K-A-R-A-O-K-E

neeeeed i say more ?
(yes of course, you say)

This weekend, my friends from Kanto International were total sweethearts and organized a little going-away party for me in Shinjuku, complete with arcade going, purikura photobooth fun, and karaoke! I had never done karaoke at an actual karaoke place before so I was totally excited and a little bit scared, hahaha.

Despite all their planning, I woke up that day with a crazy mindsplitting headache, chills, and felt completely nauseous all day…the smell of food made me want to throw up. However, I bundled up and ran out to the urban playground to meet my friends anyways….

Once I met up with them at the train station my vision started going starry and my stomach was acting up and I felt like I was going to faint.  We all quickly dropped into Saizeriya, a popular chain Italian restaurant and I quickly recuperated.

11saize

Two of the boys…
It was funny, but none of the girls ate (I was feeling pretty sick so I abstained) but all of the boys ordered tons of food, and they were laughing at us for not eating. We knew that the karaoke place that we wanted to go to only opened at 1 pm so we were trying to buy time, so the boys got tons of refills on drinks and we were pretty much seated loiterers for at least half an hour after they had finished their food, until we felt too suspicious.
After none of the girls eating and all of the boys eating tons of food, my gallant friends lead me to a drugstore and found me some medicine. They even offered to pay, which goes to show you how courteous people are here. “Well, you’re the special guest today!”, they kept saying : )

1arcade

Next, since we still had a lot of time to kill, we mosyed down to an arcade. First we took a roll of purikura, or Japanese photobooth pictures. I don’t have a scanner right now but eventually I will post the pictures : )

1karaokeki
KARAOKE TIME!
We then went to Big Echo, a huge Karaoke box. It basically operates and looks like a hotel where you rent a room by blocks of hours. Each room is lined with booths, with a huge center table in the middle, a big TV screen, a bundle of microphones, and several song-selecting machines.

We pretty much trashed the place.
1kararoom

1girls

Here are two of the girls deciding which songs to pick. Songs were divisible by artist, language, popularity…..and there was an amazing selection! I didn’t even really look at the Japanese song selection, but they had an incredible variety of English songs- with bands from Enter Shikari to The Beatles (there were over 200 Beatles songs, for the record).

1warai
Good times– these kids were so funny and charismatic once they got behind a mic. I have never seen people having more fun making fun of themselves…I absolutely loved their ability to just ham it up.
1tanaka
AHAHA so this kid, who during class always sat behind me and was very polite, nice, and proper, got really into it and would dance to some of the songs…in a really awkward, adorable Japanese way. He also sang the same song, “Hisoukan”, three times- the official music video to it is below.

I don’t think I’ve ever laughed more in my life during the 6 hours we were singing (oh yeah, I forgot to mention. We were there for 6 hours!!!!!). However, I was still feeling totally sick and slept through probably 2 of those hours…and only sang twice because my head felt like it was going to crack in half. I was so disappointed that I wasn’t feeling better because I would have totally shredded up those mics ;(

My song choices? I Will Survive (my official karaoke song since 8th grade) and Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing, of course! Total classics that I belted out at max energy, despite my dizziness.

1minnna

The group, minus the photographer…

All in all, it was so hilarious and amazing and quintessentially Japanese that looking back I barely even think about how gross I felt. It was a truly Japanese experience that I will never forget- the modern counterpart to being put into a kimono. I will miss these kids and this day made me love them so much more.

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