How to use Purikura : Japan’s favourite Photo Booth

  • What is Purikura?

    Japan is known for its love of all things Kawaii (that means ‘cute’ in English), and the same goes for their photo booths! You may have seen these pink and sparkly boxes in arcades, shopping centres, and department stores, well, I’m going to tell you how to use them! Don’t worry if you don’t know how to read Japanese, many booths have the English as well, or at least make it very obvious what to do next!

    Step One: Choose your booth

    Most times you will find purikura booths, there will never be just one. Each booth will have different effects, styles, backgrounds, costs, and variety. So, it can be worth looking around first. They will all be good fun to use though, so I usually just jump in whichever booth is free! Usually, you pay outside of the booth, so if you have a particular favourite that’s being used, you can still pay and wait for them to finish! When you pay, you will be able to select the kind of pictures you want to take, usually attached to a theme like “Cool Lady” or “Cute Girl”. There’s also an optional additional step here; many purikura areas will have costumes that you can rent to wear in the pictures. So, if you wish, you can dress as a disney character, a Japanese school girl, or a maid!

    Step Two: Picture Time!

    Next, its time to step into the Photo Booth and pose, pose, pose! Purikura booths make your photo taking very easy, as it shows you on a screen which pose to strike for each picture. Some booths have both close up and full body shots you can take as well. A word of warning, these may be bigger than the average photo booth, but you’ll still have to squash in, and get a little up close and personal with your fellow models – so make sure you’re all ok with that!

    Step Three: Decoration!

    This step is the one you’ve all been waiting for! Decorating your photos is the heart of every purikura experience. It is here that you can chose the background for each photo, add stickers and writing, and even add make up to your faces! You can decide if you want to make tour pictures cute, funny or even send a message to someone! If you have a Japanese cell phone with an email address, you can even have the finished product sent to your phone, so you can put it on SNS. Be careful though, you will have a time limit for decorating your photos. This is simply because, these booths can get very busy, and they need to allow the next group to use them!

    Step Four: Printing and Sharing

    The final step is here! All that’s left to do is wait for your fantastic purikura pictures to print out. If you’ve taken these pictures as a group, you’ll also want to distribute them between everyone. Every purikura area will have some small tables with scissors so you can cut out and share your pictures.
    In case you didn’t know, purikura pictures are also stickers! So you can cover your phone, notebook, laptop – anything!

    Good Luck, and enjoy you Purikura experience!

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