If you’re reading this and live in Nagoya and we’ve ever hung out on the weekend, you know what the answer is. If we are snap chat friends, you definitely know what the answer is. I’ve lost sleep because of this activity. It’s… Karaoke!
Karaoke is a whole different ball game in Japan. I enjoyed occasional karaoke nights with friends during college, but they would be lying if they said they enjoyed hearing me sing. When Jeremy had an audition for our huge church Christmas production back in Cincinnati, I remember a funny moment on the phone with my mom. I was telling her that Jeremy was currently having his audition and she asked if I was trying out too. I replied, “you know who my parents are!” Meaning that my genetics didn’t exactly gift me with a beautiful voice, no offense mom and dad. My mom responded by saying, “why don’t you lip sync?” That would make for an interesting audition haha (love you, mom)!
Thankfully, I don’t have to worry about strangers hearing me sing at karaoke here because you have your own private room with your friends! Karaoke places are EVERYWHERE, especially around Nagoya. You choose one, go inside to the check in counter, and decide what package you want. You can sing for 1 hour or until 6 am (I have not made it to 6 am yet!). Some packages offer soft drinks or some are unlimited alcohol. The later probably is not a good choice if you plan to sing until 6 am 😉
Then you head with your friends to the room that is yours while singing. You can karaoke by yourself, or with 30 friends! We typically go with between 5-10 friends. Then begins the song selection. There are usually 1-3 small screens that you can pass around to choose your songs. I even have a note on my phone with my karaoke list so I don’t have to try and remember which songs are the most fun to sing each time I go. While the song selection is happening, you can begin singing the moment that you walk in the room. There are usually 2-4 cordless microphones to pass around, along with tambourines and maracas if anyone feels like keeps beat with the music.
My favorite moments have been when the energy is so high in the room and everyone is dancing and bellowing out lyrics! Or singing “we all need somebody to lean on…” While standing with arms around each other and swaying to the music. Or that one night my friend and I finished the night singing Sarah McLaughlin “In the Arms of an Angel.” Oh wait, that wasn’t the best decision because it made our moods a little more depressing haha.
I enjoy karaoke so much that shortly after we moved here, I had a “goal” to karaoke twice a month. Unfortunately, I haven’t met that goal since we got back from home leave in January. There’s still time to achieve my goal I suppose. Would anyone like to help me with it?
Ja mata, friends!