Shortly after arriving in Japan last year, I came across two interesting lists – the top 10 sights to see in Japan and the top 10 ways to get under the skin of the country and the people. Between our first visit to Japan in 2005 and having now lived here for the past ten and a half months, we’ve managed to take in 7 of the top 10 sights. Distance will probably prevent us from getting to the remaining three.
Last night I also reached number 7 on the second list when I went to karaoke with four of my adult students! Though I’ve never been to karaoke in North America, I understand that it’s usually very different from Japan. Here you don’t perform in front of the general public. Instead, a karaoke establishment looks much like a hotel with individual rooms for private groups.
It was a fun and relaxing evening – just five women letting their hair down and having a good time together. There were two huge catalogues of songs to choose from – one English and one Japanese. I sang English songs, they sang Japanese songs and we all sang English ones together. We sang solos, duets and group numbers. I sang everything from Puff the Magic Dragon (a childhood favourite) to Leaving on a Jet Plane and Bridge Over Troubled Water (songs from my youth) to Amazing Grace! I was also the lead singer for a rousing rendition of Jambalaya.
The room was cozy and comfortable with couches surrounding a table that was soon laden with food. We ordered the meal when we arrived and it was delivered to the room. Whenever we needed anything, all we had to do was pick up the phone and ask.
I understand that Edmonton now has a few karaoke establishments that offer private rooms. Hmm… maybe we’ll have to investigate. I can definitely visualize my girlfriends and I whiling away an evening in such a place on our annual Christmas shopping weekend in the city. What do you think, girls?