Did you know that in most Japanese cities you can enter a booth that transports you to youth, joy and child-like fun for only 400 yen? You choose where you want to go—
into a manga, to outer space, or onto a carousel horse that rides through eternity.
Or you might prefer a bike ride in the countryside of your dreams.
If you are the abstract thinker, you could simply place yourself into a pattern of never-ending dots.
This memory is preserved in print. You will have a sheet of colorful stickers to show off your adventures. You can share the memento with a friend that you meet later the same day. It may even last long enough for your children and your children’s children to see. But the zen of the experience is in the now.
The name of this magical booth is something you may have heard of —
In Japanese Pu-rin-to Ku-ra-bu.
Pu-ri Ku-ra for short.
These are the photo booths you find in game centers or at train stations. You insert four 100 yen coins, choose the settings, and pose. The photo booths have become quite varied over the years. When they first opened there was only a choice of simple colored backgrounds or basic patterns. Now you can find booths which contain a tiered stand where you can vary your pose to fit into the scenery you choose.
For example, if you choose a space background, you can lie face down on the bench with your arms out at your side, and a friend can do the same on the higher tier. Turn your face to the camera lens and smile. In the printed photo you and your friend will appear to be flying through space. In the same way you can pose on a horse, on a giant chess board, on the cover of a notebook, or in a bento lunch.
The final part of the fun is the graffiti. You go the graphic station where the images you posed for appear. Here you use a touch pen to add words, graphic elements, and seasonal messages.
If you have had dreams of sitting on top of an ice cream sundae, or kissing your loved one in a sea of bubbles, I suggest you take your coin purse, join with a friend, and head over to a Print Club near you!
Story by JGY from AIKAWARAZU LIFE IN JAPAN