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Are tampons common in Japan?


Tampons have been a part of many women’s lives for decades. With the growing popularity of menstrual cups and pads, it is important to wonder if tampons are still popular in different parts of the world. In this article, we will explore the topic of tampon usage in Japan.

Cultural Factors

Japan has a unique culture that influences every aspect of life, including menstrual hygiene. The country has been known for its conservative attitude towards menstruation, and many women prefer using pads over tampons. This is because tampons are considered invasive, and some believe they may lead to virginity loss.

Japanese Snack Box


Tampons are available in Japan, but they are not as common as pads. They can be found in most drugstores and supermarkets, but they are usually located in one section, unlike pads that can be found in multiple areas.


One of the most popular tampon brands in Japan is o.b., which was introduced to the Japanese market in 1987. Other brands like Tampax and Kotex are also available but less common.


Tampons in Japan are relatively expensive compared to pads. A pack of 16 regular-sized tampons can cost around ¥500 ($4.50), while a pack of 20 pads can cost around ¥300-¥400 ($3-$4).


Many Japanese girls are not taught about tampon use during sex education classes at school. This lack of education may contribute to the low usage rate of tampons in Japan.

Comfort Level

Tampon usage requires a level of comfort with one’s body that some Japanese women may not have due to cultural factors. Additionally, some women may find tampons uncomfortable or painful to use.

Environmental Impact

Tampons, like pads, have a negative impact on the environment due to the plastic and chemicals used in their production. Many Japanese women are becoming more environmentally conscious and may switch to alternative menstrual products like menstrual cups or reusable pads.

Menstrual Cup Usage

Menstrual cups are gaining popularity in Japan as an alternative to tampons and pads. The cup is inserted into the vagina and can be reused for up to 12 hours. They are environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and can last for several years with proper care.

Regional Differences

Tampon usage varies by region in Japan. For example, women in Tokyo and other urban areas are more likely to use tampons than women in rural areas.

Popularity Among Foreigners

Foreigners living in Japan may prefer to use tampons due to cultural differences or familiarity with this menstrual product. Some may even import tampons from their home country because of the limited availability in Japan.


In conclusion, tampon usage in Japan is not as common as pad usage due to cultural factors, lack of education, and price. However, tampons are still available for those who prefer them over pads. With the growing popularity of menstrual cups and environmental consciousness, the future of tampon usage in Japan remains uncertain.

Are pads or tampons more popular in Japan?

In Japan, pads are more widely used than tampons, leading to a smaller variety of tampon options. Despite this, there is typically at least one brand available in a few different sizes. The Japanese word for tampons is “タンポン” (tannponn).

Which country uses the most tampons?

Feminine hygiene products include disposable sanitary napkins and tampons, as well as environmentally-friendly menstrual cups that can be reused and are safe for the body. Given its large population, it’s no surprise that China has the biggest market for these products globally.

Which countries do not have tampons?

Scotland has become the first nation in the world to offer free sanitary products as part of a global movement to eliminate “period poverty,” which refers to a situation where individuals cannot afford tampons or sanitary pads due to high costs. This initiative aims to make these essential products accessible to all.

Are tampons free in Japan?

In March 2021, the Japanese government allocated 1.3 billion yen to assist women who require menstrual products. Additionally, the government distributed free sanitary pads and tampons to the public to support local municipalities. There is also an increasing recognition of menstruation in pop culture and social media.

How do Japanese deal with periods?

In Japan, the most common and readily available methods of managing menstruation are tampons and pads, but they are not the only options available. Alternative products can be found online or ordered directly from manufacturers.

Can I flush tampons in Japan?

When using toilets in Japan, it is important to leave toilet paper in the bowl and flush the toilet after use. Only toilet paper and other flushable papers should be disposed of in the toilet. Sanitary napkins and tampons should be put in the wastebasket beside the toilet.

One possible reason for the lower tampon usage in Japan is the perception of discomfort or pain during insertion and removal. Unlike pads that can be simply placed outside of the body, tampons require insertion into the vagina, which can be daunting for some women. Additionally, there may be concerns about the risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS), a rare but serious bacterial infection associated with tampon use.

Another factor that may contribute to the lower tampon usage in Japan is the lack of privacy in public restrooms. Many public restrooms in Japan have shared sinks and hand dryers, making it difficult for women to discreetly change their tampons. This can also be an issue in schools, where students may not have access to private restrooms.

Despite these challenges, there are efforts to increase awareness and education about tampon usage in Japan. Some companies have launched campaigns to promote tampon use, and there are online communities where women can share their experiences and advice.

In conclusion, while tampon usage may not be as popular in Japan as pads or menstrual cups, it remains a viable option for those who prefer this menstrual product. As cultural attitudes and environmental consciousness continue to evolve, it will be interesting to see how tampon usage in Japan changes over time.

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