How To Have a Karaoke Night in Tokyo!
Ready to sing? In Japan, Karaoke is one of the most common entertainment activities. When visiting Japan you will see several Karaoke stores and wonder how the system works, which one to choose and the difference between them.
You might imagine Karaoke as bars where people sing in front of everybody. Wrong perspective; in Japan this is in the past. Nowadays, Karaokes offer separate rooms where you have fun with your friends in privacy. Let’s understand how the system works.
How It Works
Arriving at a Karaoke, you will find a counter. The staff will ask for the quantity of people and time you
intend to stay. The average time spend in a Karaoke is 2 hours, and usually it is charge by half an hour. If there are requirements related to order, they will explain (for example, a minimum order of drink per person). Be sure to mention in the counter about the all-you-can-drink option if you prefer that.
Getting in the room, you will find a tablet that you will use to select songs and eventually drinks and food. From there on you just enjoy! You don’t need to worry about the time as the staff will call the room 5 minutes before it finishes. If you desire to extend the time, this is a great opportunity to tell so. You can also go to the counter to avoid misunderstandings.
Where To Go
When walking around Shibuya or another big station, you will find several Karaoke signs; but where to go? Well, the best option is to choose a famous chain.
1. Shidax: is a better standard Karaoke with good quality equipments that offers really good food and drinks. The rooms are spacious, clean, and have cool themes. They offer a variety of English songs and the option for non-smoking rooms. You will find this chain easily in big stations especially because their logo is white with a red background written in romanji.
2. Karaoke kan: is usually considered as a standard Karaoke with good quality machines, food and drinks. The rooms are spacious, clean and have cool themes; it is very similar to Shidax. They offer a higher variety of English songs than Shidax and nonsmoking rooms are available. Their logo is written with neon lights red and blue as カラオケ館.
3. Maneki Neko: is a lower end Karaoke. The rooms are smaller, standard (not fancy), with the possibility of bring your own food and drinks. They offer a variety of English songs, and the option of nonsmoking rooms. You can recognize this Karaoke by finding a yellow sign with a cat character holding a microphone.
4. Uta Hiroba: is another lower end of Karaoke. However they offer free soft-drinks bar so it is a really good cheap option! It is similar to Manekin Neko, but you can find this one more often. The rooms are smaller and standard, and they have a fair amount of English songs. This Karaoke is fairly recognizable; its name is written in white with red background and has a smiley face holding a microphone.
Good To Know
Karaokes offer more than music; they offer food and drinks. The rules vary from one Karaoke to another. For example, some chains required a minimum consumption like one drink per person. Other chains allow their clients to bring drinks and food from outside. Therefore, if you plan to bring drinks or food from outside, it is important to confirm with the Karaoke before buying them. Additionally, it is good to know that the prices vary depending on the time and day. It is often cheaper before 6 pm and during the weekdays. And more, several Karaokes stay open 24 hours.