Is it Safe to consume or drink Tap Water in Japan?

Japan is a clean and tidy country. It has fresh air, spotless streets, clean washrooms, clean and tidy convenience stores and more.

When travels to Japan, there are two things you don’t have to bring or worry:
[1] Toilet papers (because these are provided in public washrooms)
[2] Drinking water (because many beverages’ vending machines are available in Japan, in addition tap water is available in public areas and can be drink directly from the tap without charge)

The Japanese love to drink ice water (P/S: When Japanese women having menses, they usually drink ice water instead of hot water). Thus, having a cup of hot water is not easy in Japan.

Is it Safe to consume or drink Tap Water?

According to Japan Water Association, Japan is known as one of only 15 (out of 196) countries with portable tap water. The other 14 countries includes Australia, Austria, Croatia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Mozambique, New Zealand, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Arab Emirates.

Japan’s tap water undergoes stringent quality control tests that meet 51 criteria (unlike mineral water only meet 18 criteria) to be considered safe to drink. Tests include strict control of residual chlorine quantity and removal of radioactive substances during the purification process.

Although tap water itself is safe to drink, the health risk posed by supply pipes is somewhat a cause for concern. In fact, the use of brass or stainless steel pipe’s water is safe to drink.  

Furthermore, Japan’s waterworks is highly regarded, i.e. its pipes have few leaks, its water purification technology is high tech, and its equipment is well maintained. The government and some local authorities in Japan have, for many years, been offering technical cooperation to countries with poorly developed waterworks.

Ways of identify Tap Water can or cannot be directly drink from the Tap

The park’s water-tap in Japan has 2 categories: the above tap is for human to drink and below tap is for animal to drink or washing hands and so on. [Please see the photo below]
2 categories of Water-Tap.jpg 24.91 KB
Water that can be directly drink from the tap usually has label. [Please see the photo below]
Label Tap Water.jpg 16.21 KB
The water-tap without label is not drinkable. These faucets are connected to the sewage after the reuse of water (for washing hands, flushing water, etc.)  

Some Japanese have negative view about Tap water 

Some Japanese still think that tap water is having bad odor and is unsafe to drink. In order to demonstrate the good taste of its tap water, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bureau of Waterworks distributes “Tokyo Water” in PET bottles at events. In addition, other local governments are selling and giving out PET bottles of their tap water to advertise its good taste and quality.

The photo below shows one of the tap water bottles "Tokyo Water", about 100 Yen.

Tokyo Water.jpg 40.39 KB
To conclude, tap water in Japan is safe to consume and drink.

P/S: There is a Chinese version of this article:

Please leave comments if you guys have any inquiry. Thank you (:

Will see you next time! ByeBye^^   

Phin 萍