Our skeptical writers wonder if the combination of singing and elevating is a winner or a bust.
As we reported earlier this summer, the Big O Ferris wheel in Tokyo Dome City has added karaoke to one in every five of its gondolas for no extra charge. It’s certainly an unprecedented and interesting feature to add to a Ferris wheel. However, if you think about it, do those two things really go together?
I mean, how can you enjoy the view if you have to focus on singing your song? And how can you focus on singing the song if you want to take in the view?
These are the questions that plagued our writers P.K. Sanjun and Yoshio who set out to see for themselves if Ferris wheel karaoke is anything more than a needless gimmick. They certainly aren’t cutting the attraction any slack either, as two sober middle-aged men on a weekday afternoon isn’t really a recipe for a rousing karaoke session to begin with.
The pair paid the 820 yen (US$7.37) admission and boarded one of the specialty gondolas equipped with karaoke.
The space was air-conditioned, probably in order to facilitate singing. Sitting off to the side were a pair of mics and LCD touch panel which seemed strangely at-home in this environment.
Only 50 songs were loaded into the machine, but all the classics and hits were there. The small selection was probably for the best so as not to waste the 15 minute ride browsing through songs.
As the wheel lifted the men upwards they kicked things off with “Love You Only” by Tokio. Even for these two schlubs it turned out to be surprisingly fun. For some reason, the upward motion seemed to raise the energy as well. This is a sensation you cannot find in any karaoke box or bar.
And as their gondola reached the apex so too did their singing reach a climax. Singing so high up and alone was exhilarating, and even when singing songs for the first time, our boys were belting the lyrics out powerfully like a pair of peckish Pavarottis.
So surprisingly not only was karaoke on a Ferris wheel not a misfire, it turned out that the combination was even greater than the sum of its parts. The two amusements accentuated each other in ways they never could have imagined.
Of course, as with any karaoke, the people you go with has a big effect on the enjoyment, but either way doing it on the Big O Ferris wheel will only amplify that entertainment. It’s an experience we highly recommend if you get the chance! Otherwise you might as well sit at home and sing into a cup.
Tokyo Dome City / 東京ドームシティ
Address: Tokyo-to Bunkyo-ku Koraku 1-3-16
Open: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.