Dear visitor, if you know the answer to this question, please post it. Thank you!

Note that this thread has not been updated in a long time, and its content might not be up-to-date anymore.

Request for water 2007/11/23 02:42
As tourists, if we dine at a restaurant/eatery shop in Japan, can we request for the waiter to top up our water bottle with plain water?

Will the waiter generally oblige with our above request? And if so, will the restaurant/eatery shop usually top up our bottle with water at free of charge or do they usually do so at a certain charge?
by cr  

... 2007/11/23 09:02
As tourists, if we dine at a restaurant/eatery shop in Japan, can we request for the waiter to top up our water bottle with plain water?

It is not commonly done in Japan. I don't recommend to do it.
by Uji rate this post as useful

water? 2007/11/23 09:11
Hi In my 4 trips to Japan I have never seen anyone ask that at any place I have stayed or eaten at.
The drink stands are so common there and it's about
120 to 150 yen for large water bottle to buy.
In fact never seen any place "there" water bottle on a table there.
I agree with Uji san it's just not done in my experience.
by Kiwi rate this post as useful

... 2007/11/23 10:17
I don't think it's polite nor common to ask for water "to go". However, every restaurant and cafe serves you free water in a glass to drink at your table, and you are free to ask for more as soon as you empty it. Some people sneak the glass water into your own bottle ;)
by Uco rate this post as useful

Cheap? 2007/11/23 11:22

Most stations and parks have a drinking fountain from which can top up your water bottle for free.
Or, if you think 100-150 yen is too much for a 500 ml bottle of mineral water, 100 yen shops and supermarkets often sell 2-litre bottles for 100 yen.
by Dave in Saitama rate this post as useful

.... 2007/11/23 16:02
I think they would refrain to oblige for sanitary reasons.
by cc rate this post as useful

water 2007/11/25 11:45

this ia a rather unusual request!
out of curiosity, where are you coming from?
I live in North America and have never seen/heard anyone asking restaurant staff to refill their water bottle? no reason why this should be done in Japan either! convenience stores are easy to find and they all sell cheap bottle water.
by Sensei 2 rate this post as useful

reasons 2007/11/25 16:31
Guide books like Lonely Planet recommend asking restaurant staff to fill your bottles for you in undeveloped countries where tap water is not safe to drink, as it reduces plastic waste which is not usually recycled at all in poorer countries.

I have done this myself in Nepal and India, however Japan is a different story. a: the tap water is perfectly safe although in the cities especially it tastes a bit of the chemicals it has been treated with, and b: there is a fairly good recycling system here for plastic bottles.

Japanese restaurant staff would be unused to such a request so would probably be inclined to say no.
by Sira rate this post as useful

Very Uncommon 2007/11/26 09:05
Even here in hot dry Australia, you wouldn't ask a restaurant to fill up your water bottle. You would use a public fountain or tap - or just buy another bottle.

It would be considered quite rude to even ask, really.

I would think this would be the same in many countries.
by Natalie rate this post as useful

. 2007/11/28 20:21
It is rude in Australia to ask someone to refill the water bottle for sure.

When I was working part-time in hospitality before, customers do request such service and we obliged. However it is certainly not the norm.

In Japan, the toilet's sometimes have a water fountain that could be used to fill up the water bottle?
by Blanc rate this post as useful

. 2007/11/29 08:24
Yes, of course public restrooms and public drink stands are widely available, so there's no need to put a waiter in an awkward position. Or do you expect to get Evian or Volvic from him? :)

As far as I know the free water that you get in some eateries is also just tap water. So far I've survived it all. ^^
The japanese quality standards for tap water may not be the highest in the world, but they are pretty high, so it is generally safe to drink.
by Haf rate this post as useful

Water in Tokyo 2007/11/29 10:06
I want to let you know that water in Tokyo is known to be extreamly high in quality and the taste of the water has improved a lot. In fact the Tokyo Metropolitan Government is selling their purified water in plastic bottles in shops, naming the water 'Tokyo- Sui'(東京水) or Tokyo water. I hope you can find one. Anyway, you can get clean water from the taps in public areas.
by mamiko rate this post as useful

Restaurant 2007/12/1 06:44
I was asked to refill a water bottle once when I was working in a Japanese restaurant in Vancouver. I was confused at first why they would request that considering how safe water is here, and how even bottled water is extremely cheap.

I didn't think it was rude, but definitely odd. I suggest that since there are many vending machines in Japan, to buy water from there.
by Oceans rate this post as useful

. 2007/12/3 23:15
You know what. If I buy from a vending machine, my first choice will be the green teas. Similar price to bottled water.

I was so adapted to the green tea bottles, I was completely hooked on them.

These days however if I buy imported bottles in Australia I think it is too green or raw a taste for me, despite drinking exactly the same brand.

Shows that one might actually change their normal behaviour or diet whilst living in Japan. I even lost weight when I was living in Jpn and craved for ramen or soba all the time (in fact I'm not a big fan of ramen. I can't stand soup noodles its so not a Westernised food.) I enjoy rice though.
by Blanc rate this post as useful

reply to this thread