カラオケ/Karaoke is a type of interactive entertainment from Japan, and it is popular in many Asian countries. You can enjoy singing songs to music accompaniment with lyrics displayed on screen. People of all ages enjoy singing at Karaoke places in Japan. Many places in city areas are open until early in the morning, so some even sing all night long to get rid of stress and enjoy music.
At a Karaoke place, a group or individual can use private rooms called Karaoke boxes. Customers can use the machine to pick the song they like and sing using microphones (You can adjust the echo and the volume. At some places, lighting effects are also available).
Thousands of popular songs (without lead vocal parts) are available including many English songs. Guests can order food and drinks using phones that connect directly to the reception.
Some bars and nightclubs have Karaoke machines inside and customers enjoy drinking and singing. Karaoke is so popular that the global Karaoke market has been estimated to be worth about $10 billion.
In the 1960s, music cassette tapes were invented and it became easier to duplicate and edit music. Later in the 1970s, a Japanese engineer Shigeichi Negishi made the first Karaoke machine, and then Toshiharu Yamashita sold an 8-track playback deck. Then a drummer, Daisuke Inoue made a machine that played songs for a 100yen coin each, and it became popular. The machine was placed in restaurants and hotels and then Karaoke boxes, rooms where people can enjoy singing without worrying about making noises, were made.
In 1975, Roberto del Rosario (from the Philippines) developed the sing-along system and he is the patent holder of the Karaoke machine. Karaoke became popular in many other Asian countries in the 1990s, and as the audio-visual technology gets better each year, the quality of Karaoke has been on the rise.
Popular Karaoke Places in Japan
Karaoke-kan, Big Echo, Joysound, Shidax are major places for enjoying Karaoke in Karaoke boxes. There are a lot more similar places like them, and the price is roughly around 500 yen per hour (the weekend and nighttime cost more. As an option, you can add 飲み放題/Nomihoudai plan by paying extra. With that, customers can have soft drinks as much as they want until the time to leave). At some places, you can even rent some instruments and costumes. Karaoke places are especially popular among young students. It is common to see them sing in groups on weekends.
Due to the spread of coronavirus, concert halls and Karaoke places are having a really hard time keeping their businesses. Still, the love for music in Japan never dies and many are waiting to be able to enjoy singing at Karaoke places freely. If you are from a different country and have a chance to sing Karaoke, I recommend that you try and enjoy the entertainment from Japan!
Today’s words and phrases
・get rid of 〜を取り除く
・be placed 設置される
・be on the rise 上昇している
Thank you for reading today’s post.
Until next time!
*I’m a professional composer by the way.
You can listen/download my music below.