Kids in Tokyo, they don’t know they’re born. When I was young my friends and I would be happy with your average photo booth in a shopping centre. We got excited if you could get 16 small photos rather than 4 normal ones. We’d get them done, go to Partners stationery shop and ‘borrow’ the scissors to cut them up, then keep them in our purses until the next Saturday when we’d replace them with more.

In Tokyo you can get as many photos as you want, in different poses, and then add logos, symbols, writing, eye colour, lip colours and blush to your face. Known as ‘Purikura’ the photos are unsurprisingly crazy popular with teenagers who gather around to get photos with their BFFs and boyfriends (the ones I saw showed no signs of reluctance). On one street in Harajuku there were five of these Purikura ‘factories’ each with at least ten machines in. It’s a pretty big deal!

Purikura photos in Harajuku

5 steps to Purikura

  1. Choose your machine – they all have a different theme.
  2. Put 400Y in the slot and select the music you want to pose to. I chose the only one I’d heard of – Live While You’re Young by One Direction.
  3. Step inside and the machine will show you 5 different poses to copy one by one, do as you’re told and give it your all!
  4. Go to the other machine and get on the drawing board. Go for it. You just need to work your way around the Japanese language and try to beat the clock. As you can see in my final image I didn’t have time to edit that last pic, annoyingly the one that printed twice.
  5. Once the time has ticked down your photos will be ready out the front. Enjoy!

Purikura photo booth

I’ll warn you now: they’re pretty addictive.

In fact, I can’t wait to get my next hit.

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