Surprised? Japan is the so-called motherland of KTV or karaoke. This very popular hobby originated from Japan. So... how can I not have KTV-ed since I came in last August? Yup.. all the way until my last month in Japan did I had my first Japanese KTV experience. ♫♫♬
So how different is Japan's KTV from Singapore's?
On and off I will compare with Taiwan's and Indonesia's, based on my personal KTV experiences there, too.
I went to Shidax and Round 1 KTV lounges in Japan.
The variety of food is huge! It is like Taiwan's 钱柜. Unlike Singapore's which is more of finger food variety. Both KTVs I visited in Japan have a wide range of main courses too.
There are different types of rooms for us to pick at the Japanese KTVs. They are of different theme and decor. The one I went to at Shidax, is the usual ones, like the ones we have at KBox and Partyworld. The second one I went to at Round 1, had a stage! And we have props, even drums, for us to accompany our friends' singing.
Without doubt, Japanese technology is the most advance of all.
They use touchscreen remote controls. And I can even search for songs by year, by my age, or ask the system to recommend songs for my gender/age/preference.
Another feature which I like a lot is the categories of search- Pop, drama and movie OSTs, anime OSTs, English, etc. I especially like the category "Drama and Movie OSTs"! I am a drama-otaku, and most songs I listen to are OSTs. This category is so useful! Songs not only display their title and singer, they are tagged to the dramas or movies as well. This is non-existent in Singapore nor Taiwan.
Their techonology is much more advanced that our simplistic song title/ language/ singer search.
They even have Chinese songs! I sang 五月天's, 周杰伦's and 梁静如's songs. Though not complete, the selection is pretty extensive I thought. I could find 《离开地球表面》，《恋爱ing》, 《说好的幸福呢》 and 《没有如果》!
To search for Chinese songs, look for Chinese/Korean songs category, and type the hanyu pinyu of the song title/ singer to look for songs.
This is the most disappointing part of my Japanese KTV experience. They have so few real MTVs. There is no real MTVs for Johnny's Entertainment groups. So that means we have to contend with fake MTVs while singing 嵐's, SMAP's songs etc. (*´д｀*) Copyrights are taken very seriously in Japan.
Of course the Chinese songs I sang to, are accompanied by fake MTVs as well.
I miss singing to real MTVs. We can find real MTVs for Korean songs though. For example Girls' Generation's MTVs for Gee, Genie, Mr Taxi, etc are all real. On the other hand, I remembered that when I KTVed in Indonesia, some MTVs are actually ripped from online video websites, with their logos still intact. It is not a chain though, but a privately run KTV lounge. The lyrics at Japanese KTV also may run on the whole screen, covering the entire screen, thus blocking the MTV. Drinks In Singapore, KTV are mostly fixed to about 2 drinks per session, and with a plate of fruits and some snacks. Japan's slightly different. The two KTVs that I went to, I had free-flow of drinks. (I can change the drinks.) For Round 1, we had to order a food item as well.
Taiwan's KTV is quite similar to Singapore's system.
Nevertheless, I still miss my K-lunches. Nothing can beat K-box's 3hr of singing with lunch and a drink at about $13. I hope they still have K-lunches! Looking forward to it when I return.
Overall, I enjoyed my experiences at Japanese KTVs a lot! And it was pretty cheap as well, slightly over 1000yen for 2hr and 4hr sessions at Shidax and Round 1 respectively. But then, that was probably with member discounts and coupon discounts, so it may not be an accurate gauge.
And nothing can beat the range of Japanese songs... of course. Haha... And it definitely improved my speed-reading of Japanese.
Remember to KTV if you can afford the time on your next trip to Japan!