All About Japan

The City of Photo Props

Sushi Sweets Japanese Food Photography Japanese Countryside Greater Tokyo Chiba

The town of Choshi, Chiba, takes immense pride in three things: its long history, its soy sauce industry, and its many face cutout photo props. The town's website lists over 30 locations of illustrated photo props with the faces cut out, called kaohame paneru in Japanese. Here are our five favorites, each worthy of a photo-taking pilgrimage.

5. Channel Your Inner Sushi Princess

At the locally famous Hanadai Sushi, you can channel your inner sushi princess (or take an embarrassingly adorable photo of your child) with the great cardboard cutout photo opportunity in the front of the restaurant!

- (Japanese)

4. Trick People into Thinking You Caught a Prize Flounder

If you're not very good at fishing and your Photoshop skills aren't on point, there's no reason to worry: in Choshi you can take a photo that makes it look like you caught a prize flounder! This photo op is just outside of Kazu Japanese restaurant, and according to the town's website this photo opportunity is particularly great because the hole in the sign accommodates almost any face shape or size.

- (Japanese)

3. Transform Your Head into a Head of Cabbage

Choshi is banking on you always wanting to have had a head of cabbage. Here, you can make this dream come true. This cardboard cutout is such a popular Choshi destination that it has a webpage dedicated solely to its existence. The cutout is located in front of a shop that sells an immensely popular local delicacy: cabbage melon bread.

- (Japanese)

2. Get an Aquatic Kiss

Have you ever wanted a kiss from a mola mola, but never had the opportunity? Choshi City seems to be the place to be to fulfill all of your cutout prop fantasies, including this smooch from a fish. This photo opportunity is accessible in all weather because it's located indoors at Choshi's Port Tower next to an arcade. Whether you get some games in before or after you mug with the world's heaviest bony fish is up to you.

- (Japanese)

1. Show Off Your Bikini Body

If you want to show people your svelte bikini body without all that trouble of dieting, be sure to pull over to this cardboard cutout photo op. This one is very accessible as it's prominently located in the parking lot of a local printing company, where it works hard to draw people into the town of Choshi.

And of course, even if you're not interested in the photo ops, you can always just pick up some cabbage bread, have a Japanese-style lunch, grab some sushi or visit Port Tower! And if you ever need any printing done, you know where to go!