Microphone, tambourine and karaoke equipment

Singing Your Heart Out with Karaoke!

Karaoke is a form of entertainment where aspiring singers can sing along with their favorite music using a microphone and a TV monitor which displays the songs’ lyrics as a guide. Karaoke is immensely popular in Japan where it encourages groups of people to get together and socialize in a lively and entertaining atmosphere. Karaoke is a wonderful way to enjoy and relax after a stressful day.

KCP students out enjoying karaoke.

Check out what KCP alumna Fall 2014 and Winter 2015 Brittany Crouch, from Missouri State University, has to say about her karaoke experience in Japan.

“So, if you’re like me, when I was in America we didn’t have Japanese style karaoke places where I live. I always wondered what Karaoke would be like; would I get shy, would it be expensive, what songs would they have, could I drink, what food was available?

KCP students out enjoying karaoke.

I will attempt to share what I have learned in the three months I have lived here regarding karaoke, because it turned out to be a really fun, and great bonding opportunity with friends!

It depends on where you go, what time of the day, and which day of the week you want to go sing your heart out. In Japan, the walls are pretty thin, so it’s not like you can just belt out Utada Hikaru whenever you want. Or maybe that’s just me. For those on a budget, during the week, and during the day is the best time to go. This is before people get off work and the rates increase for the night time singers. They charge by the hour, I think about 2-3 hours is a good amount of time. However, I’m sure if you have a coupon, the rates could get even lower. Each karaoke place may also offer 飲み放題(のみほうだい)nomihoudai or bottomless cup, all you can drink rates, a simple soda and ice cream bar, costumes, and food! I am sure there are some more amenities that are offered. I just don’t have the experience of going there yet.

For me personally, I like to go for about 3 hours with some friends, my favorite place offers a soda bar, 飲み放題 nomihoudai, and food. But we usually just choose the soda bar, and order a plate of food to share. If I want one drink I get it. I’m all for the cheapest possible option because I’m a college student!

Karaoke duet by KCP students.Karaoke duet by KCP students.

For the first question I had in America, “Would I get shy?”. The answer is yes and no. At first, you may think you need to be the world’s next Mariah Carey. The reality is, you aren’t going there to be a superstar, you are going in order to have fun singing with friends.

My first time, I was overwhelmed by just BEING in Japan so I didn’t sing that much. However, the second time I went out for karaoke, I just went with it, and had lots of fun. You won’t always be on key, or know the words, but neither will anybody else, so let yourself go and enjoy the experience! The best part is, I always look forward to singing at karaoke now.”

See more of Brittany’s karaoke experience here.

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