Purinto Kurabu, or Purikura for short, is a hugely popular activity, especially amongst High school aged girls. But what is it? And why would something aimed at teens be fun for just about anyone? Allow me to impart some Purikura-based wisdom.
What and why?
First off, let’s address the what. Purikura is the shorthand way of saying Purinto Kurabu, or Print Club in English. In a nutshell, it’s a photo booth, similar to what you would use for those gloomy passport or drivers licence mugshots, except there’s nothing gloomy about Purikura! It’s ultra cute, fun, and a great activity to partake in with friends or loved ones. Which brings us neatly to our next question, the why. Why wouldn’t you?! As mentioned before, it’s pretty fun. The booth allows you to pick backgrounds and themes, go in groups or pairs (you can go alone too I guess, but it’s definitely more amusing with friends!), and allows for customisation post posing session. Intrigued? I’ve included an easy “how to” guide to help you make the most of your experience.
All the instructions are in Japanese, but don’t let that discourage you! Follow my guide and you’ll be a Purikura pro!
1. Pay up!
Yen cash only, it’ll be ¥400. It doesn’t issue change, so take four ¥100 coins with you. Simply insert them into the slot and continue to the next step.
2. Choose a theme!
Now the fun begins! There’s a screen on the outside of the booth, it’s right near where you paid. Everything is timed, so choose quickly, but this step allows you to pick backgrounds and themes. It’ll ask for a level of make up (this is a filter that makes your face look ultra smooth and young. You can opt not to have it, but honestly it’s so funny with, you’d be missing out). Once this is done you can add your names (for a later step). This will be in Japanese though, so if you don’t know the kana for your name, you can skip it (weirdly it later adds the names in English, I’m not sure why). You’re all set, so step inside! Some machines do this at the end before you customise, if thats the case you’ll usually find the coin slot inside the booth. If this is the case, you can pick backgrounds and themes later on.
3. Dump your stuff and strike a pose!
There’s a handy shelf to store your belongings, and a screen in front of you with one or two cameras. You’ll also notice stickers on the floor. These indicate where to stand. The booth usually takes two types of shots; close up and full body. Close up is first. The screen will give you guidance though, so just follow the images. It’ll direct you where to stand, give you suggestions for poses, and count down to when the camera clicks. It’s a count of three, in Japanese (so san, ni, ichi), then a loud click so you know the photo has been taken. You can see on the screen what you look like, thankfully, and you get just enough time to adjust! Strike your best poses, move back when told to do so for the full body pictures, then grab your stuff and exit the way the arrow points to.
4. Add some glamour!
By far the best part of Purikura is getting to embellish the photos after. Once you exit, you’ll see a half curtain containing two screens and seats. You and a buddy each take one, grab the stylus next to the screen, and start customising. Again, all in Japanese, but it’s pretty straightforward. You can add text, pictures, emojis, and even draw freehand! Again, this is timed, so work quickly otherwise you may not get all your pics done! Also, if someone else comes into the booth after you, the time may get cut shorter, so keep an eye on it (you’ll see a countdown at the top of the screen). Once you are done, it’ll ask you to choose a layout, input an email address in order to get extra copies (unless you have a Japanese email account, you’ll have to skip this part), then follow the final directional arrow to pick up your photos!
Your photos take only a few minutes to print, and you’ll get two copies, one from each of the screens used to customise. This is great for pairs, because you then get a copy each. If you’re in a group make sure to choose a layout that can easily be cut up and split equally amongst all of you.
Best place to find a Purikura (or dozens of them!) is an arcade. Dragon Palace has some great ones, find it here: https://goo.gl/maps/XKgfJxBcNCU2
Another good place is Aeon Mall Okinawa Rycom. The arcade there also has several Purikura machines. Find it here: https://goo.gl/maps/hMMnjDZSiqv
And that’s really all there is to it! I’ve included my own Purikura creations so you can see what they look like, but let’s see all of yours! Share to our Facebook page or our Twitter , and hashtag Purikura!
by Louise Dupuy