How to karaoke in Japan

12 Sep 2018 in Have Fun

It’s the ultimate fun Japanese experience – and it’s quite different to what you may think!

Think of karaoke and you probably think of singing into a mic in front of a rowdy crowd at a bar. But for most Japanese, karaoke is something quite different.

Karaoke (literally “empty orchestra”) began in the early 1970s in Japan. By the 1980s, it had become so popular that “karaoke boxes” were a regular feature in major cities.


A karaoke box is an establishment with a series of private rooms where you can sing alone or with friends to the music of your choice. While it’s still possible to find Western-style bar karaoke, these are no longer the norm for most Japanese.


When you arrive at a karaoke box, you’ll be asked how long you plan to stay. Most places charge per half hour. You’ll then be shown to your own karaoke room, where a touchpad screen offers a mind-boggling array of songs.


For the best selection of English songs, head to one of the chains like Big Echo or Karaoke Kan (which appeared in the movie Lost in Translation). Change the language to English, then navigate by genre or simply type in the song of your choice. Within seconds, the disco lights will go up and the spotlight will be on you!


In many places, you can control the pitch and tempo of the music. Dressing up is also common, with costumes provided, as well as tambourines and maracas so you can shake in time to the music.


Staying at Hoshino Resorts OMO5 Tokyo Otsuka?


Nearby Ikebukuro Station is home to several karaoke boxes, where you can sing until your heart’s content!


Night in the japanese trees

Enjoy an unusual experience with your family in the treetops!

10 May 2016 in Have Fun

What would you say to spending a day in the treetops with your family? Japanese camphor trees, which are over 300 years old, have been fitted out with bridges and large platforms to give you an extraordinary experience in the treetops! Read more


5 crazy ways to visit Japan

13 Oct 2017 in Have Fun

Fancy trekking on a camel? Sailing in a washtub? Or go-karting in central Tokyo? Discover some of the zaniest ways to visit Japan! Read more


Ranch Christmas: the holidays in Hokkaido

15 Dec 2017 in Have Fun

Experience Christmas in idyllic snowy Hokkaido! At Tomamu, there’s no end of events to put you in the festive mood. Read more



Walking above the clouds… the incredible experience

18 May 2016 in Have Fun

There is an absolutely incredible and rare phenomenon on the island of Hokkaido in Japan: a real sea of clouds that you can trample underfoot... So, are you ready to try it? Read more


5 essential spots to view sakura

31 Mar 2017 in Have Fun

Cherry blossom season is here! From mountain vistas to places to party, discover our guide to the essential sakura spots. Read more


“TOTO Washlets”: The Japanese toilets that are all the rage!

12 Oct 2016 in Have Fun

Discover the secrets of Japan’s incredible toilets. Once you’re in the know, you’ll want to try for yourself! Read more

most popular articles