Updated: August 30, 2019
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All you need to know about 1Kara's solo karaoke boxes in Japan

1Kara is a new kind of karaoke catering to people who prefer to go it alone. The rooms are like recording studios. There are several locations in Tokyo located near major stations. Give them a try!

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1Kara: the one-person karaoke specialist

1Kara is a unique kind of karaoke box that caters to solo karaoke singers. It was founded in 2012 after it was observed that around 20 to 30 percent of karaoke rooms were used by just one person, suggesting that there was a strong demand for one-person karaoke rooms with virtually no offer to meet it.

Rooms that are like a recording studio

1Kara didn't just make the rooms smaller; they also perked up the rooms with devices to make you sound like a pro.
For one thing, they have high-quality condenser microphones that are better at capturing and amplifying soft sounds so most people think they sound better. And since the mic is on an adjustable pole attached to the wall, users can sing without holding the mic while either standing or sitting.
There are also headphones which means you'll hear your voice clearly while singing. It makes singing in the right key much easier. You might be surprised by how much you can increase your karaoke score!
On top of that, every room is equipped with a mixing console from which you can modify the music to change the mood of the song or to make the music suit your voice better. You can also modify the key of your own voice!

If you've ever been to a regular karaoke box, you've probably noticed that the only feature available is to lower or heighten the key of the whole song, so this mixer gives you much more freedom to play around with the song.

How the system works

1Kara uses a member's only system. It's very easy to register and the registration is free. You'll simply have to show a piece of ID and fill out a brief form at the reception.

Once you register, you'll have to choose a price plan. Normal plans charge you for every 30 minutes of use, and the prices vary depending on the day of the week and the time of day you go. For instance, if we look at the plans of 1Kara's Shinjuku location, weekday mornings are the cheapest at ¥250/30 minutes, and weekend afternoons are the most expensive at ¥500/30 minutes. Use these prices as a general reference. They might be slightly different at other locations.

If you plan on singing for more than two and a half hours, then the free-time plans are the best. You pay a fixed price and you can be there for as long as you want.

Food and drinks

There is, of course, a food and drinks menu from which you can order some light meals, desserts, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks. Every plan gives you access to the drink bar so you don't really need to order anything if you just want some simple refreshments.

Locations

As of August, 2019, 1Kara has six locations in Tokyo (Shinjuku, Akihabara, Ueno, Minami-Ikebukuro, Ikebukuro, Kanda), one in Osaka (Shinsaibashi), and one in Kanagawa prefecture (Kawasaki).

1Kara provides a totally different karaoke experience much appreciated by the users based on many online reviews. Give them a try! You might start liking karaoke a lot more than you care to admit!
tabikamome
Japanese food culture enthusiast. Love to explore new areas and discover local specialties.

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