Do’s and Don’ts: Karaoke in Japan

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Do’s and Don’ts: Karaoke in Japan
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Let’s just admit that we all enjoy karaoke either with family, friends or co-workers. The best time to release your stress is definitely after working hours and during weekends. Interesting enough, the word ‘karaoke’ was actually created by the Japanese. A portmanteau of two words, ‘kara’ means empty and ‘oke’ is short for orchestra created the word ‘karaoke’.

With modern technology, you can now karaoke with other people virtually through an app like Smule.

Karaoke is considered as a very popular thing to do not only for the tourists but also for the locals. It is perfect for a night leisure activity and to top it off, most karaoke centres in Japan operate until as late as 6:00 AM. If you love to go out and hang out at a karaoke place, then these are some of the do’s and don’ts you should know before you go karaoke in Japan.

Image Source: The Travel Pockets.


1. Prepare A Song List

Whether you are an avid karaoke person or not, you have to prepare a song list. The list will assist you to choose what you want to sing and you will not take up too much time scanning the song tracks. Most people will get extremely annoyed if you browse the song list for too long. In case the karaoke bar doesn’t have your first choice of song, just pick the next option.

Image Source: The Travel Pockets.

2. Choose Popular Songs

Singing a popular song will make your karaoke night more enjoyable because you and your friends get to sing along to the tune. Just search for the current music trends, people’s favourite artists or a catchy upbeat song.

Image Source: Matcha Japan.

3. Wait for your turn

When it comes to karaoke, everyone wants to sing as many songs they want. Little did they know, there are other people in the room are waiting for their turn to sing. To overcome this problem, please take turns. Make sure everyone in the room has a chance to sing. The best thing you could do is to pick one song first. After you are done singing, you may choose your second song to sing when your turn arrives.

Image Source: Fujitsu Journal.

4. Come early

One of the solid ways to get a cheap karaoke price is to go during the daytime. Yes, it might seem weird to go karaoke early in the morning, but, you can really save a few bucks as compared to nighttime karaoke. If you go karaoke in Japan just to get the experience, maybe you should consider this option.

Image Source: Japan Guide.

5. Karaoke alone

Karaoke all by yourself is nothing to be ashamed of. You can scream all you want and sing your favourite songs without worrying about taking turns. This is a great form of stress reliever and you will walk out from the room with a big grin on your face.

Image Source: Japan Info.

6.  Cheer for your friends

Supporting your friends singing will make them feel more confident and appreciated. Before and after they sing, a slight applaud or cheers will certainly boost their mood. Also, remember to have fun! Do not stress over petty things, sing aloud and dance your heart out.

Image Source: Evening Standard.


1. Be the judge

The worst way to ruin someone’s mood is by commenting on his or her singing. Honestly, not all are born with a melodious voice, therefore, do not say anything that will upset them. Even if they have a high pitch or croaky voice, just keep it to yourself.  The only reason people go karaoke is to have fun and not to enter a singing competition.

Image Source: Greeblehaus.

2. Complain about the song’s selection

As we mentioned earlier, not all karaoke centres have your favourite tracks, especially the new releases or lesser-known songs. If they didn’t have the songs of your choice, just sing other songs that you know of.

Other than that, do not criticise your friend’s song selection too. If they want to sing a ballad song, just let them be. You only need to hear it for three minutes or so. All in all, avoid being this kind of person.

Image Source: Espresso Theology.

3. Sing without asking permission

Not everyone needs a backup singer or love to duet. You shouldn’t blatantly sing your friend’s song without asking them first. Some of us want to sing alone, but, when you overpower them, they might feel like you are being rude. Try asking them first whether it is okay to sing together.

Image Source: El Centenario.

4. Get drunk

Getting drunk in a karaoke room is a no-no. We realise that some karaoke place has unlimited or all-you-can-drink alcoholic beverages, but, that doesn’t mean you should go overboard. Worst comes to worst, you might get kicked out from the place.

Image Source: Lucky Voice.

5. Lick or spit on the microphone

Some of us can get pretty enthusiastic sometimes when it comes to singing our favourite song. Avoid putting the microphone too close to your mouth as it is considered nasty. Your friends will be using the same microphone, so, please be mindful.

Image Source: Kiss FM.

If you are looking for some of the top-rated places to go karaoke in Japan, below are the list;


One of the popular karaoke chains in Japan is none other than Karaoke-kan. Why is it so famous? Because this place was once featured in a Hollywood movie entitled, ‘Lost in Translation’ starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. You can rent costumes, all-you-can-drink and a stunning view of Tokyo Tower while singing your heart out.

Image Source: Explore by Traveloka.

Karaoke-kan Shibuya Branch

Address: 30-8 Udagawacho, Shibuya 150-0042, Tokyo Prefecture

Operating Hours: 11:00AM-6:00AM

Contact Number: +81334620785

Closest Train Station: Shibuya Station


Shidax Karaoke

Known for its mediocre price, luxurious rooms and tasty foods, Shidax Karaoke has over 300 locations in Japan alone. The biggest room can accommodate up to 40 people at one time which is why this place is desirable among the locals as well as tourists. Besides that, they have several types of room to make your karaoke experience more unique. For instance, Golf Room, Aroma Room, Kids Room and also Non-Smoking Room in which you need to reserve beforehand.

Image Source: Tony McNicol Photography.

Shidax Karaoke (Shinjuku Kabukicho Branch)

Address: 1-5-2 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

Operating Hours: 11:00AM-5:00AM

Contact Number: +81332048833

Closest Train Station: Yamanote Line Shinjuku Station



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