A week ago, I dropped my spectacles while sightseeing on my bicycle.
|The signboard I saw along the streets before I lost my spectacles -_-|
I was cycling on the Kyoto streets one Saturday. My spirits were high and the weather was great. I passed this huge signboard that says "Your good times are just beginning" and I truly believed that only good things would happen on that day.
And then it started to pour.
I put on my new raincoat from the 100 Yen shop and kept cycling, spirits undampened. Cycling in the rain in a raincoat (I had not worn one since I was a child) was to me a very novel experience. So I was really enjoying it. As the raindrops on my spectacles hindered my vision, I removed them for safety reasons. Having nowhere else to put them, I placed them in my bicycle basket. That was the worst decision I made that day.
I realised that my spectacles were gone after about 20 minutes of cycling. I immediately retraced my route, half expecting to see them lying in the middle of the road as the wheels of a truck ran over them. Twice, I retraced the route but there was no trace of them.
After that hapless day, I embarked on a week-long operation to search for new spectacles. When I entered the shops to enquire about the prices, I was often asked about the whereabouts of my old spectacles.
Now, there are 2 Japanese verbs for "drop", depending on whether someone drops the object or the object drops by itself. In my case, the spectacles dropped from my bicycle without me realising. But in my broken Japanese, I somehow managed to make all the shop assistants think that I dropped my spectacles and broke the lens while cycling. They were all very sympathetic. I was exasperated, more from the fact that I had made little improvement in Japanese though, rather than from having lost my spectacles.
On the right, a JINS outlet in OPA, a shopping mall at Shijo Kawaramachi.
A second outlet can be found in the Daimaru nearby.
Anyway, I checked with a few people and gathered that a pair of spectacles cost about 10000 Yen (SGD 160). Prices for the spectacles frame usually start from 5000 Yen and you pay about 5000 Yen more for the lens. However, I guess I was still considered lucky because it was the summer sale! With the summer sale, I could get a pair of spectacles at half the price!
Recommended shop for spectaclesUpon the recommendation from a friend, I checked out JINS, a shop selling really trendy and affordable spectacles. There I got a new pair of spectacles, complete with lens at 3990 Yen (about SGD 64). The "standard operating procedure" for buying spectacles at JINS goes like this :
- A wide selection of colourful light-weight plastic frames at JINS.You can also find metal frames here.
- Next, it is the eye check. You will be asked to wait for your turn at the seating area that flanked both sides of the counter. During the eye check, I was asked if I could read Japanese. I was then asked to read Japanese alphabets from a chart. I believe a different chart will be used for people who do not speak Japanese.
- After the eye check is done, you make payment at the counter. During that time, you will be asked to choose the colour of the spectacle case that you like. I chose fuchsia. Other colours include brown, white, turquoise, gold and silver etc.
- After payment, you will be asked to wait at the seating area for your spectacles. I waited about 15 minutes.
- And after getting your spectacles, the staff will make sure they fit nicely on your ears and nose before packing them into the case. A warranty card is included in the spectacle case.
|My new blue plastic spectacles.|
I was really happy with the service and the prices offered by JINS. It was a pleasant surprise to be able to get my new spectacles on the spot too. I think the prices of spectacles in Japan are comparable to and perhaps even cheaper than in Singapore, especially during the summer sale.
However, if you are looking for Japan-made frames, I am not sure if you may be able to find it in JINS though. I believe most of their spectacles are not made here.
Well, I sure hope that my good times are really beginning with these new spectacles!