Japan's largest karaoke chain hits right note with Malaysians

Manekineko is especially accommodating to families, providing a child-friendly room so parents can sing worry-free. — Pictures by Ham Abu Bakar
Manekineko is especially accommodating to families, providing a child-friendly room so parents can sing worry-free. — Pictures by Ham Abu Bakar

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 4 — Karaoke lovers can now sing for joy as Japan’s largest karaoke chain, Karaoke Manekineko, is now open in Kuala Lumpur.

The chain, owned by Koshidaka Holdings Co, has 520 outlets in Japan with outposts in Korea and Singapore and is now in EkoCheras Mall.

“This is our first outlet in Malaysia, and we will give 100 per cent to make Karaoke Manekineko a famous name in Malaysia,” said Manekineko EkoCheras manager Mohamad Taib.

The Karaoke Manekineko trademark “beckoning cat” is already making a strong appearance in the mall with its face on posters and walls to guide customers to the second-floor store.

The outlet itself features colourful decor and has a welcoming atmosphere, with 30 karaoke rooms and two VIP rooms complete with pool tables which can fit up to 30 people.

Free flow drinks and snacks are available for all customers, making the singing experience a comfortable one.
Free flow drinks and snacks are available for all customers, making the singing experience a comfortable one.

They offer free non-alcoholic drinks and snacks to all their customers while meals and alcohol can be ordered off the menu.

Manekineko’s music library has over 180,000 songs in a range of languages, including English, Malay, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Cantonese, Hokkien and more.

The karaoke chain is using the same philosophy for their Malaysian store as their Japanese stores: Safe, reasonable prices and friendly service, but Koshidaka overseas operating officer Akira Zama says the store will go above and beyond this to ensure customers enjoy themselves.

“We are targeting all generations, from young children to seniors. We don’t prefer one age group over another. That’s our style,” Zama explained.

For this reason, the store is more than accommodating of families, with a room specifically designed with kids in mind, which means parents can sing to their hearts’ content while their kids enjoy themselves in the child-friendly room.

The 'beckoning cat' is featured throughout the venue and adds to the colour and atmosphere of the karaoke rooms.
The 'beckoning cat' is featured throughout the venue and adds to the colour and atmosphere of the karaoke rooms.

Koshidaka chief executive officer and president Hiroshi Koshidaka revealed that they have created larger rooms in the Malaysian store compared to their Japanese stores because Malaysians often karaoke in bigger groups.

“In Japan, the average group size is 2.8 people, so we have made the rooms bigger to accommodate the bigger groups coming to karaoke in Malaysia.”

The store is open from 11am until late, with prices varying according according to the time of day.

Prices for normal sessions start as low as RM10 on a Mon-Thurs from 11am-1pm, with the highest price being RM35 from Friday to Saturday (and public holiday eves) from 6pm to 12am.

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