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5 Easy Japanese Karaoke Songs

Sing your heart out and impress your friends at your next karaoke party with these simple songs in Japanese.

By 6 min read

Singing your heart out at a karaoke box is one of the most popular ways to hang out and unwind in Japan, regardless of age or gender. Within the confines of the dimly light soundproof walls, it’s easy to let loose and forget all the stress of the previous week. 

It’s no wonder why some might even argue that it’s pretty much a cultural pastime. There are even one-person karaoke boxes available—à la the animated Aggretsukowhere customers can practice for their next trip to karaoke with friends or just let off some steam.

While it might be tempting to sing in English, since you’re already in Japan, you might as well try singing some Japanese songs. Not only will it impress whoever you’re with, but it can also help improve your overall pronunciation of Japanese words. 

Here are some easy songs in Japanese that we suggest you try for your next karaoke party. 

5. Disney songs

This one is a no-brainer—Disney songs. Regardless of nationality, we all grew up with these songs, so you probably already know the tune, tempo or beat. Even in a different language, it won’t feel entirely unnatural for you to sing, considering the familiar melody. 

Moreover, the lyrics are written for kids to sing along to, so it’s not nearly as difficult as you think. There is practically a song from everyone: “A Whole New World” from Aladdin, “Be a Man” from Mulan, “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid are just a few examples

When in doubt, keep “Let it Go” from Frozen as an ace up your sleeve. Even if you stumble with the words, everyone else in the room will be too busy screaming the song over you to notice. However, do keep in mind that song titles and lyrics will differ in Japanese. 

Full Lyrics in Romaji

Chorus in English Chorus in Japanese (Romaji)
Let it go, let it go.
Can’t hold it back anymore. Let it go, let it go.
Turn away and slam the door!
I don’t care what they’re going to say.
Let the storm rage on.
The cold never bothered me anyway.
ari no mama no sugata miseru no yo
ari no mama no jibun ni naru no
nanimo kowakunai
kaze yo fuke
sukoshi mo samukunai wa

4. ‘Mayonaka no door (Stay with Me)’ by Miki Matsubara

Mayonaka no door (Stay with Me)” by Miki Matsubara is a pop classic that is an easy crowd-pleaser. It was popular in the ’80s and has enjoyed a surge in popularity recently, thanks to TikTok. It’s also a great song to start with since it has so much energy and can immediately set the mood for the rest of the night. 

The song has a few phrases in English, so even if you can’t sing the song in its entirety, you can belt out the chorus. It’s catchy enough to follow and because it went viral, your friends will probably sing along, too. 

Full Lyrics in Romaji

Chorus in English Chorus in Japanese (Romaji)
Stay with me.
Knocking on midnight’s door.
Begging you not to go home (Ooh).
That season when I cried right in front of your eyes.
Stay with me.
Saying our favorite words.
Holding on to our little moment (Ooh).
I’ll never forget it as long as I live.
Stay with me
mayonaka no doa o tataki
kaeranaide to naita (Ooh)
ano kisetsu ga ima me no mae
stay with me
kuchiguse wo ii nagara
futari no toki wo daite (Ooh)
mada wasurezu
daiji ni shite ita

3. ‘ドライフラワー (Dry Flower)’ by Yuuri

Popular among most younger Japanese people, “Dry Flower” by Yuuri is a song that is a bit more mellow. It’s moodier than the previous recommendations since it details an intense breakup, but everyone will easily be swept away by the emotion that makes up the lyrics. 

With this song, you won’t have to worry about keeping up with an overly energetic beat or hitting any excessively high notes.  

Full Lyrics in Romaji

Chorus in English Chorus in Japanese (Romaji)
If we meet again someday, somewhere,
I wonder if we’ll laugh about today.
I can’t really say the reason why,
but I’d cry after you’d fall asleep, and I hated it.
moshi itsuka dokoka de aetara
kyou no koto wo waratte kureru kana
riyuu mo chanto hanasenai keredo
anata ga nemutta ato ni naku no wa iya

2. ‘Umi no koe (Voice of the Sea)’ by Kenta Kiritani

Voice of the Sea is an Okinawan folk song. Kenta Kiritani’s version started as a song for a commercial, but it quickly went viral in 2015, ranking third on the Billboard Japan charts. 

The song is slow, peaceful and simple to follow, and the Japanese words are short and sweet. It’s also the kind of song you want to bust out if you’re trying to impress someone on a date. 

Karaoke, in general, can be a disaster for a first date spot, but if you can belt out “Voice of the Sea” flawlessly and then nonchalantly pass the mic off after your turn, you’ll look as cool and smooth as Kenta Kiritani himself.

Full lyrics in Romaji

Chorus in English Chorus in Japanese (Romaji)
I want to hear,
The voice of the sky.
I want to listen carefully to,
The voice of the wind.
I want to know,
The voice of the sea.
I’m searching for,
Your voices.
sora no koe ga
kaze no koe ni
mimi sumase
umi no koe ga
kimi no koe wo

1. ‘Ue o Muite Arukou (Sukiyaki)’ by Kyu Sakamoto 

SukiyakiorI Look Up as I Walk,” is a timeless classic released in 1961. Anyone under 30 might be surprised, but this song is one of the best-selling singles of all time. It even topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. 

In Japan, this song is loved by practically everyone and transcends generations. The lyrics are repetitive, which makes them easy to sing and even easier to remember. 

However, if your karaoke group starts bawling during your singing, it’s because it’s actually about a man holding back his tears by gazing at the sky above. Men don’t get to show emotion. Just whistle and be happy. Beautiful song, toxic cultural norms.

Full Lyrics in Romaji

Chorus in English Chorus in Japanese (Romaji)
I look up when I walk.
So that the tears won’t fall.
Remembering those spring days.
But I am all alone tonight.
ue o muite arukou
namida ga koborenai youni
omoidasu haru no hi
hitoribocchi no yoru

What are some of your go-to karaoke songs? Let us know in the comments section!

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