There are lots of things that are not better in Japan. Speed limits, lane widths, multiple alphabets, and french fries come immediately to mind. I won't mention the DUI rules (one sip!) or the utter unavailability of whole grains. But I am prepared to say with full-voiced enthusiasm, that karaoke is better in Japan.
And the sky is blue. I mean, you just knew it had to rock here, didn't you? But even after ten months in my host nation, I hadn't been out for karaoke. The language barrier is intimidating, and it's tough to plan evening activities with friends with toddlers, and when I mention karaoke to my husband, I get this face:Click the picture to zoom in, and see that ferbissenah punim.
Still, thanks to the lovely excuse of Beth's birthday and the Ivy's impending return to the Texas motherland, a bunch of us got together for dinner and singin. Dinner was lovely, and we had Nadine, John, and Justine for that portion of the evening. Juju was in rare form - speaking of a punim! She had us all grinning for hours.
She gets cuter every day. She still has to go to bed at a decent hour though, so the Wylie/Theriault clan left us early and the rest of us - Beth and Alex, Andi and Chris, Josh and I - headed to Gogo Karaoke on Blue Street.
We headed in and confirmed the rumors that ice cream and coffee - and, randomly, cotton candy - were free with the karaoke. I navigated the broken English/terrible Japanese dance with the front desk staff, who explained that we could go to room six downstairs.
Room six. We went downstairs to a small, private room with a flat panel TV, two mics, tambourines, and an electronic song-choice remote. There was a phone on the wall for ordering drinks and food from the menu, and comfortable couches all around. Our own private room with food service AND free ice cream...heaven. It took us probably ten minutes to figure out how to choose songs, and then we were off! What a great time. Alex and Chris stole the show, including Alex's rendition of "When a Man Loves a Woman" punctuated by passionate bites of chocolate ice cream:and Chris and Alex's duet of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling."
We even got Josh to sing along once or twice. Around nine fifteen we had to say goodnight so the parents could relieve the babysitter, and Josh and I headed home. But not before I bought a member card to Gogo Karaoke - I will most definitely be back.
*Thanks to Beth for the first three photos!