Karaoke Bars in Tokyo: Tips for First Timers

June 7, 2012 by

Local Recommendations, Things To Do, Uniquely Tokyo

Hit the stage with karaoke!

Hit the stage with karaoke!

If you’ve always wanted to try karaoke but are too shy to stand up in front of a crowd then Tokyo is the place to kick start your karaoke habit. I say habit because karaoke is highly addictive. It’s also downright hilarious when you go with a group of friends. That’s not to say that solo travelers can’t enjoy a night out in a karaoke bar – in Tokyo everyone is welcome to hire their own booth and smash out a few tunes!

You needn’t seek out a karaoke bar in Tokyo because chances are one will find you. Karaoke is a popular night out for many Tokyoites, so much so that you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding where to go.

Very few bars in Tokyo are lucky enough to have street frontage so most employ touts to draw customers in. If it’s a busy night the tout might ring through to the bar to secure a booth for you and your friends upfront.

Apart from room décor (which can range from futuristic to sparse to various kawaii (cute) themes) one karaoke bar is very much like another when it comes to the experience you can expect to have there. You’ll be shown to a private room large enough to accommodate the people in your group. For an upfront fee you can hire the room for a set amount of time and order drinks and snacks by simply picking up the phone provided.

Rooms are soundproofed and contain a touchscreen pad, microphone and screen. Some bars will have more English songs than others but almost all will have a long list of karaoke classics in both English and Japanese.

The majority of karaoke bars stay open all night and into the morning (until 6am) and you can easily extend the amount of time you wish to stay. And believe me when I say: it’s highly likely that you will.

Popular karaoke bars:

Shibuya:

  • Karaoke Kan
  • Smash Hits

Ginza:

  • Big Echo kKaraoke

Roppongi:

  • Fiesta International Karaoke Bar
  • Shidax
  • Lovenet

- Emma McMahon

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