Er, well, eight times over. Visa renewal time is upon me and I needed a new picture before the hair became blue again. Still haven’t quite processed that it’s been three years (or will be, a week from Monday) since I moved to Japan. It’s cliched to say “time flies,” but tempus has indeed fugit these past three years.
I owe a write-up of my parents’ visit (wonderful, but too short — not enough time to show them everything I wanted to), but for the moment, a word about Japanese purikura, or photo booths. In the U.S., I usually went to Kinkos for such things as passport photos, but no need here. Photo booths are easily found (there’s one by my grocery store, but I hit up one in Tenjin station for this photo session), fast, inexpensive and ridiculously feature-rich. Sometimes they’re themed, such as the Granrodeo one I used at the Tower Records cafe last month, or with special filters, stickers or more that you can dress up your picture with. But the regular booths can easily handle all your official picture needs, including letting you print pics you take yourself.
I settled for normal quality for these photos, but I could’ve done two or three levels of better quality, a few different filters, and even an option that said it would make me manlier, it claimed (not the look I was going for, nope). Plus the machine was in several different languages, making it very simple to use; it even helped me edit the pic afterward.
So now I’m armed with plenty of photos to hand in with my paperwork, after which I’ll be good for another five years here in Japan. And I’m sure those five will zoom by at light speed too. At least, I have no intention of slowing down any time soon.