“Water” in Japanese — Saying It in Various Ways and Words

Whether you’re a first-time tourist to Japan or a resident living in Japan, learning how to say “water” in Japanese is essential knowledge.

In this article, we will learn the Japanese word for water and related terms for different situations.

A body of sea water

If you don’t know how to read in Japanese yet, this article has romaji versions of the vocabulary to help you. However, we encourage learning the Japanese alphabet so you can read the words in hiragana and katakana, too.

Let’s get started!

How to Say “Water” in Japanese

You can say “‘water” in Japanese in two common ways.

The first word is みず (mizu), which literally means “water,” while the second word is おみず (omizu), it’s more likely to refer to “drinking water” in Japanese.

  • みず (mizu | 水) — water
  • おみず (omizu | お水) — water, drinking water

Example Sentences

みずをのむ (mizu o nomu | 水を飲む)

I drink water.

はなにみずをやる (hana ni mizu o yaru | 花に水をやる)

I water the flowers.

みずしげんをたいせつに (mizushigen o taisetsu ni | 水資源を大切に)

Please conserve water.

Water in Various Temperatures in Japanese

When Japanese people describe the temperature of the water, they use expressions with adjectives.

Let’s check them out below!

“Hot water” in Japanese

The Japanese word おゆ (oyu | お湯) means “hot water.” You can also use the word ゆ (yu | 湯) or あついおゆ (atsui mizu | 熱いお湯) for hot water.

Example Sentence

おゆがわいたよ (oyu ga waita yo | お湯が沸いたよ)

The water is boiling.

“Cold water” in Japanese

The Japanese word for cold water is れいすい (reisui | 冷水). The other term for “cold water” is つめたいみず (tsumetai mizu | 冷たい水).

Example Sentence

サウナのあとのれいすいよくがすきです (sauna no ato no reisuiyoku ga suki desu | サウナの後の冷水浴が好きです)

I like taking a cold bath after sauna.

“Water at room temperature” in Japanese

In Japan, specifically when you’re looking for water at room temperature, you can use the Japanese word じょうおんのみず (jouon no mizu | 常温の水) or simply say じょうおんすい (jouonsui | 常温水).

These phrases are handy when you prefer your water not too hot or cold, just at that comfortable room temperature.

Whether dining out at a Japanese restaurant or staying with locals in Japan, knowing these expressions ensures you get the kind of water you desire.

Example Sentence

じょうおんのみずを飲みます (jouon no mizu o nomimasu | 常温の水を飲みます)

I will drink room-temperature water.

“Lukewarm water” in Japanese

If you’re craving lukewarm water, you can use two different Japanese terms: ぬるいみず (nurui mizu | 温い水) and ぬるまゆ (nurumayu | ぬるま湯).

These expressions can be used when you prefer your water to be slightly warm, making it especially comforting during colder seasons or when you’re feeling a bit under the weather.

Example Sentence

ぬるいみずを使いました (nurui mizu o tsukaimashita | 温い水を使用しました)

I used lukewarm water.

“Warm water” in Japanese

When enjoying a soothing glass of warm water in Japanese, you have a couple of ways to express your preference. You can say あたたかいみず (atatakai mizu | 温かい水) or simply use おんすい (onsui | 温水).

These phrases are handy on chilly days or when you prefer your water at a cozy temperature.

Example Sentence

あたたかいみずがほしい (atatakai mizu ga hoshii | 温かい水が欲しい)

I want warm water.

“Boiling water” in Japanese

When preparing a steaming cup of tea or cooking some noodles, knowing how to ask for “boiling water” in Japanese is essential. You can say the Japanese word ふっとうしたおゆ (futtou shita oyu | 沸騰したお湯) or use ねっとう (nettou | 熱湯).

You can use these phrases when you’re at a Japanese restaurant requesting hot water for your green tea or in your kitchen, needing that ideally boiling water for your culinary adventures.

Example Sentence:

ねっとうでやけどをしました (nettou de yakedo o shimashita | 熱湯で火傷をしました)

I got burned by boiling water.

Water Phases in Japanese

Water is one of the most vital substances on Earth, and it exists in phases or states. Understanding each water phase is fundamental to various aspects of science and daily life in Japan.

Here are some of them below:

  • すいじょうき (suijouki | 水蒸気) — water vapor
  • こおり (koori | 氷 ) — ice
  • すいぶん (suibun | 水分) — moisture
  • ゆげ (yuge | 湯気) — steam

Example Sentences

こおりみずをのむ (koorimizu o nomu | 氷水を飲む)

I drink iced water.

たおるはすいぶんをきゅうしゅうする (taoru wa suibun o kyushu suru | タオルは水分を吸収する)

Towels absorb water.

ゆげでめがねがくもった (yuge de megane ga kumotta | 湯気で眼鏡が曇った)

My glasses fogged up from the steam.

Drinking Water in Japan

In general, the tap water in Japan is drinkable and safe. Furthermore, many restaurants in Japan serve tap water for free of charge.

It’s common to be served a complimentary drink if you’re a customer. What they give you depends on the season; ice-cold water or tea in summer and hot tea in winter.

Japanese Words for Drinking Water

Here are some of the terms for drinking water in Japan:

  • いんりょうすい (inryousui | 飲料水) — drinking water
  • すいどうすい (suidousui | 水道水) — tap water
  • じょうすい (jousui | 浄水) — purified water
  • てんねんすい (tennensui | 天然水) — natural water
  • ミネラルウォーター (mineraruuxota) — mineral water
  • たんさんすい (tansansui | 炭酸水) — carbonated water

Example Sentence

おみずをください (omizu wo kudasai | お水を下さい)

I would like to have some water. / I would like to have a refill of water.

たんさんすいはありますか? (tansansui wa arimasu ka? | 炭酸水はありますか?)

Do you have carbonated water?

これはいんりょうすいではありません (Kore wa inryousui de wa arimasen | これは飲料水ではありません)

This is not drinking water.

Note: You might hear someone use Japanese words like おひや (o hiya | お冷 ) or cold water and あがり (agari) for hot tea at restaurants, but these are professional terms used in the industry.

Japanese Kanji for Water

The かんじ (kanji | 漢字 |Chinese character) for water is 水, and it has two basic readings, みず (mizu) and すい (sui).

Regular Readings of

Here are the regular Kanji readings related to water:

  • 飛沫 (mizu shibuki | みずしぶき) — splash
  • 色 (mizuiro | みずいろ) — light blue color
  • 曜日 (suiyoubi | すいようび ) — Wednesday
  • (yuusui | ゆうすい) — spring water, spring

Irregular Readings of

Here are the irregular Kanji readings related to water:

  • 母 (kurage | くらげ) — jellyfish
  • 無月 (minazuki | みなづき) — June
  • 面 (minamo, suimen | みなも、すいめん) — water surface
  • (chouzu | ちょうず) — the holy fountain at a shrine

Radical Readings

Here are the radical readings related to water:

  • 水 (みず | mizu)
  • 氵(さんずい | sanzui)
  • 冫(にすい | nisui)
  • 氺 (したみず | shita mizu)
  • 巛 (かわ | river)

Japanese Radical Words Related to Water

Here are some other translations of the radical words related to water:

  • 海 → うみ (umi | 海) — sea, ocean → かいすい (kaisui | 海水) — sea water
  • 波 → なみ (nami | 波) — wave → なみおと (namioto | 波音) — sound of the waves
  • 川/河 → かわ (kawa | 川/河) — river → かわあそび (kawaasobi | 川遊び) — play in the river, ひょうが (hyouga | 氷河) — glacier
  • 湖 → みずうみ (mizuumi | 湖) — lake → こはん (kohan | 湖畔) — lakeside
  • 緑 → みどり (midori | 緑) — green → りょくちゃ (ryokucha | 緑茶) — green tea
  • 凍 → こおる (kooru | 凍る) — freeze → かいとう (kaitou | 解凍) — defrost
  • 冷 → つめたい (tsumetai | 冷たい) — cold → れいぞうこ (reizouko | 冷蔵庫) — fridge
  • 暴 → あばれる (abareru | 暴れる) — rampage → ぼうふうう (boufuuu | 暴風雨) — storm

Japanese Verbs Related to Water

To understand the language better, let’s learn Japanese water-related verbs. These verbs allow us to express actions and situations involving water, from pouring and drinking to washing and boiling.

  • あらう (arau | 洗う) — to wash
  • すすぐ (susugu | 濯ぐ) — to rinse
  • そそぐ (sosogu | 注ぐ ) — to pour
  • ながす (nagasu | 流す) — to flush, to drain
  • あびる (abiru | 浴びる) — to shower, to bathe
  • あふれる (afureru | 溢れる) — to overflow
  • こぼれる (koboreru | 零れる) — to spill
  • うく (uku | 浮く) — to float
  • しずむ (shizumu | 沈む) — to sink
  • およぐ (oyogu | 泳ぐ) — to swim
  • おぼれる (oboreru | 溺れる) — to be drowned
  • ぬれる (nureru | 濡れる) — to get wet

Japanese Word Related to Disasters

Due to Japan’s geographical location and severe climate changes, words related to natural disasters appear more often on the news.

Here are some of the vocabulary related to disasters in Japan:

  • ごうう (gouu | 豪雨) — heavy rain, downpour
  • こうずい (kouzui | 洪水) — flood
  • つなみ (tsunami | 津波) — tsunami, tidal wave
  • みずぶそく (mizubusoku | 水不足 ) — water shortage
  • かんばつ (kanbatsu | 干ばつ) — drought

Example Sentences

ちきゅうおんだんかのえいきょうでこうずいなどのすいがいがふえている (chikyuu ondanka no eikyou de kouzui nado no suigai ga fueteiru | 地球温暖化の影響で洪水などの水害が増えている)

Floods and other water disasters are increasing due to global warming.

じしんのあとはつなみにけいかいがひつようです (jishin no ato wa, tsunami ni keikai ga hitsuyou desu | 地震の後は津波に警戒が必要です)

After an earthquake, we need to pay attention to tsunamis.

Final Say

We can’t live without water, so knowing how to say water in Japanese helps you.

Also, Japan offers many places to enjoy beautiful scenery with water, such as oceans, lakes, and waterfalls.

Let’s discover Japan with the vocabulary we learned in this lesson!

がんばってください (ganbatte kudasai)! ^^

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