Have sầu you ever been to lớn arcades in Japan? If yes, did you see the massive box-shaped pholớn booths with loud sounds, covered with banners with girls’ faces printed on them? These boxes are called “Purikura” – they are pholớn booths which print phokhổng lồ stickers. You think they are like those automated vending machine photo lớn booths, where you print passport sized photo lớn with plain backgrounds? No! Purikura has fully utilised Japan’s hi-tech hardware & combined it with the Kawaii culture. Here is the complete guide of Purikura, from its background khổng lồ how you could use it as professionally as a local Japanese girl!

What is Purikura? History of Purikura

The earliest version of Purikura made its debut in July 1995 from a Japanese đoạn phim game producer company called Altus. The name of that machine was “Print Club,” which the name “Purikura” is derived from. It was installed in game centres around nhật bản, but it did not really become a trend until a year after when SMAP, a famous Japanese male idol group, gave sầu out Purikura taken by their members as gifts during their TV show. Purikura went viral after that, its peak in profits being in 1997 with 50,000 machines across the country. It was the biggest trkết thúc aao ước most young girls in nhật bản, where they would take as many Purikura as possible, put it in their chunky Purikura albums, & “compare” them with each other (a concept such as likes on Instagram?).

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Though starting from 1998, the trkết thúc began to lớn die, & the number of Purikura machines sold decreased by about 3,500. In order khổng lồ boost sales, producing companies of Purikura had to lớn improve sầu the chất lượng of the Purikura by including more advanced technology such as face recognition và photo lớn processing. Then by 2002, several arcades began lớn introduce costume rental services for Purikura which started the trkết thúc again. Back in that period of time, Purikura that “beautified” faces the most were the most popular, where eyes would be enlarged to unusual sizes, skin was brushed over, and face shapes were slimmed.

What really hit Purikura hard in the market was in 2007, when iPhone made its appearance in the world. Many photo-taking stores became obsolete as smartphones allowed everyone the ability to take photos anytime và anywhere they wanted. Free applications with beauty filters and frames became the more convenient option for young girls, as they could take as many photos as they wanted, và having electrical copies are easier to mô tả with friends. In the same year, the company that produced “Print Club” went bankrupt and left the Purikura market. Many more Purikura producer companies faced the same problem, and now there is just one left in the market, called Furyu. To improve the use of Purikura, they enabled a function khổng lồ download electric copies of the Purikura on the users’ phone so it could be easily shared across social medias. The Purikura machines nowadays also have high chất lượng lighting & cameras with wide angles và solutions, making the photos taken as professional-looking as possible. However, these installments also make the machines more difficult khổng lồ mix up in stores as they are getting bigger & bigger in size. Now there are less than 10,000 Purikura machines left across Japan.

The style of Purikura has also changed over time along with the trends. Baông xã in the 90s, Gyaru with tanned skin và heavy makeup were trendy, so Purikura machines had filters to darken skin tones. Now the machines whiten the skin and apply what seems is natural makeup (though the photos are still processed somehow unnaturally).


How vì chưng I take Purikura?

As most Purikura machines are Japanese only, it can be very confusing for a foreigner with no Japanese knowledge. Here is a detailed instruction so you can have sầu the best Purikura experience:

1) Choose a Purikura machine

In most cases, you would find multiple Purikura machines available on a single floor. The types of Purikura vary between its effects, backgrounds, frames, & themes. They often label themes with keywords like cool, stylish, kawaii, sexy, etc. The most popular Purikura now is called #アオハル, which even won the top trending hashtag in the first half of 2019. Its selling point is that the camera is adjustable khổng lồ different heights & angles, and the machine can fit up lớn 15 people, making it suitable for large groups as well. There are usually sample photos outside the machine, so you can have an idea of how the outcome of your phokhổng lồ will be. However, they are all pretty similar in the way of how you are going khổng lồ be “edited”.

Once you have picked your desired Purikura, you may check if it is empty or not. If not, queue up outside of the booth và wait until it is your turn. You pay outside of the machine before you enter, and often after that you got lớn pichồng the style, makeup, number of people, & poses you want on the screen above sầu. You may proceed lớn doing that while you are queuing up khổng lồ save sầu time too.

2) Pholớn taking time!

You will be instructed khổng lồ enter the pholớn booth and you will have sầu a few moments to lớn leave your belongings on the side. The machine will teach you how & how to lớn pose for each shot, và you can simply follow the pictograms and photos shown on the screen, or do your own fun poses! Photos can be taken from all positions according to the pose, for example you would have sầu lớn move sầu lớn the bachồng of the machine for a full toàn thân shot. One reminder of Purikura is that the time goes QUICK. The time between each shot is short và the timer on the screen will remind you. Most of the time, you and your friends may be confused on how lớn pose and it can be slightly stressful when you don’t know what is happening, but usually it is great for a laugh (also for the funny edits). Remember lớn take your personal belongings away with you when you leave sầu the machine!

3) Decorating in the sub-booth

This part is called 落書き(Rakugaki), which means drawing or scribbling in Japanese. For a Japanese high school girl, this is probably the part which requires the most skills and shows your “professionalism” in Purikura.

You will be directed to lớn the sub-booth, usually located on both sides of the machine. It is a small space which usually only fits 2 people at once. It is a standing space, with a big screen in the middle shared between the two of you, & 2 stylus pens on the side.

You can decorate your Purikura by drawing, adding frames, backgrounds, stickers, và even put makeup on your face. However, as most Purikura are only in Japanese, you may find it confusing with all the tabs. Here are the common options that would show up in a Purikura:

1 – イベントEvent/スペシャルSpecial

In this tab, you can find seasonal or limited time stickers. For example, it could be festival themed such as Christmas or Halloween.

2 – ペンPen

This is the most used function by most Japanese girls. This allows you lớn draw lines in different colours, thicknesses, styles & brush shapes. Usually used to lớn write letters or draw shapes, but get creative for a fun design!

3 – オススメRecommend

Similar lớn special, but this could be functions or edits which is chất lượng khổng lồ this specific Purikura machine.

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4 – スタンプStamp

Stickers which you can change the size and orientation of khổng lồ add inlớn your Purikura. They can be dễ thương animal characters, animal ears, glasses, hearts… explore with your options!

5 – メッセージMessage

These come in the same style as stamp, but it is a pre-phối sticker with words. It could be a catchy phrase, date, or word. Some phrases may be season or event specific!

6 – メイクMakeup

Basically, doing makeup over the face – lipsticks, eyeshadows, eye colour, eyeline, blush, & even hair dye.

7 – はじめからFrom the beginning

Be careful not to lớn press that by accident because it would erase everything you have drawn on that Purikura.

8 – 戻る/もどるUndo

9 – 進む/すすむRedo

However, be aware that there is a time limit of about 2-3 minutes. The time allowed may increase if no one is queuing up for the Purikura booth, & you may continue drawing.

After all the editing, you will be able lớn choose the print layout & how the Purikura will be cut. If you have a lot of people taking the phokhổng lồ together, you might want to choose one with a lot of small pictures in one layout.

Most of the Purikura have a function which you may tải về the Purikura you took on your phone, as most of them are produced by the company Furyu. They have sầu developed the ứng dụng ピクトリンク(Pictlink). You have sầu to lớn enter your gmail address at the end of the decoration, then an gmail with a liên kết would be sent khổng lồ you. Click the link and create an tài khoản. The most basic membership allows one không tính tiền image of the Purikura, but you could pay to lớn download more.

4) Printing

After you finish decorating, you can wait outside of the machine where the printing slot is. It is usually located at the bottom of the machine with a few lights blinking lớn show the progress. When it is done, the print will slide out. In most cases, you will have sầu to cut the Purikura to lớn tóm tắt between friends, và you may find tables around the arcade equipped with scissors for cutting. Many new Purikura are printed onto lớn transparent plastic film as that is quite trendy now, but the traditional style would be a sticker.


So where can I take Purikura?

You can find Purikura in most game centres và arcades. However, you may find special ones at tourist attractions with specific themes. There are even Purikura-only stores! In Tokyo you would find them in city-centre areas lượt thích Harajuku & Shibuya.

Some game centres like SEGA offer costume rental services where you may pichồng special outfits for your Purikura. The price of costumes range from 300 to lớn 1000 yen depending on your choice, & usually the trendier or seasonal ones are more expensive sầu. Be aware of the time limits you have for the rental, and damaging of the costumes may cost extra fees. Most stores that offer rental would have comtháng costumes lượt thích maid, students, Alice in Wonderl& & etc.


Cheông xã for any gender restriction notice around the stores, because some stores only allow females on the Purikura floor lớn prsự kiện perverts (chikan). Usually males may only enter with another female thành viên on those floors.

Have sầu you taken any Purikura in Japan yet?

When I was in middle school, I rethành viên going khổng lồ arcades to take Purikura was one of the best after school activities I had with my friends. But now baông xã at trang chính, most Purikura stores have sầu shut down & now there is only one left. I believe sầu Purikura is many Japanese or many Asian countries’ young girls’ childhood memories, and it is sad to see it disappearing slowly as công nghệ evolves & replaces them. Purikura is great as it would allow these fun times lớn stay alive as prints as well – maybe giải pháp công nghệ is constantly changing, but memories are irreplaceable.

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