Bottled water in Japan

Hello! I’m currently in Kyoto for two weeks and I’ve noticed that bottled water are labeled as 天然水 (natural water) but the English underneath is read as “natural mineral water.” Um, it doesn’t taste like mineral water like it does in USA. What gives? :-).


Mineral water is going to contain different minerals depending on where it comes from, I assume it’s that?


Like, US mineral waters contain high percentages of lead. :stuck_out_tongue:

But in all seriousness, @sagecedar, under the US FDA regulations, mineral water is simply any bottled water which contains more than 250ppm of dissolved solids. They’re not intended to be flavoured at all - I’ve personally never been able to tell the difference between mineral water and tap water - so perhaps you’re thinking of something else? Tonic water, maybe? Sparkling mineral water?

Enjoy Kyoto, though. Send us photos. Drink some of the weirder vending machine drinks. :grinning:


Well, AFAIK the specific minerals in the water will have an influence on the flavour, just very subtly.

WKs spellcheck does not like it when I go British on my spelling with them ou’s


‘Mineral water’ is only the result of some marketing person’s challenge: It’s not pure water, but try to make that sound good, less second-rate. I know! It’s got ‘minerals’. That sounds kind of natural, healthy even.

In the US, that usually carries connotations of having a certain faint earthy-like flavor, but it doesn’t have to.


Or… you could just avoid the single use plastic bottles completely:

“Japan’s first water refill app helps you to access free refill points so that you can refill your bottle on the go, discover new places & eliminate the need for plastic bottles. The app guides you to the nearest water fountain or eco-friendly cafe that offers free refills.”


What a great idea! I’m going back to Kyoto in May 2020, so I’ll be sure to give it a try! :slight_smile:


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