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Say Cheese! The Ultimate Guide to Purikura Japanese Photo Booths

These wildly popular Japanese photo booths are quick, affordable and produce a souvenir that slips right into your wallet. In other words, they’re a tourist’s best friend.

Team JJ

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If you’re looking for a fun activity that doubles as a memorable keepsake and great social media content, you really can’t go past Purikura. A portmanteau of the words ‘print club’ (purinto kurabu),  purikura has been on the agenda of every Japanese teenage girl since the mid-nineties.

Solos, pairs and groups step inside to primp and pose before decorating the photos for maximum kawaii-ness. These wildly popular Japanese photo booths are quick, affordable and produce a souvenir that slips right into your wallet. In other words, they’re a tourist’s best friend.  

Purikura in a nutshell 

No two purikura are created equal. The models on the side of each machine range from semi-natural looking to semi-alien. Personally I love looking as augmented and airbrushed as possible so will usually bee-line for the semi-alien machines. Having said that, popular, new and limited edition machines come with long lines; if you don’t care which booth you try, just look for an empty one.

Japanese Purikura photo booths in Harajuku
Photo booths in Harajuku

The basic idea is that you enter the booth, follow the prompts and pose for a handful of photos. You then make your way into another booth to decorate the images before collecting print outs. These days, you can have the images emailed to you and some machines will even do short videos.  

(You can read the rest of the article at this link. This article was first published by Team JJ on May 7, 2021. Check here for deeper and unique insights into visiting Japan, including wellness, travel, cuisine and more. Find us on Instagram and on Facebook.)

Tokyo based Japan Journeys delivers the inside scoop on travel destinations, tips and experiences. Visit their website to discover more about Japanese culture, great travel itineraries and the very best things to do in Japan.