Does Japan’s water taste different from your home country? Stay with us as we bring you information regarding this life-saving liquid.
Your water intake is important during your trip. A thirsty tourist will not be able to fully enjoy the sights, and could get sick.
This article will provide basic information about Japan’s water that you should know.
Japan’s Tap Water is Potable
Japan’s tap water is very drinkable. The national water infrastructure is reliable and purification facilities are well-maintained, so the tap water is of good quality and easy on the stomach.
If you’re feeling parched, a glass of tap water can solve your problem for the moment.
Along with places such as Finland and Germany, Japan is one of only fifteen or so countries in the world with clean water.
Tap Water is Sold in Japan
Some readers may be thinking, “Even if the tap water is safe to drink, mineral water just tastes better, so there’s no need to drink from the tap.”
We would like to recommend that these readers give Tokyo water a try. Bottled Tokyo tap water is available for sale. This product was created for Tokyo PR purposes, so it can be purchased for around 100 yen.
In Tokyo itself, the bottled water is currently available at places like the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building store, the Tokyo Omiyage Center inside Tokyo Station, and Ueno Onshi Park (as of 2014). It may be a little strange to pay money for tap water, but it is a fun little souvenir of Tokyo.
Japan’s Water is Soft
Some visitors to Japan, particularly those from Europe, may notice something strange when they drink Japanese tap water for the first time. This is because the water supply in Japan has a different ‘hardness level’ compared to the supply in Western countries. Hardness level is an indication of the amount of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, dissolved in water.
Including tap water and spring water sources, the water in Japan is mostly ‘soft water,’ which has a low hardness level; this is in contrast to the water in European countries. Soft water has a milder flavor than hard water and is easier to drink, but to someone used to hard water, soft water can taste inadequate.
Unfortunately, hard water is difficult to obtain in Japan. If you want hard water during your trip, it would be easiest to purchase a mineral water such as Evian.
At Japanese convenience stores, hard mineral water is comparatively easy to purchase.
These Dishes Owe Their Flavor to Japan’s Delicious Water
Since hard and soft water have different tastes, it is only natural that they are suitable for use in different food. It is said that Japanese food like soba and tofu are particularly delicious because of the mild taste of the water used.
There is also dashi, which is created by simmering kombu (kelp) and other ingredients to make a base for cooking. It is said that soft water is more effective at extracting the flavor components.
The bitterness and astringency of Japanese teas are also easier to draw out with soft water, and the difference in flavors become more pronounced.
Japanese water may be difficult to get used to for some people. However, it is also one important component of Japanese culture. When you visit, think of it as another part of experiencing Japan.
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