Japanese Eyewear – Globe Specs
There are plenty of glasses /sunglasses shops all over in Tokyo, from the basics to high end. You don’t need to go to trendy spots such as Daikonyama, Ometasando, or Ginza to find the best in Japanese Eyewear.
Located a quick walk up the hill from Shibuya Station is the optician Globe Specs. The store itself is a direct representation of the fashion forward spectacles that they sell and recently as named “Best Optical Store in the World“. The store is visually stunning, the smooth jazz music, powered by McIntosh vacuum tubes and amplifiers is clean, and the service is friendly. There are hundreds of spectacles openly displayed from independent designers all around the world. Some of the sample brands that you may not have heard of are:
- Robert La Rouche Vintage
- Lesca Lunetier
- la Loop
- Oliver Goldsmith
- Native Sons
The price ranges from 30,000($250) yen to 70,000 yen+($650) Each staff member hand picks frames for you based on your requested style and price ranges. For sunglasses, you have a selection of over 100 different lens shades to customize to your frame and lighting condition. After selecting a frame, an optician meticulously fits the frames on your face(at times with their eyes closed!). For an additional price, they can also make lenses for you, which takes only a matter of days. Keep this mind as you are planning your trip to Tokyo.
GTE was lucky enough to meet and work with the owner of the store directly. Okada-san is also the creator of the “Barracks” line of frames. For those who can’t make it all the way to Tokyo, Some of Globe Spec’s Japanese Eyewear are sold in the US at specialty stores such as Self Edge in Los Angeles.
Jins Frames – Like the Warby Parker of Japan. Cool styles, but too much of a mass produced feel. Prices are good though and also available in the US!
**Remember to carry your passport**
One of the benefits of being a tourist in Japan is that you get a tax exemption on your purchases (usually over 5000 Yen). This is huge as the exchange rate from USD -> Yuen is about $118->1 Yen, and many times the prices on the tag is inclusive of tax, so you get an 8% “discount”. You have to carry your physical passport, as just the number is not enough. The process is quite comprehensive where they check your details, landing stamp, and staple and stamp a sales receipt to your passport, Although it is tedious, the extra 5 minutes is well worth the effort to get you some amazing Japanese Eyewear.
Until Next Time,