#1410

Water, Water, and many drops to drink

Omizu (mizu if you're not using the honorific "O") is the Japanese word for water. If you're visiting Japan you can be assured that the water from taps is safe to drink wherever you're visiting. However, if you really insist on paying 100 to 200 yen for a bottle of water you'll find plenty of brands in any convenience store, supermarkets, or vending machines. You can buy plain water, flavored water, energized water, and of course, sparkling water.

Per capita consumption of bottled water in Japan is still relatively low, at about 20 liters per year per person, as compared to many other countries. For example, it's about 1/5th of the US consumption.

In the onsen (hot springs bath) the water is usually rated for the amount of various minerals in it and the ills and aches those minerals in the onsen's water is supposed to alleviate. Anything from curing your dry skin problem to making your arthritis feel better. Of course, the fact that you're soaking in 40C (about 104F) temperature water may have something to do with that healing effect too.

Water is also used for purifying. When visiting a temple or shrine stop by the area that has water flowing and a few dippers. Use the water to wash your hands, then put a handful in your mouth and rinse and spit it out; this purifies you for your visit to the temple / shrine.

Water is generally pretty abundant in Japan, but I do remember driving along a road in Saitama Prefecture this summer where the flashing roadside sign alerted one and all to the fact that this area was suffering from a "mizu-pinchi" (water pinch, or water shortage).

Joe Peters image

Joe Peters

United States

Joe Peters's other advice

Sites and Sounds of Japan - the Used Goods Truck images

Sites and Sounds of Japan - the Used Goods Truck

Oct. 13, 2014http://youtu.be/jJvXx1eqI7QAs you wander around Tokyo you may see some little trucks driving very slowly along the street with a very loud announcement, and perhaps a bit of musi…

Leave the tourists behind in Asagaya images

Leave the tourists behind in Asagaya

Most tourists to Tokyo hit the high spots of Asakusa, Ginza, Tokyo Tower, and see the Imperial Palace grounds.If you want to leave the tourist spots behind and get a taste of the real Tokyo thoug…

Chubby Guys With Blank Eyes images

Chubby Guys With Blank Eyes

At the shrines, and in many shops, you’ll see these roly-poly dolls with blank eyes (if they are for sale) or one eye painted black (if they are on display and owned by the shop).These rotund dol…

Who'll Stop the Rain images

Who'll Stop the Rain

If you come to Japan during the rainy season (June / July) you'll likely see these little dolls hanging in the windows of homes, especially those homes where children are living.No, these are lit…

Real Coffee images

Real Coffee

There are plenty of places to get a cup of coffee in Japan. Every convenience store, a Starbucks or Tullys on every corner it seems, and numerous tea and coffee shops and restaurants.But, when yo…

Australian Curry Amidst the Green images

Australian Curry Amidst the Green

Many visitors to Japan just stay in the cities with a few day trips to places like Kamakura (great place to visit), or Hakone, or a shopping tour to one of the many outlet malls (Gotanda is a poplula…

You might also like

Explore a back street of Shibuya, and you’ll find secret restaurants. images

Explore a back street of Shibuya, and you’ll find secret restaurants.

If you want to visit Shibuya and find a secret place where few tourists are seen and only locals are around, I'd like to recommend the Hyakkendana area in Shibuya’s Dogenzaka town. Hyakkendana means …

Hagi image

Hagi

Komeda Coffee: the First Trend to Start in Nagoya images

Komeda Coffee: the First Trend to Start in Nagoya

Komeda Coffee is a chain cafe that originated in Nagoya, and has since spread across the country. I often joke with my friends that Nagoya is the last place to be informed of the latest fads, but thi…

Misa image

Misa

“Renoir” Ginza, The Most Luxurious Coffee Shop in Japan images

“Renoir” Ginza, The Most Luxurious Coffee Shop in Japan

I remember walking into my first “Ginza Renoir” coffee shop (Kissaten in Japanese) in 1988 and wondering what the heck was going on!First of all, I must admit I am a huge fan of “oshare” which is u…

 image

SinKaya: Shibuya's Heavenly Secret images

SinKaya: Shibuya's Heavenly Secret

Shibuya's Dogenzaka has a reputation for its seedier side, albeit safe for those adventurous enough to wander its streets. One of its oldest areas, called Hyakkendana ("100 Shops"), is usually shunne…

Former Deep Japan Writer image

Former Deep Japan Writer

Absinthe in Japan: Bar Tram & Bar Trench in Ebisu, Tokyo images

Absinthe in Japan: Bar Tram & Bar Trench in Ebisu, Tokyo

Ebisu in Tokyo is home to two of the best absinthe bars in Japan."Bar Tram has been open since 2003; Bar Trench, 2009. They are both run by Takuya Itoh and Rogerio Igarashi Vaz, two highly devote…

Former Deep Japan Writer image

Former Deep Japan Writer

I opened a craft beer bar in Tokyo images

I opened a craft beer bar in Tokyo

I recently opened a new craft beer bar in Tokyo and I thought an article re the process of this would be interesting. After the forced closing of my previous beer bar in Aoyama (the building was …

Adstev73 image

Adstev73