The chain of Karaoke-Kan’s in Shibuya means that getting to belt out an 80’s classic is always going to be a possibility on a Friday night. With around several establishments dotted around the city, private karaoke rooms are available should you fear embarrassment from singing in front of others, are available from around £15 an hour, and most have an assortment of extra features, such as concert-style lighting, to add to the rock star experience.
30-8 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Karaoke – Japanese style – is the ultimate cultural experience. Forget everything you know about karaoke at home in smoky pubs on a Thursday night. In Japan it’s a finely-tuned experience. Rent a soundproof lounge room with your mates or colleagues, close the door and go crazy choosing from a massive selection of songs (in English) on the wireless system. It’s mad, it’s hilarious and it’s a fantastic insight into the culture of the Japanese. The whole stiff, formal everyday ending in a no-holds barred explosion of sillyness where you get to laugh at each other.
In Tokyo try the insanely kitsch and colourful Shidax Village Club in Shibuya. This massive complex has 130 private rooms spread over six floors of fun. Prices start at 544 yen for 30 minutes but forget that as soon as you read it. Order the 2 hour, all-you-can-drink version for 4200 yen per person. You get to pick up the phone, dial 11, and order the beers. They show up within five minutes. Best with a group, as you might expect.
Your only regret? Missing out on my powerful, soulful renditions of Surfin’ USA, Roxanne and my piéce de la resistance: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. You'll just have to learn to live with that.
Shidax is located at Jinnan 1-12-13, only a five minute walk from Shibuya Station. Take the street to the right of the huge Starbucks on the first floor over Shibuya intersection and look for the huge neon Shidax sign.
Tel: 03 3461-9356
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