Japanese culture has been gradually seeping its way into the consciousness of the UK public for year but in recent times the effects of this are a lot more visible; Japanese restaurants are to be found in every city in Britain and karaoke boxes are gradually appearing in city centres and entertainment areas everywhere, introducing the British public to a very Japanese night out. And of course, gaming continues to be the number one pastime for men between the ages of 15 and 35 with the vast majority of games being developed in Japan, the true home of the video game.
Here at InsideJapan Tours we are always on the look out for the best bits of Japanese culture to be found at home so we thought we might post up our finds on the blog for everyone to discover.
So for today’s starter welcome to KaraokeMe!, home of the best Japanese-style night out to be had in Bristol.
Located on St Stephen’s street in Bristol city centre, Karaoke Me! opened some two years ago, finally bringing the Karaoke box experience to the West Country. Having spent countless nights in Japan behind the mic deafening my friends with sub-standard renditions of Jumping Jack Flash and Wonderwall, this was an eagerly anticipated new arrival for me (and possibly my friends too).
So for those not in the know this is how it works: You hire a private room for an hour, or two, or three, or four or… well, you get the idea. Generally you hire a room suitable for the number of people in your group but there don’t seem to be any rules on piling as many people as you can into a room for a mass sing-a-long. Each room is equipped with a couple of wireless mics, a massive flat screen T.V. and a touch screen control panel. Search for what you wan to sing and more than likely the system will have it. In theory there are books with the songs in too but at Karaoke Me! they seem to have forgotten about this part (although you can download the current catalogue from there web-site). Each room features a phone to be used for ordering food and drink. Please note: Often the more alcoholic beverages consumed, the better the evening. For some reason karaoke seems to work like that. And that is that. Away you go.
Karaoke is addictive: Hire a room for one hour and you will be there for three before you are dragged away from the mic by the staff trying to close up, singing on long after the music has been turned off! And one thing you will never see at a Karaoke box is any aggro; just lots of happy people singing like Simon Cowell (and his genius) victims on the latest X-Factor auditions.
So there you have it: Karaoke Japanese-style available right here in the heart of Bristol. It isn’t quite the authentic experience: The selection of songs isn’t quite up to the huge phone directory like catalogues one is presented with at any Japanese karaoke parlour and perhaps the biggest disappointment, no ridiculous videos to accompany each song. That said, members do have access to a fabulous all you can eat and drink deal for just £20 per person for 2 hours. But then Japan is Japan so will always do things in its own unique and endlessly charming fashion.
So next time you fancy a different sort of night out, check it out and get down Karaoke Me! for a 100% guaranteed fun night out.