Can I wear contact lenses to onsen?
No, never wear contact lens when going to onsen because:
- They may become deformed. Deformed lenses should not be reused.
- They may become contaminated with Acanthamoeba, a pathogen, that can attack your eyes and cause infection or blindness.
- They will become dry and stick to your eyes making it hard to remove. Forcing them off can cause injury to your eyes.
But I want to look around in the onsen. What can I do?
You can get Ofuro Megane お風呂めがね (lit. bath spectacles). These are specially made to withstand high temperatures and the lens have anti-fog properties so you won't fog up. You can get them on Amazon or on Aigan (more expensive).
💡 Normal glasses without heat resistance may deform in the heat. Metal frames may absorb heat and burn you. Proceed with caution.
How much do contact lenses cost in Japan?
Daily lenses are usually sold in a box of 30, which lasts for 30 days if used continuously. 1 month supply will cost around 4,000 to 6,000 yen. 3 months supply will cost around 12,000 to 18,000 yen.
2 Weeks Disposable Soft Lens
2 weeks disposable lenses are usually sold in a box of 6, which lasts for 3 months if used continuously. You can also buy them separately but it will cost more. One box costs between 4,000 to 8,000 yen.
You will also need contact lens solution. For the cheapest (Bausch+Lomb Renu Fresh Multi-purpose Solution), it's around 1,800 yen for 1L which should last you 3 months.
🐙 I bought a box of 2 weeks disposable astigmatism soft lens for 7,227 yen.
What about 1 month disposable soft lens?
These are uncommon in Japan with very limited choices. At-contact has 2 brands in stock only, eyecity has 1 brand in stock only, whilst lensget has none.
Where can I get cheap contact lenses?
Contact lenses are cheaper when purchased online. I got mine for 7,227 yen from eyecity. After checking around online, it seems I can get them for 6,200 yen from at-contact, or 5,941 yen from lensget.
I do recommend going to a specialist shop for the first time at the very least as the advice they give is very useful. Also, it is reassuring to know that if these contact lenses weren't a good fit, I could always go back for help.
Can I buy contact lenses without prescription?
Yes, you can buy contact lenses without prescription online. You may also buy them in stores but you might need to sign a waiver form.
Are contact lenses covered by insurance?
No. Similar to spectacles, contact lenses are not covered by National Health Insurance. This is because they are already quite cheap.
Can I bring my own contact lens to Japan?
Yes, but only up to 2 months supply of disposable lenses, according to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. This is because contact lenses are considered medical devices. If you want to bring more than 2 month supply, you will need to apply for a Yakkan Shoumei 薬監証明.
Can I use any kind of eye drops?
No, only use contact-lens friendly eye drops. On top of that, you should only use eye drops that are suitable for the type of contact lens that you are using. Some eye drops are only suitable for hard lens, and others may not be suitable for colour contacts.
Check the packaging of the eye drops. If this is written,「コンタクトレンズを装着したまま使用しないでください。」(Please do not use with contact lens on), that means it is not suitable.
Some boxes have this written on the front, 「コンタクトを装着しているときの不快感」which translates to "Relieves discomfort from wearing contacts.
Some useful Japanese words when buying eye drops:
目薬 Megusuri Eye drops
コンタクト(レンズ) Kontakuto (Renzu) Contact (Lens)
カラーコンタクト Karaa Kontakuto Colour Contacts
コンタクト用 Kontakuto Yo For contact lens
Contact Lens Friendly Eye Drops Recommendation
If you're looking for eye drops, this is what I am using now.
It is suitable for all types of contact lens except colour lenses. The previous ones that I used did worked pretty well but I had to reapply frequently. The current ones that I use is ranked highly on several ranking sites in Japan.
For this, I only need to use at most 3 times a day. On some days, even once in the morning is good enough. Do be careful of the pink tinge as it left a faint mark on the inside of my mask.
以上 Until next time ꒰(･‿･)꒱
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