Karaoke was created in Japan in 1971 but has now spread worldwide. In Japan, karaoke is generally done inside private soundproof rooms called karaoke boxes, but these days, the karaoke boxes in the country have become more cutting-edge in terms of technology and have rolled out various unique services for customers. Here are five recommended state-of-the-art karaoke boxes in Tokyo.
Rainbow Karaoke is the karaoke joint with the lowest rates in all of Japan. The Shibuya, inside a fashion building that is a 5-minute walk from Shibuya Station, has become a popular topic of conversation on social media since it looks like an amusement facility inspired by Brooklyn, New York. There's also plenty of food, including great-smelling, chewy pizza, snacks, cute sweets, and more. While there is a charge for food and the room, on the weekdays you can get the room for free for an hour! Note that there will be additional fees if you go beyond that one-hour free time and the room charge won’t be free on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. But even then, their rates are surprisingly low that it’s as if the shop is not in the middle of Shibuya, which is a known battleground of karaoke boxes! Now, Karaoke Rainbow adopts a members-only system, so bring your passport or other form of identification when you go.
※Photo is for illustration purposes.
1. No room fee?! Karaoke Rainbow Shibuya Branch
The Ginza flagship branch of Karaoke Kan is famous for its 115 private rooms with a luxurious vibe, but this karaoke box draws most of the attention thanks to its Dual Monitor Room that uses cutting-edge equipment called LIVE DAM STADIUM. With the Dual Monitor, two images of concerts, wild audiences, and other scenes can be projected in beautiful full-HD images to fill the room. As for the sound, you can set it to stereophonic quality that will make you sound like you are in a live hall, so you can get that feeling of singing in a stadium as you hit a crescendo.
※Photo shows the Shinjuku Higashiguchi Branch
2. The dual monitors make you feel like you're at a concert! Karaoke Kan Ginza Main Branch
JOYSOUND, which is directly managed by a manufacturer of industrial karaoke machines, is a karaoke box that has been getting rave reviews for its conceptual karaoke rooms. Here, there is a wide array of rooms to choose from, including rooms where you can use guitars, basses, and electronic drums that can be rented for a fee, rooms where you can experience karaoke using a high-resolution sound generator with super sound quality, as well as rooms where you can enjoy not only singing karaoke, but also a state-of-the-art lights show with the Hue system that can recreate 16.77 million colors. Inside the rooms, they even provide Gibson-made guitars, so you can sing karaoke while strumming a guitar! Don’t you think you’d like to spend a fun, luxurious time here?
3. You can rent instruments! JOYSOUND Shinagawa Konanguchi Branch
1Kara is an exclusive karaoke shop where you can enjoy karaoke by yourself in its so-called PIT rooms that look like spaceships. The rooms here are equipped with high-sensitivity microphones that can be used even in professional recording, as well as mixers that will let you freely arrange the BGM and voice, thereby making you feel like a real recording star. If you want to sing with headphones on, you can bring your favorite headphones or rent a set at the shop. This karaoke box is open 24 hours a day. It's also a members-only karaoke shop, so you will need to present your passport or some form of identification and pay 300 JPY for membership on your first visit.
※Photo shows the PIT at the Shinjuku O-Guard branch
4. If you're going to karaoke alone, try 1Kara Ueno Branch
The appeal of the Akihabara branch of Karaoke ADORES is that it is located in Akihabara, which is known as a holy ground for otaku (enthusiasts; in this case, anime/manga/video games, etc.). The 1st and 2nd floors of the building house a series of game centers, while the 3rd to the 10th floors are the karaoke floors. The 9th floor is particularly recommended here. This floor’s primary appeal is the free rental of student uniforms, maid uniforms, and other costumes. Choose from rooms with different interiors like the princess room or the gothic room, and sing your heart out. Don’t forget to take a souvenir photo!
5. Free cosplay in the holy land for otaku at Karaoke ADORES Akihabara Branch
Japan boasts various kinds of unique karaoke styles that you can only find here. These karaoke boxes might become a great memory during your trip, so you should definitely check them out.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.