Anyone who knows me well will know that I have a terrible singing voice and never sing in public.

(There is one exception – I passed an audition to sing as part of the opening ceremony of the 1984 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh when I was at school. I think the truth is I’m okay if in a small range and I must have been hitting the notes well when they walked past me at the audition!)

Back to the point! I really thought I would go a whole year in Japan without singing karaoke but I’m pleased to report that I’ve had the experience and it was a great one!

My first karaoke experience was after the running club’s New Year Party and I was joined by Mark. We went to a place in Shibuya with a crowd from the party and had a room for effectively the whole night! (It was cheaper than 2 hours). In Japan there is not much ‘public’ karaoke, rather you hire a room with some friends and can order beer and food so it’s very sociable and not intimidating.

The atmosphere was very friendly and I was happy to try. People were very encouraging and I was pleased to note that not everyone was a fantastic singer!

We sang into the wee small hours and went home happy knowing we’d had a good Japanese experience and a lot if fun!