Friday, April 26, 2013

Eye exams in Japan

After over three years living in Japan, I finally went for my first eye exam here. I wear contact lenses, and even though I came from Canada equipped with a supply to last me nearly a year, I eventually ran out... yet managed to avoid an awkward eye exam in Japanese. With the help of a few clicks, Google Translate and a quick payment at the convenience store, I was able to order some contact lenses through a Japanese website called Lensmode. I highly recommend it if you know your exact prescription and know your vision hasn't changed, but it's best to get regular eye exams to adjust the prescription and make sure everything is fine.

Last weekend, I somehow found myself with a new pair of "kawaii" frames, courtesy of a special promotion at the Kawaii Matsuri I covered. The whole deal was free of charge, so I decided to take the plunge and get an eye exam. I was a bit worried as any kind of medical procedure makes me nervous, but this was much, much easier than I thought.

In case you're wondering, turns out you only need the ability to read hiragana in order to successfully complete an eye exam (unless you go to an English-speaking eye doctor in say, Roppongi, but there's no excuse to not read hiragana if you've been in Japan for over six months). A few basic Japanese expressions like 'up' and 'down', 'left' and 'right' won't hurt to know either. I recommend the eyeglass chain shop Zoff- where you can get an exam and leave with prescription glasses or contact lenses in less than one hour. It's the only one I've tried, but I was happy with the service and efficiency.

Prescription eye glasses and contact lenses are extremely cheap in Japan- finally something that is more affordable than back home, so stock up on cool frames and contacts while you're here. I haven't worn glasses for nearly five years, but they're a welcome break from itchy contact lenses, even though they make me look extra serious. I guess it's a good thing- maybe I look more like a writer.





12 comments:

Christine said...

love your glasses! I can't believe it's so expensive to get contacts/glasses here in Canada. I have work insurance and it barely covers my expenses on eyewear and eye exams :(

Vivian said...

Thanks Christine!! Yes indeed, I remember how expensive it was back in Canada....!

Coffee_c said...

Viv, you rock this look! I love it!

Coffee_c said...

Viv, you rock this look! I love it!

Miller Wilson said...

Like & love your glasses.....very nice.


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Optickart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Optickart said...

Like & love your glasses.....very nice.
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Stephanie Tan said...

Huh?? How much to have a Contact Lenses and Eye wear glasses in Canada?? Christine?

Ronald Swanson said...

I'm planning on moving to China next year and I didn't even think about this. I wear glasses, and I usually get an eye exam once every two or so years. I have no idea how to read in Chinese, but I guess I'm going to have to start learning so I can get an eye exam while I live there.
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Nancy Jorden said...

It is amazing how cheap it is for you to buy contact lenses and eye glasses. I would love to have that. I wear both contacts and glasses. It is important for me to be able to see clearly all the time. I will need to visit Japan and stock up on both contacts and a new pair of glasses. http://www.lvfamilyeyecare.com/index.cfm?content.display&pageID=68

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Marian Smith said...

It is nice to hear your story. How's your eyes today? By the way, I would like to share with you more about eye checkup.