Have you ever dreamt about turning into a Japanese schoolgirl for a day? No? Me neither, but it was fun anyway. Yes? Come on over to Shibuya!
I don’t always hang out in Shibuya, but when I do, this is what happens…
*I recommend listening to this song while you’re reading this *
What a good day it was! I got to meet Laura — we have known each other for about 2 years, but until last Friday we hadn’t had much of a chance to cross paths. Laura is from Belgium and she studies Japanese and Graphic Design. She’s been staying in Osaka for a couple of months and this time it was one of her longer visits to Tokyo, so we decided it was high time we finally met ♥ After Sharla joined us, we thought we should take some pics of all three of us together, and the easiest way to do that was to find a purikura machine. We didn’t really plan on trying one of the cosplay ones, but oh well, now I can confidently check the feeling of wearing a Japanese school girl uniform off my bucket list.
Basically, purikura machines can be found in any of the many game arcades you can find, next to the ufo catchers, slot machines, and people chain-smoking cigarettes (I believe that some game arcade customers don’t need oxygen to function).
This particular place is called Club Sega and it had the whole ‘purikura only’ floor, so there was no cigarette smoke there, thank god (if you didn’t know that yet, in Japan it’s perfectly fine to smoke inside buildings, but on the other hand it’s frowned on to smoke outside and people can do that only in designated smoking areas)
Though most people imagine anime or video game characters when they hear “cosplay”, you shouldn’t really expect those kind of outfits. Of course, there are other purikura places where you can find some anime character outfits. I have actually taken some sticker pics wearing Mami outfit from Puella Magi Madoka Magica (*click*), but the main clients of purikura booths are teenage girls (and girls in their 20′s *cough cough*) not nerdy Akihabara guys so anyway, you should expect short skirts and low-cut tops rather than warrior armors and swords.
….let’s see what choices we have.
High school girls, maids, tight chinese style dresses, policewomen, slutty policewomen (they called it アメリカンポリス→”American police” hmm).
We went for a cutesy look — Japanese school girl uniforms!
The first thing one of us had to do was to register with them and get a special card (thanks to Sharla for volunteering to do it, I already have like a zillion point cards in my wallet), then each of us paid 100 yen for another card which said 衣装貸出カード, costume rental card. Makes sense, all clear and simple.
Bad news for boys…
After entering this magic room, we saw something that looked like a celebrity dressing-room. Mirrors, changing rooms, cosmetics you can use for free, hair straighteners and everything a girl needs to transform into a proper cutie pie.
You can even add some hairy legs or an inflatable doll face, if that’s what tickles your fancy….
.and here they are! ♥ (remember what I said in my last post, there’s no such thing as too much purikura!)
Some people ask me what’s up with those V signs. Nothing’s really up with that, guys. That’s just something you do when you pose for photos and after 2 years in Japan, it’s something you do completely automatically.
After that we did tons and tons of other fun stuff but that’s a topic for another blog update.
Thanks for reading! ♥
Some purikura philosophy for you to ponder:
“No love, and you’re going out to live?”