I know, I know, bottled water is terribly unethical these days. Pinching a natural, life-sustaining resource and flying it to rich people in faraway lands is a bit naughty, all that packaging is trashing our planet, and our taps dispense safe water for less than ¥1 per liter — or a little more than 7,200 times cheaper than Fillico, the spring water from Kobe that comes in Swarovski crystal-studded bottles (¥5,250 for 720 ml).
Though Fillico is at the this-marketing- lark-is-such-a-breeze- these-chumps-will- buy-anything end of the spectrum, there are over 500 other brands of bottled water in Japan, and last year alone we gave them ¥190 billion for a liquid that they told us was pure and natural and clean and glacial and crammed with minerals we've never heard of but need.
Mineral water has been on sale in Japan since at least 1880, when an ad in the Tokyo Illustrated Newspaper offered a bottle of Yamashiro Soda Water for one fifth of a yen. Yamashiro didn't exactly take Japan by storm, and for the next 90 years the country showed little interest in paying for portions of H2O.