Karaoke is one of those quintessential modern Japanese experiences.

Crowd into a tiny private room and take your on the uncomfortable pleather sofa, fumble around with the video remote control as you decide what you could possibly sing that other people would know, order a few drinks and bam, before you know it you’re tapping a tambourine as your friend belts out “Cruel Angel Thesis” with a Strawberry Pocky lodged up their nose.

But if you get bored of the same old karaoke shenanigans above (“Cruel Angel Thesis,” the Evangelion theme song, makes it to top 10 karaoke lists every year; Strawberry Pocky nose-plugs are just a by-product of alcohol), Naver Matome has put together a list of eight unusual karaoke joints that offer an experience beyond just singing to a television screen!

1. Nico-Kara Room

Imagine if you could broadcast your karaoke solo live to the entire world via Ustream or YouTube and have people heckle you in real time.

That’s exactly what you can do in the Niko-Kara Room, the newest karaoke box installed at Joysound in Kyobashi, Osaka on August 29. Using Joysound’s custom “Crosso” karaoke machine, you can steam your performance live on Japanese live video sharing site Nico Nico Live.

How’s this for an idea: tell people you’re going to sing “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” beforehand and then drop “Never Gonna Give You Up” on your unsuspecting crowd.


2. Utasuki

Utasuki is an interactive paid service offered at Joysound karaoke establishments across the country. Think of it as a kind of Karaoke social network: you can create a Mii-like avatar to appear onscreen while you sing, record your performance to share with friends, sing along with friend’s recorded performances, make song requests to friends and more!

Though don’t you just hate it when your mom creates an account and sends you a request to sing Barry Manilow when all your friends and coworkers are watching? Gosh.


3. Dam Tomo

A bit like Utasuki above but without the premium, Dam Tomo lets you record your performance and upload it to the internet for free.

They also frequently run collaborations with popular anime titles or pop idols, making it the karaoke box of choice for the otaku diva.


4. One Kara and Other “Solo Karaoke Booths”

A few establishments have been popping up around Tokyo recently that offer singers their very own private room – some even decked out with professional recording equipment.

We visited a couple of these in the past and if you’re interested to know what it feels like to go to karaoke all by yourself, check out our report of One Kara here and Choi KARA, the stand-alone private karoke booth, here.


5. The “Francfranc Room” at Big Echo Karaoke

Sometimes I like to fantasize about breaking into my neighbor’s house and singing “The Safety Dance” in my skivvies. We’re pretty that’s not what the Francfranc Room was intended for, but its homely design complete with fake casement windows and modern furniture helps me live the dream nonetheless.

The first Francfranc room was installed at the Big Echo in Shin-Yurakucho and was supposedly designed to provide a comfortable singing space for the modern woman. Psh. I can dance if we want to…


6. The “Big Kids Room” at Shidax

The “Big Kids Room” was designed to let parents keep an eye on their kids while they enjoy karaoke. Of course, kids are also free to have their own adorable karaoke parties here as well.

The best part about all-kids karaoke parties is that you don’t even have to get them drunk and they’ll still stick Strawberry Pocky up their nose.


7. “Nitori Coordinate Room” at Relax Karaoke

Nitori is a Japanese furniture and home interior store, kinda like the Japanese version of IKEA, and the Nitori Coordinate Room is pretty much a karaoke machine placed in a Nitori showroom.

It might not sound that exciting, but customers can also enjoy manga and video games in their private room as well. And, unlike IKEA, you don’t have to put everything together before you use it.


8. “Wandaburu Room” at Shindax

Japan already has Cat Shells, so sure, why not?

The “Wandaburu Room” is a room where you can sing karaoke with your pooch. Aan is the Japanese equivalent of “woof”, and the word “wandaburu” is a portmanteau of “wan” and “wonderful”…get it?

What’s that? Those Japanese puns a little ruff?

Just beagle-ad this article is over.

Source: Naver Matome