Sunday, January 18, 2009

Karaoke in Japan

Although Karaoke was invented in Japan in 1971, and then spread through Asia and to the U.S. and other parts of the world in the 1990s, the version exported to the U.S. is much different. While making a fool out of yourself in public seems to be a big part of karaoke in the U.S., it's a more private entertainment in Japan.

In Japan, you go to a karaoke box where you rent a small room for about $9 per person per hour. All the alcohol you can drink in an hour is included. Each "box" or room holds four or five people, and your group does karaoke alone with no audience. The karaoke machine is the same as in the U.S., and you can choose songs in Japanese, English and even Spanish. (I'm a terrible singer but I can dance the macarena pretty well!)

Above, Itsumi and her friend Kiyo are pictured in the hallway outside of the karaoke boxes. Below, Itsumi and Kiyo sing a song in Japanese.

1 comment:

dan cassidy said...

Kimi: you should be a travel writer! interesting book list too. 1492 was a bad yr for a lot of folks here in the Americas. wish i have the time to read these books. dan