Procedures for starting water service in Japan

Procedures for starting water service in Japan

This article provides specific information about how to start a water contract in Japan. In this article, you will find the procedures to subscribe to a water service, general tips upon subscription, and cautions to look out for.

Procedures for starting water service in Japan

To apply for a water service, you need contact the water bureau or municipality specific to your region.

The application process varies depending on the water bureau, but in general, you can apply by phone, fax, mail, internet, or at the office. For more details, check the website of your region’s water bureau or municipality.

If you are moving within the same water bureau area of where you live now, it is possible to stop the water service and apply for a new water service contract (start using) at the same time.

How to make a water contract in Japan
Solely applying for a new water service
  1. Apply for a water service with the water bureau in charge of your new address.
  2. Confirm if water comes out by turning the faucet at the new resident that you have moved in.
  3. If water does not come out, make sure the faucets are turned off and open the main water valve.
  4. If you still don't get water, call the local water bureau as soon as you notice it.
  5. ※If you have not yet applied for a water contract, contact the local water bureau as soon as possible.
Stoping your current water service and starting a new service
  1. Apply to the local water bureau to cancel the water supply at your current address and apply for a water supply contract at your new address about one week prior to your move out date.
  2. Make sure that all the faucets are turned off when you move out.
  3. Pay the water bill for the month you move out with the current payment method.
  4. After moving out, turn on the faucet in your new residence to check if the water turns on.
  5. If water does not come out, make sure the faucets are turned off and open the main water valve.
  6. If you still don't get water, call the local water bureau as soon as you notice it.
  7. ※If you have not yet applied for a new water contract, contact the local water bureau as soon as possible.

As a general rule, you are supposed to cancel your water service contract prior to moving out. If you wish to cancel your current contract and apply for a new contract at the same time, make sure to follow the deadline set by the water bureau well in advance.

In addition, if you start using the water supply after moving in without signing up for a new contract, the local water bureau may cut off your water supply.

It is recommended to complete signing up for a water contract at least one week prior to your moving date.

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Do I need to be present when the bureau starts or cancels my water supply?

In general, it is not necessary for the contractor to be present on-site. However, in the following exceptions, you will need to contact the water bureau to fix a date and time to be present.

(1) You pay the bill for the month you move out on-site

(2) When the person in charge of opening and closing the water supply cannot enter the premises and cannot work from the outside.

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Information required to apply for a water service

The following information is commonly required by each water bureau when you apply for a water service. It is recommended for you to confirm with your water bureau about the necessary information to make the application process run smoothly.

  1. Customer number (water supply number / faucet number) - *not required in many cases*
  2. Contractor’s name
  3. Contact information (address, phone, e-mail address)
  4. Where you will start using a water service (new address)
  5. Start date of water service (moving-in date)
  6. Payment method

If you are moving in the area of the same waterworks bureau, the following information is required in order to cancel your current water service and sign a new contract at the same time.

  1. Customer number (water supply number / faucet number) - *not required in many cases*
  2. Contractor’s name
  3. Contact information (address, phone, e-mail address)
  4. The new address of where you will start using the water service
  5. Date to stop a water service at old address
  6. Date to start a water service at new address
  7. Payment method

What are 'customer number' and 'water number/water tap number'?

When you apply for or cancel a water contract, a customer number and water tap number are required. Each of "customer number" and "water number/water tap number" has the following roles.

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Differences between "customer number" and "water number/water tap number
Customer Number A unique number that each water user (contractor) is given.
Water service number/water faucet number A number that identifies the building where the water service is installed, the meter number, etc.

You can find the customer number (water number or faucet number) found in the "Notice of Water Consumption (meter reading slip)" or "Delivery Notice (invoice)".

Tokyo waterworks bureau Notice of Water Consumption (meter reading slip))
※Source:Tokyo waterworks bureau」

How do I know my water number or faucet number?

The number is indicated on the plate or sticker, which are generally called "water markers" or "water signs". They are usually placed above your front door, mailbox, lid of water meter box, gate post, etc.

In most cases, the customer number and the water number / faucet number is required when you make a contact. However, in some cases, such as Kawasaki city water bureau, you will only be asked for your water and faucet number.

Also, in some areas, such as Sagamihara City and Kanagawa Prefectural Water bureau, the "water number and faucet number" may be referred to by other names such as "user number".

Where should I apply for a water service?

You can apply for a water service at the water bureau or municipality of the area you live. 

Normally, each municipality operates their own water supply business in Japan. Some large cities, such as the Bureau of waterworks Tokyo Metropolitan Government or the water bureau of ordinance-designated cities, have customer centers and call centers apart from the waterworks office, where they accept new contract or cancellation requests.

Thus, in such big cities, it is recommended to apply by phone to the customer centers or call centers or online via their websites.

However, in rural areas and other municipalities, many water bureaus do not support online application, so in such cases, you may need to apply by phone or otherwise physically go to the municipalities office.

Water Contract Procedures and Points to Note
How Note
Telephone
  • Reception hours vary depending on the waterworks bureau
  • Available often only on weekdays and reception hours are limited
  • Lines are sometimes too busy and cannot connect
FAX
  • You have to send well in advance.
  • It is required to download an application from online or obtain it at the waterworks office
By post
  • It takes time to complete your application
  • It is required to download an application from online or obtain it at the waterworks office
Online
  • Last minute applications are not accepted in many cases
  • You may need to register initially through the bureau's online service
Office counter
  • Available often only on weekdays and reception hours are limited
  • You need to be there during open hours

When should I sign the contract?

How many days prior to the start of the water service (moving date) should I apply for a water service? It varies depending on the water bureau.

For example, some water bureaus, such as the Tokyo Metropolitan Waterworks Bureau and the Kawasaki City Waterworks Bureau, allows customers to fill an online application up to 1 month prior and after the date of starting using a water service, while other water bureaus, such as the Sendai City Waterworks Bureau, specifies that it must be made at least five business days before the start of use.

Other water bureaus, such as the Yokohama City Waterworks Bureau and the Sapporo City Waterworks Bureau do not specify the date. However, they mention that it is required for the waterworks bureau tp open the tap at least one day before the first day of use. This means that you may suffer the risk of not being able to use your water source if you do not complete the application of water service before you move in.

Also, in the event that the water is already turned on without your signed contract and you continue to use the water without applying for a water service, the service may be stopped by the waterwork bureau. In order to avoid such a case, it is recommended that you complete the procedures for the water supply contract at least one week prior to the start of water service (moving date).

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List of waterworks bureaus and contact information for government-designated cities

The following table lists the contact information for water bureaus that handle water contract procedures in Tokyo and 20 other cities designated by government ordinance.

List of waterworks bureaus and contact information for government-designated cities

Hokkaido・Tohoku

City Water supply bureau Opening Hours
Sapporo City Sapporo City Waterworks Bureau
TEL:011-211-7770
8:00-21:00(Open all-year-round)
Sendai city Sendai city Waterworks Bureau
TEL:022-748-1111
Mon - Fri:8:30-19:00
Sat:8:30-17:00
(Closed for the national holidays, year-end holiday, and New Year's holiday)

Kanto・Chubu・Hokuriku

City Water supply bureau Opening Hours
Saitama city Saitama city Waterworks Bureau
TEL:048-665-3220H
8:00-21:00(Open all-year-round)
Chiba city Chiba prefecture Waterworks Bureau
Fixed telephone:0570-001-245
PHS・IP telephone:043-310-0321
Mon - Fri:8:45-18:00
Sat:8:45-17:00
(Closed on Sundays, national holidays, the year-end holiday, and New Year's holiday)
Tokyo city
(23 wards)
Tokyo city Waterworks Bureau(23 wards)
TEL:03-5326-1100
Mon - Fri:8:30-20:00
Tokyo city
(Tama)
Tokyo city Waterworks Bureau(Tama)
Fixed telephone:0570-091-100
携帯電話:042-548-5100/0570-091-100
Mon - Fri:8:30-20:00
Yokohama city

Yokohama city Waterworks Bureau
TEL:045-847-6262

Available 24(Open all-year-round)
Kawasaki city Kawasaki city Waterworks Bureau
TEL:044-200-3548
8:30-20:00(Open all-year-round)
Sagamihara city Kanagawa prefecture Waterworks Bureau
Midori-ku(certain parts)、All parts of Chuo-ku・Minami-ku
TEL:0570-005-959/045-522-8820
Weekdays・Sat:8:30-19:00
Sagamihara city
(Midori-ku)
Tsukui Waterworks Office
Midori-ku(Aone、Some parts of Nagura・Makino)
TEL:042-780-8210
Weekdays:8:30-17:00
(Closed on Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays, year-end holiday, and New Year's holiday)
Niigata city Niigata city Waterworks Bureau
TEL:0120-411-002/025-266-9311
8:00-21:00(Open all-year-round)
Sizuoka city Sizuoka cityWaterworks Bureau
TEL:054-251-1132
Weekdays:8:30-19:00
(Closed on Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays, year-end holiday, and New Year's holiday)
Hamamatsu city Hamamatsu city Waterworks Bureau
TEL:0120-09-1132/053-476-8100
Mon - Fri:8:00-19:00
Nagoya city

Nagoya city Waterworks Bureau
TEL:052-884-5959

Mon - Fri:8:00-19:00
Saturdays, Sundays, National holidays and New Year's holiday:8:00-17:15
City Water supply bureau Opening Hours
Kyoto city Kyoto city Waterworks Bureau
TEL:075-672-7770
8:30-21:00(Open all-year-round)
Osaka city Osaka city Waterworks Bureau
TEL:06-6458-1132
Mon - Fri:8:00-20:00
Sat・Dec 29th and 30th:9:00-17:00
Sakai city Sakai city Waterworks Bureau
TEL:0570-02-1132/072-251-1132
Mon - Fri:8:45-19:00
Saturday, sunday and holidays:9:00-17:00
Kobe city Kobe city Waterworks Bureau
TEL:078-797-5555
Mon - Fri:9h-17h15
(Closed on Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays, year-end and New Year's holidays)
Okayama city Okayama city Waterworks Bureau
TEL:086-234-5959
Mon - Fri:8:30-19:00
(Closed on Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays, year-end and New Year's holidays)
Hiroshima city Hiroshima city Waterworks Bureau
TEL:082-511-5959
Mon - Fri:8:30-19:00
(Closed on Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays, year-end and New Year's holidays)
Kitakyushu city Kitakyushu city Waterworks Bureau
TEL:093-582-3031
Mon - Sat:8:30-19:00
(Closed on Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays, year-end and New Year's holidays)
Fukuoka city Fukuoka city Waterworks Bureau
TEL:092-532-1010
Mon - Fri:8:45-17:30
Sat・Sun:9:00-17:00
(Closed on Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays, year-end and New Year's holidays)
Kumamoto city Kumamoto Waterworks Bureau
TEL:096-381-1118
Mon - Fri:8:30-17:15
(Closed on Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays, year-end and New Year's holidays)

List of waterworks bureaus and contact information for government-designated cities

Hokkaido・Tohoku

City Water supply bureau
Sapporo City Sapporo City Waterworks Bureau
(011-211-7770)
8:00-21:00(Open all-year-round)
Sendai City Sendai city Waterworks Bureau
(022-748-1111)
Mon - Fri:8:30-19:00
Sat:8:30-17:00
(Closed for national holidays, year-end and New Year's holidays)

Kanto・Chubu

City Water supply bureau
Saitama city Saitama city Waterworks Bureau
(048-665-3220)
8:00-21:00(Open all-year-round)
Chiba city Chiba prefecture Waterworks Bureau
Fixed telephone(0570-001-245)
PHS・IP telephone(043-310-0321)

Mon - Fri:8:45-18:00
Sat:8:45-17:00
(Closed on national holidays, year-end and New Year's holidays)
Tokyo city
(23 wards)
Tokyo city Waterworks Bureau
(23 wards)

(03-5326-1100)
Mon - Fri:8:30-20:00
Tokyo city
(Tama)
Tokyo city Waterworks Bureau
(Tama)

Fixed telephone(0570-091-100)
Mobile and others(042-548-5100/0570-091-100)

Mon - Fri:8:30-20:00
Yokohama city Yokohama city Waterworks Bureau
(045-847-6262)
Available 24(Open all-year-round)
Kawasaki city Kawasaki city Waterworks Bureau
(044-200-3548)
8:30-20:00(Open all-year-round)
Sagamihara city Kanagawa prefecture Waterworks Bureau
Midori-ku(certain parts)、All parts of Chuo-ku・Minami-ku
(0570-005-959/045-522-8820)
Mon-Sat:8:30-19:00
Sagamihara city
(Midori-ku)
Tsukui Waterworks Office
Midori-ku(Aone、Some parts of Nagura・Makino)
(042-780-8210)
Weekdays:8:30-17:00
(Closed on Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays, year-end and New Year's holidays)
Niigata city Niigata city Waterworks Bureau
(0120-411-002/025-266-9311)
8:00-21:00(Open all-year-round)
Sizuoka city Sizuoka city Waterworks Bureau
(054-251-1132)
Weekdays:8:30-19:00
(Closed on Saturdays, Sundays, the national holidays, year-end and New Year's holidays)
Hamamatsu city Hamamatsu city Waterworks Bureau
(0120-09-1132/053-476-8100)
Mon - Fri:8:00-19:00
Nagoya city

Nagoya city Waterworks Bureau
(052-884-5959)
Mon - Fri:8:00-19:00
Saturdays, Sundays, National holidays and New Year's holidays:8:00-17:15

Kansai・Chugoku・Kyushu

City Water supply bureau
Kyoto City Kyoto city
Waterworks Bureau

(075-672-7770)
8:30-21:00(Open all-year-round)
Osaka city Osaka city Waterworks Bureau
(06-6458-1132)
Mon - Fri:8:00-20:00
Sat・Dec 29th and 30th:9:00-17:00
Sakai city Sakai city Waterworks Bureau
(0570-02-1132/072-251-1132)
Mon - Fri:8:45-19:00
Sut・Sun・National holidays:9:00-17:00
Kobe city Kobe city Waterworks Bureau
(078-797-5555)
Mon - Fri:9:00-17:15
(Closed on Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays, year-end and New Year's holidays)
Okayama city Okayama city Waterworks Bureau
(086-234-5959)
Mon - Fri:8:30-19:00
(Closed on Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays, year-end and New Year's holidays)
Hiroshima city Hiroshima city Waterworks Bureau
(082-511-5959)
Mon - Fri:8:30-19:00
(Closed on Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays, year-end and New Year's holidays)
Kitakyushu city Kitakyushu city Waterworks Bureau

(093-582-3031)
Mon-Sat:8:30-19:00
(Closed on Sundays, national holidays, year-end and New Year's holidays)
Fukuoka city Fukuoka city Waterworks Bureau
(092-532-1010)
Mon - Fri:8:45-17:30
Sat・Sun:9h-17h
(Closed on Sundays, national holidays, year-end and New Year's holidays)
Kumamoto city Kumamoto city Waterworks Bureau
(096-381-1118)
Mon - Fri:8:45-17:15
(Closed on Sundays, national holidays, year-end and New Year's holidays)

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Apply for a water service in Japan- Summary

We have compiled a list of important points on the procedures for signing for a water contract (opening a tap) for the new house you are moving into.

In order to avoid unexpected problems such as "No water on the day of moving", it is recommended to complete the procedures for the water supply contract at least one week before you wish to start using the water.

Apply for a water service - Summary
  Water Supply Contract
Contact Water supply bureau of your new address
How
  • Telephone
    (※ Opening hours vary depending on the office )
  • FAX
    (※ Required to download an application form)
  • Send the application form by post
  • Online
    (※ May need some registration)
  • LINE talk (application)
    (※ Available only for certain water supply bureaus who provide this service)
  • Office Counter
    ※ In the event that other methods are not available.)
Required Information
  1. Customer number (water supply number / faucet number)
  2. Contractor's name
  3. Contact Information(Address・Telephone・E-mail)
  4. Address where you will use a water service(New address)
  5. Date you will use a water service(Date of moving out)
  6. Payment method
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