Thursday, December 20, 2007

Karaoke in Tokyo, Japan

Today is a good day for me. I woke up early, went down to gym only to find the condo is celebrating it’s first year anniversary and they’re going to throw a party tonight. Ah.. I love celebrations.

I called up a friend to go grocery shopping with me, decide to cook and eat in for a change today. Something I have not done in a lonnng time. I also realized my stamina is down the pits because after 15 minutes on the treadmill, I was out of breath (well not really, but probably didn’t really push myself that hard).

Anyway, this is getting out of topic, will talk about my journey to healthy home cook food in the next entry. Now, let’s get back to the title.

Karaoke. Ah… the friend and family bonding Asian cultural event. No where else apart from the Eastern Asia have I seen businesses built solely on the concept of many cubicle rooms in a tight area for the purpose of letting groups of young and the old singing to a box.

Ask any Caucasion, they probably think Karaoke means sitting on a stool on stage in a bar singing to a crowd of ignorant dull audience who are busy drinking beers.

But not to Asian culture. No.

Karaoke is like, part of our live. Part of growing up, of weekly entertainment, of social networking, a place where you celebrate your birthday, your after company dinner event, your farewell party. It’s everything that we are. We Asians love singing! To ourselves.

Because we are shy, we don’t like singing to a sea of strangers, we like to torture our friends with our croaks, we like to be intimately cramped up in a dark and small confined area. Or maybe that was just me?

Now, for all Malaysian, Asians, even Japanese who have not been to Tokyo before and the rest of the world. This is Karaoke in Tokyo, Japan.

karaoke room


Wait wait.. I know you’re going to say it looks exactly the same as it is in Malaysia. But it’s not! Oh… it’s so not!

The experience of karaoke in Tokyo is simply breath-taking. Not because the girls are so damn hot and cute, and the guys too, not because of the wide variety of song selections from Spanish song by Shakira,

screen


to Chinese song by Andy Lau,

remote menu


And you'd think they only have Japanese songs, Korean the most.

chinese song screen
Even got Japanese katagana pronunciation~


Not because of the super systematic count of the minutes and seconds record

order note


Not because of the calories counter shown at the bottom of the screen once each song is finished to show how much weight you have lost by singing,

calory bar


And not because of the extensive wide selection of delicious so-good-can-die dessert menu to keep your endorphins pumping while you sing,

menu


Also the calories stats to show you how many songs you need to sing to counter the dessert guilt

menu 2
That’s 182 songs for a sundae.


menu 3
Blinking lychees cost RM6 for 6?!


Nope, not even the awesomest karaoke remote - which no longer requires you to sit so close to the screen to choose your songs but to pick the songs like how you operate a palm pc from where you are from the remote, marks the uniqueness of karaoke session in Tokyo.

karaoke remote


And there are MORE THAN ONE so you don’t need to fight with your friend over the remote!!

remote menu


Nay, not even this fancy top of the line gadget define the distinctiveness of the karaoke here

The one thing that sets your experience karaoke-ing anywhere else in Asia apart, the ultimate thrill of going for karaoke in Tokyo is…

price menu


the fact that you are paying RM14 (480 yen from 7pm – 6am on a weekend) for an HALF HOUR SESSION PER PERSON TO SING KARAOKE IN TOKYO!!!!!!!

That means if you and your friend visit this place on a weekend evening and decide to sing for three hours (which is the minimum time frame for most of us),

480 yen * 2 person * 6 half hours = ……

YOU ARE PAYING 5760 YEN FOR A KARAOKE SESSION. THAT’S A FREAKING RM170 (USD 50) EXLUDING TAX AND DRINKS AND DESSERTS AND SNACKS!!!!!

HOLY ZEUS HERCULES!!!!

WHO THE F*CK IN THEIR RIGHT MIND GO SING K IN TOKYO JAPAN!!!!!


I went back for another 3 hours session two days later.

20 comments:

  1. Crazily insane.... first time posting..... how long were u there?/ but as u may have already known, everything in tokyo is down right expensive... am not suprised at all... try tellin me one thing u can get for a low price over there (compared to our lovely country... lol)... but anyway, hope ur having fun there

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  2. The carnival thinggy rite???

    Errr nope i'm not a stalker ... i live there also.

    You were blogging once your car park parking. And you got show your car photo with the building behind it. :)

    I heard that carnival is illegal not related to the mgt. There a police report on it if not wrong on the bulletin board.

    Anyway back to singing.... Ahhhh RedBox.... buffet dinner....

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  3. hi nic, I am your regular blog visitor. In spite of in UK, your blog is well known :-)
    Keep on the good work. I love your travel entries!!

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  4. -_-

    RM 170 for karaoke session!!

    what on earth!!

    siao..

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  5. Ridiculous lar ... i thought space was expensive in Japan. Little did i know time was also equally expensive. These Japs, slap them silly.

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  6. but if u r working there, 5bucks per hour is already quite cheap - i had to spend aud40 pp (unlimited time though) - almost rm100++? to sing in Melb. Sometimes when I am poorer I'll just sing in the lounge, torturing the bar tender and other customers ears for aud15pp =p

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  7. Karaoke...the price we pay to become a short term super star is suprisingly suprising... (-_-)"

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  8. Well, taking into account that a cheap meal in Tokyo cost about 500 yen too, so singing 1/2 hour = 1 bowl of noodle.

    In Malaysia terms, means RM3 for a 1/2 K session. OK what.

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  9. aaa.... is that Kenny's hairy hand?

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  10. everything in tokyo...japan for that matter....is uber expensive! siao...

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  11. It's not that everything is expensive in Japan(Or anywhere else for that mater. Imagine 50 pounds for cab fare in UK from city to airport. About RM300+). It's because you're in Malaysia earning Ringgits. Working in Malaysia seriously effects your ability to travel as much as people in certain countries.

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  12. you're one crazy lady

    but i still like you "o)

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  13. Your last two sentences pretty much summed up your mixed reactions, and we feel you :p

    It'll always a bit pricey for us Malaysians who earn little for a living, compared to the Japanese, Americans, Britons, yada yada, the list goes on :p Then again, it's an awesome experience you went thru.

    I think many of us will be ready to part with RM170 for Japan karaoke anyday :)

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  14. haha, i lived in tokyo for a month once and it was the wackiest times of my life. Also the most expensive. I once had my flat tyre changed and they charged me RM 300. Minus a new tyre. Long story. Anyway, when in Rome, you just have to be a Roman...

    www.reimondsblog.blogspot.com

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  15. Nicole, u got hairy arms!!

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  16. rm170 IS pretty worth it tho it's expensive.. hehe. cool tech! :)

    did u sing there nicole? or u just go there to enjoy those delicious snacks? lol.

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  17. okok... that's at least... comparable to the USD 0.50 per minute I paid for internet access aboard my cruise

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  18. Wow... interesting experience there... Now I can see Japanese really really love Karaoke...
    Must plan to go there myself sometime....

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  19. Considering the length of service provided in the karaoke parlours in Japan, the price may be reasonable. Besides cost of living in Japan is very high, so RM28 per hour per se fits well in the Japanese wallet. But sure enough, the karaoke experience in Japan is amazing. No wonder karaoke is their favourite pasttime activity. I'm not a whore for karaoke myself but having this much of products and services to choose from, I might get attached to karaoke before I know it.

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  20. I was in Tokyo around the same time as you~~! I have to agree, Karaoke in Tokyo can be OUTRAGEOUSLY expensive!! But I think if you do it in smaller places, not so close to really popular parts of town (we went to Shinjuku ugh! -_-;) then it is way, way cheaper.

    Oh and YEAH, Japan is the king of food porn. Everything looks SO delicious!! Even the fake foods! lol.

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