It doesn't matter if you're a great singer or not, karaoke is fun for everybody - just grab the mic and get started! Karaoke in Japan is always changing, adapting not only to people's daily lives which change over the decades but also to various trends. Let's take a look at the most modern, most unique karaoke parlors that Tokyo has to offer.
Feel like a Star on the Stage!
1Kara is a specialty shop for singing karaoke by yourself. The best thing about this parlor is that you'll be given high-quality sounding headphones and a hands-free condenser mic while singing in a space that features professional equipment such as a sound mixer to adjust the levels of background music and voice tone. Sing to your heart's desire without a care in the world! A drink bar is also available. Why not experience this new frontier of Japanese karaoke culture?
- Address 2-2-9 5F, Kajicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 101-0044
Nostalgic Japanese Karaoke Culture
Kagurazaka Snack Core is a Karaoke bar where you can sing karaoke as much as you want without any time limit while also enjoying as many drinks as you want (including some snacks). It is 4,000 yen for male customers and 3,000 yen for female customers. The lady who owns the bar, often referred to as "mama", wears a kimono and welcomes every customer warmly. Many people spanning several generations gather at this karaoke bar and its great at-home atmosphere. Sing either on the stage or simply on your chair, it's an amazing experience either way! As the excitement of karaoke starts to build up, all the customers at a bar might be singing loudly all together and the atmosphere will take you right back to the Showa period of Japan. English-speaking staff is available only on weekends. Business hours start from 7:00 p.m.
Kagurazaka Snack Core神楽坂スナックコア
- Address Koa Bldg. 3F, 5-1, Kagurazaka, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 162-0825
Free Karaoke at the Tourist Information Center
ASOBISYSTEM, a talent agency that the Japanese musician Kyary Pamyu Pamyu belongs to, created a project called Moshi Moshi Nippon, delivering Japanese pop culture to the world. As part of the project, the MOSHI MOSHI BOX Harajuku Information Center was opened in the heart of Harajuku in December 2014. At HARAJUKU KAWAii!! ROOM, located next to this tourist information center, the interior is colorfully designed by the famous art director Sebastian Masuda and each visitor can experience one free karaoke song using the latest equipment. You can change the settings to display English captions as well so why not try your hand at singing a song in Japanese?
MOSHI MOSHI BOXMOSHI MOSHI BOX 原宿観光案内所
- Address 3-23-5 1F, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0001
An Eccentric Karaoke Izakaya in Nishi-Ogikubo
The last place on our list is a karaoke izakaya (a Japanese pub) that has been decorated a little differently than the typical Japanese pub. During the day, the shop is Buta-nikujiru Udon-be, an udon shop serving only 10 bowls per day on a reservation basis, and at night the shop opens as a karaoke izakaya, also offering their signature dish: udon. It opens at 7:30 p.m. and it isn't uncommon to stay open until dawn. Mainly people in their 30s to 40s gather at the pub to enjoy singing and drinking. Western spirits and selections of alcohol from various shochu (Japanese distilled spirits) from 7 different breweries in Nagasaki and several Japanese sake from a brewery in Nagano can be found on the menu. International tourists visit this place quite often, sing a song from their home country, and enjoy chatting to the locals and other travelers.
- Address GShaimu B1, 3-15-9, Nishiogiminami, Suginami-ku, Tokyo, 167-0053