Life Abroad

Eye Care

Getting Glasses Getting Contacts
Can't find what you're looking for? Click here to let us know and we'll add it.

Getting Glasses

In Japan, getting glasses and taking care of your eye health are separate. If you cannot see well and need glasses, you simply go to a store that sells glasses. If you have symptoms you think require medical attention, you should see an ophthalmologist, or 眼科 (ganka).

glasses Getting glasses

In Japan, eye insurance or health insurance is not necessary to get corrective lenses. Glasses are very affordable in Japan, and you can often get a good pair for ¥5,000. Since there is no need for insurance, you can get glasses any time you’d like, instead of having to wait 1 or 2 years.

How to get glasses at an eyeglass dispensary

Step 1. Find the frames you like. Prices are typically labelled on one of the sides.

Step 2. If you already have a prescription, you can simply hand your current glasses and the frames you chose to the attendants at the counter. If you would like to be tested for a new prescription, let them know. They will ask you to choose a lens quality, from standard, inexpensive lenses to high quality expensive lenses (sometimes Transitions Lenses are also available). The attendants will measure your old prescription and create lenses for the new frames you chose. You may wait in the waiting room or come back later to pick up your glasses.

Step 3. After your eye test (if you choose to have one), you will be directed to a waiting room. When your glasses are ready, you will be called back to the exam area to test if you can see properly and how they feel.

Step 4. You will be taken to the register to pay.

Japanese Eye Tests

Standard eye tests for prescription lenses involves testing lens curvature, depth perception, and distance vision. Some shops offer more comprehensive testing (including testing colour-blindness) for a fee. For in-depth eye health testing and to have symptoms seen to, see an ophthalmologist.

Eye Test Chart


While you may be used to seeing the Roman alphabet on eye charts, no such test exists in Japan. Instead, you will see a chart that looks like this:

As you may have guessed, your job is to tell the technician which side of the circle is open for each column. You can answer Up, Down, Left, and Right.

Japanese Romaji English Pronunciation
shiryokukensa vision test
メガネ megane glasses

ue up

shita down

hidari left

migi right

Getting Contacts

Contact Lenses

If you want to get contacts, you must first make an appointment at an Opthalmology Clinic (眼科 ganka) to have an exam and discuss contact options, pros and cons, and to get fitted. You will then receive a paper prescription that you can turn in at any reputable eyeglass dispensary to purchase your contacts. After getting your contacts, you should visit your ophthalmologist after 1 month of wear to check on fit, comfort, and eye health.
After that, it is recommended that you visit your ophthalmologist every 3 months to check up on your eyes.

Types of contacts available: Soft, Hard, Disposable (dailies), and Ortho-K (corneal reshaping lenses).

For more information about contacts, please visit the following site:

For more information about Ortho-K, please visit this site:

More in Medical & Health


Emergency Services

You cab look through and learn Japan's emergency response system.

See more >>



Look through the lists of the most common medicines you can buy.

See more >>


Prescription Drugs

You can learn how prescription work and how to get refills in Japan.

See more >>


Sexual Health

You can find the contraception and STD testing information.

See more >>



You can find the dental system and various treatments in Japan.

See more >>


Healthcare System

Visit this section to learn about Japan’s social healthcare system

See more >>



we keep updating our blog to provide useful information.

See more >>



we provide the comprehensive guide to life.

See more >>

Personal Care Daily Life