How to Take Purikura – A Peek into Japanese Pop Culture | FAST JAPAN

How to Take Purikura – A Peek into Japanese Pop Culture

Come and experience Purikura (Japanese photo booth). IT is now one of the biggest pop culture crazes. Wherever you go in Japan, you are bound to run into one of these. Here are some steps for you.

What is Purikura?

Photo Credit: violarenate@flickr

Purikura (Japanese:プリクラ) literally translates to “print club”. What does that mean..? Purikura is a Japanese photo booth that prints out photo stickers. Okay, so what is the big deal then? You can use it to decorate, trade with friends, but most importantly you can make yourself look really good (or really weird). Whatever you imagine, you can do in purikura. Okay, let’s try purikura now!


Step1 : Find One

Photo Credit: neyssensas@flickr

If you have ever been to Japanese arcade, then you are half way there. In almost every Japanese arcade, there is a section dedicated to purikura. The problem from here is choosing the one you like. Sometimes, the more popular ones will have a line. Make sure to check the outside of the machines, they show you how you might look. No matter which one you choose, you will have a great time. Now, don’t be afraid and don’t be shy! Just get in there!


Step2 : Choose The Style

Photo Credit: neyssensas@flickr

It usually cost 400 JPY and you can only use 100 yen coins. Once you have paid, then it is time to select the style you want. Depending on the machine, you can choose eye size, skin tone, background, and more. A cool option you have if you have a Japanese cell phone is you can enter your email address and have the pictures send straight to your phone. Depending on the machine, you might do this step before or after taking your pictures.


Step3 : Smile 😉

Photo Credit: Tanzen80@flickr

Now is the time to take pictures. Have you planned out your poses? Japanese usually pose or throw up the piece sign to the camera. The most popular pose right now is the “toothache pose”; you put your hand on your cheek as you have a toothache and tilt your head to the side. If you step back, you can take a full body shot and show your outfit of the day. If you move closer to the camera, you can get a head shot which is perfect for the “toothache pose”. Whatever you decide, just have fun with it!


Step4 : Doodle

Photo Credit: neyssensas@flickr

Now you can let your creative side really shine! After taking the pictures, you step out of the booth and move to the doodle station which is connected to the same machine. Usually there is one screen and two pens so two people can draw or edit at the same time. You can choose pen size, pen color, and stamps to decorate your pictures. Once finished, your pictures will automatically print out. Then you can cut it and share with your family or friends.

Some places have make up stations and costumes to really help you be creative. Don’t be shy and enjoy yourself!


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