Karaoke directly translated means ’empty orchestra’. It is one of the favorite pastimes of the people in the land of the rising sun. Karaoke Boxes (private rooms which you can rent) and Karaoke bars can be found all over Japan, often as part of an evening of drinking with friends. It can be enjoyed at night or in the daytime at varying prices. It is often suggested as something people should try when they visit this country.
But Karaoke is not always a social activity. Quite often, some people decide to visit one of the large Karaoke chains, such as Big Echo or Karaoke Kan, by themselves. So why do people go to sing alone in what is something to be enjoyed with family or friends? Here are several reasons why people go to karaoke alone.
Life in a large Japanese city such as Tokyo is great fun, but also comes with an awful lot of stress. Work, family, long commutes and other demanding responsibilities can take their toll, leaving people frustrated and grumpy. An hour or so of loud singing can be a workout, and a great way to release pent-up energy and stress. Going alone means no sharing microphones so, there is no need for politeness or taking turns. Screaming your favorite songs into a microphone is surprisingly satisfying, leaving stressed-out folks feeling better.
In almost all areas of Japan, people are expected to be quiet. It is a show of social politeness and consideration – you are expected to keep the noise down in restaurants, public transport, and even on the street. Even most Japanese houses and apartments have relatively thin walls and unwritten rules of silence. Karaoke is a place to be as loud as you like, yell and scream while you’re singing, and make as much noise as you want!
Karaoke isn’t about singing like a superstar and discovering your talent. However, there are plenty of people out there who want to give a great performance, perfecting their singing and hitting all those difficult notes. The only way to get good at singing songs, though, is to practice, and people who are serious singers (or just want to be able to confidently sing songs in front of others), prefer to go to karaoke alone to perfect their favorite tunes beforehand.
You have to be considerate when visiting Karaoke with other people. You have to strive to find songs that are fun for the others and avoid tunes that are too slow or too long. You don’t have to worry about stuff like that if you visit Karaoke by yourself – you can enjoy that nine-minute slow-paced ballad all you want because there is nobody else there.
There are also songs that you might love but can’t sing well because it is too high pitched or too flat. When you’re alone, you don’t have to shy away from these tunes.
Karaoke is great as a group activity but it is also excellent for enjoying downtime alone. For those having a rough day, I recommend going to Karaoke alone and alleviating your stress. Try discovering a new side to this Japanese pastime.