A fun activity for anyone visiting Japan is to go to a purikura, shortened Janglish for “print club,” or a photo booth machine. Usually, many of these machines actually occupy an entire floor of a department store. One may wonder if it’s actually necessary to have so many, and I can now attest that it is quite addicting.
On arrival to the purikura area, you can select from which machine you want to take your pictures as each machine has a different theme from “Glamour Shot-esque” to cute to holiday themed. You then go inside the booth where you stand in front of a green screen (allowing for manipulation of backgrounds) and pick from the multitudes of backgrounds and configurations. After trying to understand the rapid firing of Japanese coming from the machine, you will then get your pictures taken in whatever poses you want (all the while trying to focus on the actual camera and not the monitor screen).
Afterwards, you will then proceed to the other side of the machine to personalize the pictures, such as adding icons, letters, drawings, and more backgrounds and borders. Special features include adding false eyelashes and blush and eye enlargement along with changing hair color; apparently, the Sailor Moon look is quite popular. A time limit is set so don’t dawdle. The machine will then spit out several (usually 2) sheets of photo (stickers).
Overall, it’s a fun and cute experience that won’t break the bank!