Pictures nowadays are fairly easy to keepsake. They are either one tap away from your phone, one click on your laptop, or one swipe down from your phone’s camera gallery. Gone are the days of printing photos, scrapbooking, and photo albums. Of flipping through hard-bounded and DIY scrapbooks in order to walk down memory lane. The current generation now is all about posting, thinking of a good caption, hashtagging, liking, and commenting. And it’s so easy to look back. Of course, this is more convenient and the same as everything else in the world right now, even pictures and how you take them are adapting to the technology-driven generation.
But if you are like me, who really likes printing photos, writing down dates at the back, putting them into photo albums or frames, adding stickers, and really just prefers everything in hard copy then you are going to love Purikura.
What is Purikura?
Purikura, or purinto kurabo - and in English, print club, - are popular photo booths in Japanese, especially for teenagers and tourists. And should be considered as a must-try and must-visit for those who are traveling to Japan.
If you are someone who loves to decorate your photos with stickers from Instagram, then you are sure to love Purikura. This is not your regular photo booth where photos for resume or valid identification cards are printed, nope, this is not it. These are better and a hundred percent more fun, cuter, and at some point, funny.
Purikura booths are everywhere in Japan, usually in places popular and littered with high school students and tourists so expect them in amusement parks, game centers, and well-known landmarks. If you ever stumble upon an arcade in Japan, some of them have a whole floor dedicated to purikura booths. They range between ¥200 to ¥400 which you can split between your friends.
Older purikura machines are limited in terms of what they can do, usually, the only customization you can only do with it is picking between different designs for the frames or a for a more exciting one is choosing between frames with famous persons in it, making it seem like you took a photo with a Japanese celebrity. What a dream come true!
With the newer and modern purikura machines, you are given more options for customization. After the photo booth, there is an additional corner called rakugaki, which translates to scribble. This specific corner gives you the ability to doodle your photo to your heart’s content. You can add in scribbles using pens of different textures and use different stickers such as hearts, stars, and cute animals. You can also add in a bit of craziness and funny stamps such as wigs and mustache. With these modern purikura booths, there is no limit to your creativity. You can go all cutesy and crazy all you want.
But I get you, it is in the back of your mind and you are a little worried that your whole purikura moment will be reduced to nothing but a bunch of pixelated photos and that there is nothing you can do about it. But don’t you worry! This is Japan we are talking about, this is the leading country when it comes to technology and innovation so there is no need to doubt that even purikura photo booths are equipped with high-quality screens and printing.
A general trait that purikura photo booths have is that they are a body-altering machine. If you are familiar with photo editing applications like FaceTune then we also have it all here. These machines will make the legs longer and thinner, eyes a bit bigger, the face slimmer, and makes the skin fairer. Of course, like digital photo editing applications, you can also control how much altering you want but altogether, there are no options to remove this. So you can expect a bit of body and face changes in your photos.
Purikara photo booths have probably one of the best, if not the BEST, feature of all photo booths and that is the option to make your photos into a sticker. Yes, at one click, it will print your photos into a photo sticker. I love that. I’m not too sure about the rest of you, but for me, who loves stationeries and stickers, that is an absolute game-changer. I love pasting and compiling photographs into scrapbooks or having them inside a photo album so having one as a sticker where I can stick it into a memory board or a wall on one corner of my room is already a reason for me to try purikura photo booths.
Modern purikura photo booths, being in a technology-driven country, have also evolved and adapted into converting your photos into data. If you are one of those who prefer to store their photos digitally, then once again, don’t worry. Japan really has it all, huh? Purikura photo booths now have an option of instead of printing, you can ask the machine to send the photos to your phone. This is easier if you want to upload, post, and boast your purikura experience, which I think you should totally do!
Japan really likes to take things to a whole new level and I love them for it. Because of this, they have always been a top leading country for a lot of things, because they really push matters into their limits. Purikura photo booths, is of course, not any different. If you really want that intense purikura photo booths experience, hear this. Some game centers and arcades actually rent out costumes for you to play around in the booth. If you are a tourist, isn’t this really interesting? You can now have a chance to dress up like a regular Japanese student with the their uniforms and short skirts, Sailor Moon, and even as a maid, which is totally a thing in Japan.If you are ever planning to travel to Japan, I encourage you to try purikura photo booths. Not only are they a very interesting experience but the stickers and photos, other than being cute, will also constantly remind you of how fun your Japan trip is.