Shopping

Indestructible spectacles in 30 mins – Zoff ゾフメガネ

29 January 2014
Is that a bird? A secret NASA project? A UFO?

Is that a bird?
A secret NASA project?
A UFO?
A… man, I can’t do this anymore.

If you read the title of the post, you would know that yes, it’s a pair of spectacles!

Stretching out its wings and taking flight! Soaring towards indestructibility!
/drama

I’ve been a Zoff fan since many years back. Zoff is a big chain in Japan that makes spectacles. What makes them so special is that:

1. There are just 3 main prices

zoff2

The price includes the frame and standard lenses! Which is basically one complete pair of spectacles lah!

They make it SO simple for you. The shop is open concept and all the frames are on display. You can roam the shop and freely try on anything you fancy.

Prices are also clearly indicated on the spectacles so you know exactly how much it costs.

No more going:

“Uncle, can I try that pair?” *taps on glass display*
“No, no, no. The one to the right. One more to the right”
“Can I take a look at that one?”
“How much ah?”
“Oh, the price is for the frame only? Then with lens how much?”

Zzzz.

2. It’s very affordable

The most expensive on the list is 9,450 yen. Which is like SGD $120.
Cheapest is only SGD $65!

Hello, I paid like $180 for my very-normal-with-no-bendy-superpowers spectacles in Singapore can? And that’s way back in 2009! How much does it cost nowadays anyway?

The worse thing is… pay so much still have to wait so long to collect it!!! Which brings us to the next point.

3. Collect your spectacles in 30 minutes

“Ok, girl, come back next week to collect your specs.”

NO. MORE.

From the point Zoff receives your prescription, they can hand you your spectacles in as little as 30 mins!

30 MINS! OMGWTHBBQ.

Compare this to when I had to wait for A WEEK when I made my spectacles in Singapore or Malaysia!

If the store is very crowded, it can take an hour or so. But again, what is an hour compared to 24 x 7 = 168 hours?!?

4. They last a long time

I bought a pair of Zoff spectacles back in 2010 for Fu. He wears them about 355 days a year. He’s still wearing them right now. Still 355 days a year.

But the “downside” is… want to change spectacles also cannot. You’ll feel bad you’re wasting money, cause they are still in such good condition and looks set to last a few more years :O

5. They make ultralight spectacles

My current pair, which I’ve been using since 2012 is very light!

It weighs just 19g. (yes, I just weighed it with a digital scale)

But my pair was before the advent of the Zoff SMART line. Those are just FREAKIN’ 8 GRAMS.

E-I-G-H-T.

Half as light as my already-very-light spectacles!
How is that even possible?!!

6. You’ll be spoiled for choice

zoff3

This is but a tiiiiiny representation of the designs they have!

The past few times we were there, we spent a long time shopping and trying on frames because the selection is just so huge!

7. They are very nice

Of all the times I’ve been to Zoff (counting at least 5 times, including accompanying friends), the staff at every branch I’ve visited are all very patient and super nice.

Once, a friend from Singapore was holidaying in Japan and was tasked by his girlfriend to go Zoff and buy replacement nose grips. All we did was show the staff a picture of the spectacle’s model number, and he promptly went and got us what we wanted, and for FREE! It was a pleasant surprise, because we were all ready to pay for it.

Another time, a different Singaporean friend made her glasses in Zoff. When they asked her whether she wanted the soft or hard case, she said she wanted the soft one, because she had tons of hard cases. But she wanted to store her spectacles safely in the meantime, so she asked for a hard case as well. The guy gave both to her without batting an eyelid.

Yeah, it’s a small thing. But you try and ask your local optician for two spectacle cases lor. See what they say lol.

So yes, the above are reasons why I love Zoff!

If you’re wondering:

“I don’t speak Japanese, can I still make a pair of spectacles here?”

The answer is… absolutely!

It’s very simple, with my step-by-step guide.

Guide to buying spectacles in Japan without speaking Japanese

(Disclaimer: Specifically for Zoff. No guarantee for other companies.)

  1. Pick the frame you want
  2. Hand it to any staff member roaming around the store
  3. Go for a free eye test (no Japanese needed)
  4. Pick the lens you want (standard is free. To make it thinner, etc, costs extra)
  5. Proceed to the counter
  6. They will confirm your frame + lens choices and give you a piece of paper
  7. Return to the store at the time indicated on said piece of paper
  8. Collect spectacles!
  9. Pick your spectacle case
  10. Sashay out of store with swanky new pair of spectacles

Payment is somewhere around steps 5-8. Don’t remember exactly when. But you will know when you have to pay la. Even if you don’t, they will make sure you do lol.


Where to find Zoff

I picked out a few in popular and convenient touristy areas:

Shinjuku
Harajuku
Shibuya
Ikebukuro
Akihabara

Full list of stores in Japan (Google-translated)
Official Website (Japanese)

10 Comments

  • Reply Lani 17 February 2014 at 1:50 am

    Adding this to my list of places to visit. Thank you, Rynn! <3

  • Reply June 19 January 2015 at 1:03 am

    I purchased one today!Im so satisfied…I love Japan.Living here for more than 4 years,i have no complaints when itcomes to their services.By the way, u will pay @ step 5.

    • Reply Rin 19 January 2015 at 10:35 pm

      Heh, Japanese service is my favorite in the world!

      Oh, it’s at step 5? I was thinking somewhere between steps 6 and 7 would make more sense because they typically wouldn’t ask you to pay before confirming your choices, no?

  • Reply Joanes 26 January 2015 at 7:29 pm

    hi, thanks for posting this. I just had a short Japan tour in December, unexpectedly I broke my right temple was broken on the plane. Luckily my guide, Ayu-san took me to Shinjuku where I then bought my new glasses for JYE 5400, Zoff. in 30 minutes, it was ready to wear. Good product and service. Sayonara

  • Reply Azuki 29 April 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Hey Rin! (:
    I’ve read a few of your posts and I think u’re doing great!
    Anyhow, I wonder if u have done a comparison between the J!NS, Zoff and OWNDAYS? (:
    I’m just curious to know, given the sudden expansion of OWNDAYS in Singapore and I myself owning a pair of it haha.

    • Reply Rin 29 April 2015 at 10:29 pm

      Hi Azuki,

      Haha, thanks for the vote of confidence! :D

      I’ve never patronized J!NS or OWNDAYS (although I’ve visited a J!NS store. Never really noticed OWNDAYS in Japan before this), so I have no basis for comparison. And unfortunately, I’ve just purchased a new pair of Zoff spectacles recently, so it will be a while before I need a new pair :X

      How do you like your OWNDAYS pair?

  • Reply RC 29 May 2015 at 7:39 am

    Hi Rin, Great review! I also own a pair of Zoffs. Would you by chance know how I could replace the rubber nose pads? I got my replacement pads through mail because there is no Zoff store near where I live.

    • Reply Rin 29 May 2015 at 1:32 pm

      Hi RC,

      It seems you’ve already replaced them before, since you received them through mail previously, so I’m not sure what you’re asking. Can’t you replace them the same way this time?

  • Reply dl 27 March 2016 at 9:40 am

    Hi, thanks for yr guide.
    Was wondering if i would like to add blue ray, transition etc, any idea how much it would cost?
    Just afraid they dont understand as well. :)

    • Reply Rin 30 March 2016 at 3:26 pm

      Zoff offers lenses with blue light filters. Details on this page.

      They have transition lenses called “2 way lens“.

      For more complex customizations like yours, it’s advisable to visit the more touristy branches (like Harajuku, etc) where there is a higher chance they have English-speaking staff who can assist you.

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