of calcium and magnesium. As a consequence, when water contains high amounts of dissolved minerals, it couldn’t properly dissolve sanitizers like body soap, meaning that there can be some residue left on the skin, leaving you the chance of getting sensitive blemish-prone skin.

Apart from dermatitis to lifeless locks, hard water can also be the cause of many distasteful delicacies. According to Yoshiyuki Tatsumi, professor of the Kobe Ocean-Bottom Exploration Center, soft water is what effectively extracts the “umami”(savory deliciousness) out of ingredients namely onions or carrots, whereas minerals in hard water could seal and block the surface, trapping those tasteful additives within the ingredients.

Tap Water vs. Bottled Water


Lead leaching from pipes into the water supply has always been a serious public health concern. Normally, lead can enter the water supplying system when plumbing materials that contain lead corrode, especially when the system contains some corroded pipes and fixtures caused by high acidity water or its mineral contents. Not to mentioned tap water might also contain industrial waste, bacteria, and agricultural runoff. For the purpose of removing hazardous microorganisms from the water, water treatment facilities have no choice but to add chlorine and other chemicals to sanitize. And chlorine is the reason why sometimes the water inside your house has a swimming pool odor and funny taste.

If you’re traveling to, let’s say, Africa or Cambodia, you know it’s better to stockpile bottled water whenever you see them, but in Japan, opening the tap water and take a sip or simply carry some in a reusable bottle as your daily water supply is a habit. As a matter of fact, according to the data we collected from WHO, tap water in most prefectures of Japan is safe and drinkable. But the problem is, rooftop water towers or those water tanks which people rely on storing water were usually rarely cleaned, and that’s what keeps bugging me.

Believe it or not, a 2015 report about the water quality in storage tanks, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health discovered that the tanks themselves are clearly “breeding ground for bacteria.” That sure poses another potential threat to the drinkability of tap water besides lead exposure hazard. On the other hand, bottled water seems like the solution for all of that. It not only offers a quick and purified drinking option, but they’re also easy to lay your hands on, they were sold in every convenience shop and grocery store. 99.99% of the bottled water must meet the regulations of every country in order for them to be bottled and sold. And they also taste better over tap water, no matter it’s mineral water or purified water you’re drinking right now.

But its downsides are equally very obvious. According to the research done by the scientists of the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, “Bottled water is 3,500 times worse for the environment than tap water.” The measurement method they used is called “life cycle assessment”, which calculates the environmental impact of an item over its entire lifespan. The result is that bottled water could cause 1,400 times more impact on ecosystems and a 3,500 times higher burden to the environment than dull and savorless tap water.

Entering water dispenser

In recent years, people’s awareness regarding the negative impact of plastic products such as bottled water, single-use straws has increased. Getting a reusable water bottle to keep around the house, and transport to work became second nature. Also, it’s funny to see when a simple thing as a reusable water bottle becomes a fashion trend. Fashion industries work hand in hand with water companies to release chic and leading-edge reusable bottles. These stylish bottles make staying hydrated less of a hassle and made the boring task of drinking water a little less so.

While you got the latest and greatest reusable bottle at hand, another issue arose when both tap water and bottled water are no more an option, which water should you drink? Sure, some of you may count on faucet purifiers or Brita for help. But the truth hurts, and the fact is most water filters (Including Brita) couldn’t remove heavy metals (Like lead, which we had mentioned earlier), fluoride (one to blame behind the bad taste), and with no surprise, they can’t eliminate bacteria and fungus, let alone they don’t come for free.

Which is why, we would like to urge you to give some of the best water dispensers a try! Not only can go a long way for a healthier day-to-day life, but to save the planet at the same time!

Craving for a cup of coffee, black tea on a busy and even a little hectic Monday morning, but with no time to waste? We’ve rounded up some of the best water dispensers for all your beverage needs. From the greatest volumes to the most stylish, Japan Web Magazine again has you covered. Moreover, your cuppa joe will never taste the same.

COSMO CreCla Fit

The first water dispenser, COSMO CreCla Fit is not an ordinary water server. This is a bottleless, slick one with a modern design. Which not only could add a bit of luxury touch into your voguish working or living place, but also removed potential hazards, such as big chunk bottles that could fall on children, or cause them to trip. Whether you fancy a cup of freezing, icy water, or looking to enjoy a sip of an instant coffee, COSMO CreCla Fit is always there for you. Yes, an electric kettle can do the trick but who wants to take multiple steps when the water you thirst for is a button away? Exactly.

Frecious Fuji SIPHON+

This is one of the most popular water dispensers of all time. And the secret of its unstoppable acceptance is the compact but jaw-dropping capacity. It can hold as much as 19 liters of water with a single load. Which we strongly recommend to all those who self-proclaimed being a Hydro Flask veteran. With its futuristic and asymmetric design, the Frecious Fuji SIPHON+ brings a new aesthetic to your living room and office while also considering functional aspects.

Premium Water Amadana

Hydrate in style with Amadana by Premium water. This is for every hydration-obsessed fan with an uncompromising taste in fashion. With one Amadana in the house, you’ve built a fountain that only gushing out water from Mt.Fuji. It’s time to tuck your mugs and water bottle everywhere you go- in your handbag, backpack, living room, bathroom- to act as an inescapable visual reminder to taste a sip of freshness. A glossy, gigantic vessel on the desktop, consumed and filled up every morning throughout the workday, can also be a practical personal achievement.

Water Delivery Nearme

In the year 2021, fresh, clean water is more than a luxury, to say nothing of you are already a busy man living in a bustling city like Tokyo. Say goodbye to the grocery shopping for big chunks of heavy water bottles, and skip the cleaning process. With service provided by professionals from Water Delivery Nearme, you can rest assured that your water comes to you clean and sanitized, ready to slake your thirst. They also offer different capacities of water to suit your water needs.

Most of the water dispensers they provide on their website are for free, and with this new piece of technology, forget hanging around waiting for the kettle to boil, making formula milk has never been easier. Like your coffee extremely hot? Consider it done. Because the water supply at your house just got to a whole new level.

When it comes to consistent hydration, there’s just no better means than have people bring clean and pure water to your house. While the water supply is only a click or a phone call away, and you do own a reusable water bottle on fleek. Now, you really have no excuse not to start the day with a big jug of filtered water. And for every young and beautiful people out there, remember this, water can get you in shape- cheesy, but true. Starting as soon as now, try skipping sodas and make way for H2O into your daily life and the go-to beverage.

If you want to order one of these water dispenser in Japan but don’t know how to do it, here you have a guide that explain step by step how to order it!

For more information about the quality of the water in Japan, you have these articles too.

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