If you know me at all, even just a little bit, you will know just how much I love to sing. Anywhere, anytime you name it and I’ll belt out a ballad like there is no tomorrow.
So it comes as no surprise that the thing I will miss more than anything in Japan is the Karaoke culture!
What’s not to love about spending a couple of hours and a few dollars on a small room, unlimited song choices and unlimited (yet watered down) cocktails? Soft drinks are usually free so if you’re a diehard like my friends and I, you can always sneak in your own alcohol (they never check). What about free time from 11pm to 5am – all you can drink for less that twenty bucks? Don’t even need to book a hotel room! Life is always good with a little karaoke in it.
After 2 years of living here, I’m blessed to have some pretty fond karaoke memories. Like the time my eikaiwa friends and I decided to catch the last train to Kyoto and walk around at all hours of the night before finally settling on a couple of hours in the wee morning at a karaoke booth. Or the time I dragged my parents to karaoke on their trip last spring. They were under the impression that they’d have to sing in front of a bar full of people however on finding out we had our own room, they were over the moon and the afternoon was filled with the sounds of Celine Dion and ABBA. My favourite karaoke moment however will always be the very last time on the very last day with my amazing friends and co-workers. 2 hours, the largest karaoke room I’ve ever seen and enough alcohol to pull off spectacularly dramatic ballads and dance numbers in the middle of the room. And all for only 1000 yen!
While I feel perhaps my number one should have been something more profound like ‘the culture’ or ‘the people’, nothing has been more amazing to me than sharing drinks and songs with my friends.
Except for the amazing people I’ve met along the way. Whether they were short acquaintances or have become amazing, lifelong friends – I will never ever forget how you made my life in Japan the most wonderful time in my life to date. If it wasn’t for you guys, life in Japan just wouldn’t have been bearable. I love you to bits!
So what next? Well I’m currently writing this from Kansai International Airport on my way to Los Angeles. 2 months of travelling around the states with my friend Megan is definitely going to warrant some blog time. I’ll keep you posted.