Last November we reported on a karaoke booth for one to three people in Akihabara called Choi Kara, which was becoming a big hit in game centers.  Around the same time, another company opened One Kara, “the one-person private karaoke room.”  Similar to the Choi Kara in many ways One Kara also lets anyone sing their hearts out without fear of judgment.

Where One Kara goes their own way is with comfort.  Rather than charging per song, they charge by time like standard karaoke rooms. For the price of 800 yen (US$10) and 900 yen ($11) on weekends, you can sing whatever you want for an hour.

Since you would be spending at least an hour, you’ll find yourself equipped with high-end mics, monitors, and rentable headphone to hear yourself clearly – if you want to.  Even free soft-drinks are available.

Clearly it has been a formula for success for One Kara since they currently have plans to open 9 more branches in most major areas of Tokyo by this August.  They’ve even hooked up with the largest karaoke company in Korea, Kumyoung Karaoke, to bring you the best in K-Pop.

But why is private karaoke so popular?  Sure you don’t have accompanying music in the shower and (if American Idol has taught us anything) singing along to a professional on their CD tends to lead to an inflated sense of singing ability.  According to One Kara, there are many reasons to use their service including avoiding embarrassment or practice for when you go to real karaoke with other people.

I can understand that.  One day in my office my boss came to me and said I was passed over for a promotion because he felt my rendition of Rhinestone Cowboy at the year-end office party was an insult to Glen Campbell.  So if you want to avoid the same fate you should probably sharpen your singing skills at One Kara.

Source: (Japanese)