Everyone knows karaoke is one of the favourite pastimes for people in Japan. Whether it is for celebrating, hanging out with friends, or going for the second round of drinks with your colleagues, the karaoke culture traditionally has a connotation of bonding and sharing time with others. However, the trend of “hitori karaoke” might sound strange to many. Hitori means “by oneself”, so hitori karaoke literally means going for karaoke alone. Cool or lonely? Read on to find out why people are so attracted by hitori karaoke, as well as some tips if you decide to try it yourself!
Going singing by yourself means you can select any songs you want without feeling pressured by others. One concern you might have is being pressured to choose famous, upbeat songs that others can enjoy as well. However, if you are by yourself, you are free to choose your favourite songs as many times as you like. You will also not be judged by people for missing a few notes or not having the perfect technique. Therefore, hitori karaoke is perfect for shy people who may not have the confidence to sing freely in front of others.
Also, hitori karaoke allows you to develop your singing techniques as you can hog the microphone all by yourself. You can make full use of the time that you have paid for. You may also feel free to explore other different functions of the karaoke, like the scoring function, which may be frowned upon when singing with others. This way, you can focus solely on improving your voice without worrying about other people’s judgement.
Some tips on Hitori Karaoke
Karaoke stores often welcome hitori karaoke when it is not peak hours, such as the weekdays, especially during early afternoons or late night. At evenings, a lot of students tend to come even on weekdays, so try to avoid these times. Weekdays are usually cheaper compared to weekends as well. You can also take advantage of the “Free Time” system, which can vary according to each store. Usually, stores have a fixed time period which you can stay as long as you like with a fixed price. In some stores, they will allow you to stay until all the other rooms are full.
Also, be on the lookout for stores that specifically promote hitori karaoke, such as Manekineko, whose branches have special one-person rooms, or One Kara, which is a karaoke chain store specialized for hitori karaoke.
Intrigued by this unique culture now? Even if you are scared to go by yourself, have a try and it might turn out to be a refreshing experience for you!