Translated by Lester Somera
How To Enjoy Karaoke - The Four Steps To Payment
Written by Mayu
Karaoke is one of the most popular entertainment forms in Japan. Use this guide to find out how to pay for the services of a karaoke facility while in Japan, and enjoy your experience!
What Is Karaoke?
Karaoke, beloved by Japanese people, is a form of entertainment where participants choose songs from a machine at a karaoke box (or karaoke room) and sing along to the song’s lyrics, which are displayed on the screen.
Karaoke can be enjoyed with a group or solo (known as hitokara).
There aren’t many places in Japan where it’s socially acceptable to be very loud, so for Japanese people, singing at karaoke at the top of your lungs is a great stress reliever. These days, songs from America, China, Taiwan, and Korea are all available at karaoke rooms, and the lyrics are accurately displayed in each language.
When you come to Japan, by all means, enjoy a night out at karaoke!
Karaoke Box Prices
For people who’ve never been to a karaoke place before, we recommend visiting major karaoke chains such as Joysound, Shidax, Big Echo, Cote D’Azur, or Karaokekan.
These chains are comparatively easy to find since they’re close to major stations, and their interiors will be spotless. They also actively work to keep the song selection current, with the latest tunes and indie artist tracks on rotation, so there are always plenty of new songs you can sing.
If you’re not sure which karaoke place to go to, first, try out a chain karaoke spot.
Karaoke prices will vary according to the day and time you visit.
Prices can vary by store, but typically one hour of afternoon time on a weekday is 200-300 yen per person, and one hour of night time on a weekday is around 1000 yen per person. On Friday nights, weekends and holidays, expect to add an extra 100-200 yen to the regular hourly rates.
1. Check In At The Reception
Once you enter a karaoke facility, tell the staff at the reception how long you’d like to stay and how many people there are in your party, then choose a smoking or non-smoking room. In addition, let them know if there’s a specific type of machine you want to use, or if you have any special food or drink orders. After you receive a card with your room number from the staff, go to that room.
2. Can Order Food And Drinks From Your Room
Naturally, the karaoke room will contain a karaoke machine and microphones. It will also have a phone to communicate with the front desk, and a menu for food and drink orders.
Food menus include fried chicken, pizza, French fries, pasta, salad, and takoyaki, as well as sweets like parfaits and cakes. Juice and tea is available, as well as alcoholic drinks like beer, wine and cocktails.
Singing will get you feeling hungry and a little thirsty, so you’ll be glad to see this bountiful menu. Don’t forget that karaoke rooms have a one-drink system, which means that everyone in your party must order at least one drink.
3. Use The Karaoke Machine To Sing Your Heart Out
Once you’re in the room, promptly use the machine to pick a song, and get ready to sing.
In recent years, the number of machines with English/Chinese/Korean interfaces has increased, and you can sing plenty of non-Japanese songs. When you choose a song, the first step is to select the song title or artist name.
Choose The Song Title
1. Enter the first letter or word of the song title on the screen.
2. Once the results for your search appear, choose the song and hit the “Reserve song” button.
Choose The Artist
1. Search for either the artist name or the first letter of their name.
2. Click the artist’s name to pull up a list of their songs.
Chosen songs will play in the order they were reserved.
4. Adjust The Volume, Octave, And Speed Of The Song
You can change the volume, octave and speed of the song with the provided remote control.
Raise And Lower Volume
Use the volume button to change the song volume.
Raise And Lower Octave
You can lower the octave so men can sing songs by female artists, and raise the octave so women can sing songs by male artists
Use the octave button to change song octave.
Use The Karaoke Room As A Place To Relax
Karaoke rooms are a place to enjoy singing, but because they also cost only a few hundred yen per hour in the daytime, they’re great places to relax if you’re tired. When you want to rest your feet during your trip, how about relaxing in a karaoke box and singing your favorite songs?