At this point, you probably don’t need to explain what the word karaoke means, right? Surely who else who least has been able to enjoy (or not: D) a good karaoke session. However, there are differences between western karaoke and karaoke in Japan.
While in the West the fashion of singing following the lyrics that appear on a screen landed in bars and karaoke clubs, where one waits for his turn taking something while others are singing (or trying), in Japan the establishments dedicated to karaoke are very different since They look more like a hotel than a bar.
The first thing that draws the attention of Japanese karaoke is that they are neither a bar nor a pub, but an establishment, usually with neons, strong lights and butt music, with a wide reception where we will have to register and say how many people we are going to be, to give us the most appropriate room.
And that is probably the biggest difference with Western karaoke: the establishment is divided into several independent rooms or rooms, of different sizes and shapes, each with its karaoke machine, sofas and tables.
The rooms are for private use and exclusive to the group that rents them at that time and nobody else will enter them while they are booked. So, in a Japanese karaoke, we will only sing in front of our friends and we will not have to endure the sessions of strangers.
The rooms are called “karaoke box” in English and have different sizes depending on the group that occupies them.
Using a karaoke machine is usually very simple. We have many options (to modulate the voice, sound effects, etc.), but if we just want to sing, just look for the song in the lists in alphabetical order or by the artist / group lists that we can review in the electronic guide, a kind of screen / tablet that we can use to add songs to the playback queue. The vast majority of karaokes already have a section with songs in English and other languages (usually Chinese and / or Korean).
In addition, while we are singing we can introduce songs that we want to sing later so that we don’t stop at any time and enjoy the time we are there to the fullest.