Karaoke in Japan


KARAOKE! So much fun! Since I was a kid, I would always do karaoke with friends and family. I remember going on youtube at home and just picking some songs I wanted to sing. Some, I would sing on my own. Others, we would sing together. Sometimes, I would sing at home. Other times, we would sing at a party or get-together.

So, when I heard that Karaoke is a huge thing in Japan, I just knew I had to see what all the hype was about. What I noticed was that karaoke here is very different from the US. As I said earlier, in the US, I would sing at home or at a party. In Japan, that doesn’t seem to be the case. There are designated karaoke areas here.

For instance, 8 minutes from where I live is a karaoke place where you reserve a room and get a select list of songs. Prices depend on the package as well as whether or not you are a student. The least amount I paid was about 350 yen(about 2.50USD) and the most I paid was about 2000 yen(about 16USD). An interesting thing is that the whole group has to pay as one. The tab cannot be separated. It must be paid all at once. From my understanding, this is a common part of Japanese culture but honestly, I am not a fan of it as it makes the group have to budget and make sure each person has exact change. One time, two people paid significantly less than they were supposed to. This could have been avoided if we were allowed to pay our charge separately.

Earlier I mentioned that there is a select list of songs. Although the selection is quite large, I have found myself occasionally disappointed by its limitations. Since I am Latino, I often listen to Latin American music and would like to sing along. Here, they have Japanese, English, Korean, Chinese, and even some German songs. However, they have very few, if any, Spanish songs. Multiple times, I had people ask me to sing a Mexican or Latin American song only for me to tell them they don’t have them. Back at home, that isn’t an issue since I choose the songs from the internet.

Still, karaoke here is a nice experience and a change of pace. We get unlimited drinks and a nice room to ourselves. I find myself going often!