Probably Japanese would not sing or dance in a large public space, but in a cosy small room with special lighting effects, they go wild. That’s Karaoke magic. This is a close up guide to the mysterious Japanese Karaoke culture.
Originally, Karaoke was targeted at grown-ups in their 20s and 30s with jobs, as a mean for letting off the steam from busy working life style. Until now, it still serves this purpose, yet it is attracting a lot more generations for a variety of reasons, and it’s not surprising if you find a group of elementary school children on holiday seasons or senior couples who come and sing regularly at their local Karaoke shop. This is because Karaoke shops have survived in business, mostly offering affordable price and flexible opening hours, accommodating everyone’s demand in a rapid social and economic changes the were happening in Japan. More importantly, paying extra efforts in tidiness and customer care are essential for each Karaoke shop in order to create safe environment for all those who love to sing.
Most Karaoke shops offer happy hours, meaning you can stay and sing as much as you want during certain hours at a fixed price. Therefore, if you’d like to sing a lot of songs at low cost, this is for you. Usually happy hours start from around noon and end before dinner time, which is around 7pm. In this scheme, you can sing approximately 7 hours straight, enjoying help-yourself soft drinking service at a shared space. There, you’ll see variety of people captured by Karaoke magic, and it’s sort of ironic that the only time you can see them is at this shared space. Otherwise, they are all in their rooms, dedicated to their singing duty. Happy hours go by quickly, especially with this drinking fountain service which keeps their throats ready for the next song.
It’s easy. Go pick the mic up and sing your favourite song. The rest will come naturally and you’ll be amazed at how refreshed you are after Karaoke. Here is your tambourine to go with.