Japan is of course the home of karaoke, and the Japanese still do it best. The setting varies between the more familiar (to Americans) bar scene to the karaoke room, a small room with a karaoke machine for three or four people, though you certainly can pack more in. Although performing for an audience is fun, the karaoke room version has a certain appeal in that you are singing only to people you (at least sort of) know. Supposedly, people are known to get a room alone just for the love of singing. It's also fun to have some Japanese songs thrown in the mix. They often seem to be more natural for the form, but I (a non-Japanese speaker) was way off a couple times when I tried to guess the subject matter from the sound of the music (like one song that was not a Japanese come-on but about a father lamenting his son lost to war.) Roppongi carries two connotations to Tokyoites: foreigners and partying. It's also the place in Tokyo where you are most likely to get scammed. Beware anyone touting a "regular, totally normal bar" they want to show you; it probably involves nudity.
Tribune file photo