Dont Forget to Manga-fy Yourself at Purikura! (part 2)
Japanese Purikura Experience for All
What would it be like to be a fairy princess? What would it be like to have that little pointy chin, big eyes and pouty mouth? Ever since my PuriKura “print club” experience in Kumamoto, I now know exactly how, at least, I would look.
Found in almost any game center or resort (ski, hot spring, etc.,) in Japan, the Purikura section will be immediately recognizable by the tent-like enclosed booths featuring images of pouty, pretty and perfectly photo-shopped models. Remember that boys (men) are welcome but to enter this area in the game center, you need to be with a companion or group of the fairer sex. This, I think, is to keep out the group of boys who might be there to tease the girls as they strike their pose.
Here is how my kids and I enjoyed our first super High Tech Puri Kura experience.
Step 1: First we chose our booth (basically the one that was not full of laughing, posing and happily shrieking teenage girls). My son and daughter (21 and 17 respectively) and I spent 30 minutes creating our own PuriKura memory!
First, you pay into the machine outside the booth (around 400 yen) and choose your background music (funky background music for your photo shoot! Just like the Vogue photo shoots you see on E TV!) Once you’ve paid and decided your BGM, you duck inside to start the pose party.
Now the magic begins! The expertly placed lens on the single-lens reflex camera takes the photo as if everyone was kind of looking up. It also tracks the person well enough that even if positions change, it will tweak the subject’s features in a uniform way. If you take a full body photo, the camera will slim you up and lengthen your legs, a face only photo will invite focus and tweaking on your eyes, skin, hair, chin and pallor.
Our booth took four poses and gave easy directions on which pose to strike and did a nice countdown so we knew when it was time to stay still. Also, before the shot, a sample photo appeared to show us exactly what to do. Our poses were, “cute”, “pouty”, “heart-mark” and “stick-out your tongue”. Our invisible photographer did not give us much time to think so we just went with the flow and tried to mimic the example as closely as possible.
Step 2: After about 5 minutes, Voila! All done! Go outside the booth and all the sample photos will be shown on a digital screen. Digital pens are provided and as you touch a variety icons and emoji, you can add them to the photos at will. Also, eyebrow, eyeliner, eyelash, hair color, skin tone, rouge color, lipstick and eye shadow, eye size, face size, etc., can all be manipulated to your hearts content! Such an interesting process! The animefying of our photo took about 10 minutes and if there had not been a time limit, I am sure we would have been on the floor laughing for hours at all the tweak and change options at our fingertips. My son became a very um, “pretty” looking Ken Doll type and my daughter and I look like we could be the next stars on a Disney channel story about little faeries in a magical wood.
Here is a good site with some advice on where to do Purikura in Tokyo, but if you ask your concierge or front desk, there is a pretty good chance there will be at least one location within walking distance.
I definitely recommend you try this totally unique experience while in Japan!
Former Deep Japan Writer