I bet you think that going out in Japan, wherever and whatever it is, will cost you a ton of money, right? In Japan, most of the time this is (sadly) true, as many places and activities in Japan are more expensive than in my country and perhaps your country, too. But don’t despair just yet! There are still places affordable for your wallet – the only thing needed is to discover how you can find these places and spend your time wisely once you’re there.
Come with me to explore the cheapest entertainment right in the middle of busy Sendai City!
Let’s go to KARAOKE!!!
I am not sure about your countries but in Vietnam, at least, Karaoke is a part of life.
Anytime, anywhere, with anyone.
Above all – it is cheap!
Sadly, since coming to Japan, I have experienced an unexpectedly high cost of living, and am frequently running out of money, which at first made me hesitate to enjoy life outside of my studies. I rarely splashed out to even take a short 1-2 day trip to a place nearby, let alone pay to eat out. Consequently, I had to give up my love for Karaoke and I began to think that I would be wasting most of my time getting stressed-out with my work…
…until I found this place!
KARAOKE MAC （カラオケマック）
I was quite surprised at first glance; stepping through the main entrance after heading down to the second basement floor of Forus Mall. The atmosphere, especially in the darts room, was just as I had imagined from watching anime or Japanese movies. The rooms were lit-up with mostly LED bug lights – it wasn’t overwhelmingly bright and still had some dim and mysterious corners.
One good thing about that this particular Karaoke parlour is that it has several rooms of different sizes; from a small room for 1~2 people to a huge one for a large group. As I remember, the store has around 40 rooms in total
That is why I didn’t need to book in advance and could just rock-up and directly ask for a room.
However, if you prefer or are in a large group, you can book online or by calling ahead – it might help you save time! (You can find the link for booking at the end of this article, just scroll down!)
If you don’t know much Japanese, don’t worry! At the reception desk, they will ask you to fill-in a basic form, with your name, telephone (if you want), how many people in your group and how many hours you want to sing). Then, they will ask you to give them your member card or any discount-coupons. And you’re done! Simple, right?!
Main reason, AWESOME PRICE
The main reason I recommend this place is because it is far cheaper than most other karaoke joints. For 2 people, we only paid 555 yen each for 3 hours of singing (actually we had a 30% discount coupon, which helped!) but the original price was already spectacularly affordable for students.
Moreover, when you check-out, they will also give you a discount coupon for next time (Japanese has this excellent service to encourage customers to come back to their place again), and with that ticket, you will be able to sing for an even cheaper price next time (20% discount on weekdays and 10% on Friday nights and weekends).
You can order your drink at the reception desk as well, not in the room. They have the all-you-can-drink option （飲み放題） for you to choose if you plan to spend a long time there. With this option you freely refill from the many varieties of drinks available at the drink-bar counter.
This is inside the room. It is quite dark, so I unfortunately I couldn’t take any more pictures. When entering the room, you will need to adjust the lighting and air conditioner to you liking and take the touch-pad for song-selection from the shelf next to the TV monitor.
This is what the control touch-pad looks like (it has a touch-pen on top, too).
The most fantastic thing was that they have almost all up-to-date songs, in Japanese as well as English. There are collections of Korean and Chinese songs, too! The control has an English menu for choosing English songs, so it is helpful and tourist-friendly. However, some technical functions such as volume, high tone, low tone are in Japanese, so you might need to prod and poke and explore a bit!
Luckily for the other patrons, the walls are very well sound-proofed so no one outside of your room can hear you – you can scream, sing and shout as loud as you want!
I thoroughly enjoyed our 3 hours here and the little money I spent was definitely worth it. I felt like I was alive again – really living – as I could truly release my stress. I highly recommend this place for you, too, if you are in search of some cheap and high quality Japanese entertainment!
Find out more about Karaoke Mac’s great karaoke (and darts!) services here:
KARAOKE MAC (FORUS SENDAI)