Affordable eye glasses in Asia

May 10, 2022


Prescription eyeglasses are very expensive in Toronto. First, you have to pay for getting your eyes checked by an Optometrist and that ranges from $90 and up. It's also not covered by the Provincial Health Care so you either pay out of pocket or if you have work insurance, it can be covered. Some work insurance only covers a portion of it so it's not 100% covered. And my insurance also did not cover the actual eyeglasses.

Once you have your prescription, you have to find your eyeglasses and it's not cheap! I guess it also depends on your prescription because for me, it's quite high so I always pay extra. I need to have thinner lenses for my high prescription. It's usually over $200 and that's not even brand name. 

I used to order from Warby Parker but I found that most of their glasses didn't fit me right and it got too expensive that I just gave up. 

When I went to Japan in 2018, I decided to try my luck at Jins eyewear. We found the store in an underground shopping area. It was really fun to browse. They had a lot of selections. My husband found me Moomin frame. It was cute! And it was only ¥5,000 (roughly $55 CAD) for the frame and I paid another ¥2,000 (about $25 CAD) for the lenses. Less than $100 for a new pair of eyeglasses! 

I just had to show them my Canadian prescription from my Optometrist and everything was good. It was very easy even without speaking or understanding Japanese. I still don't know how I managed to buy it in Japan. I even got it tax-free. 

And I only had to wait for half an hour to pick up my new glasses which is unheard of here in Toronto unless you pay extra. I love Jins eyewear and they have different collaborations i.e. Liberty London frames. The fit of the eye glasses is perfect for me. I don't need to adjust the frame. 

I order my glasses now through my friend Keiko who is kind enough to ship them to me. 

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