Take a Tokyo tour Mario Kart-style
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published: August 17, 2016
Tokyo is a kaleidoscopic wonderland and a capital of themed entertainment. There is nothing impossible here and the imagination and creativity of Japanese seems to have no limit. From robot-filled shows to French maid restaurants, penguin cafes and everything in-between life never gets boring in this sprawling metropolis. Although, last week we took it to the next level and plunged into what turned out to be one of the most exhilarating, cool and exciting activities we have ever done. Cue: Cosplay Tokyo go-kart tour, i.e. the time we turned into Mario/Yoshi and Tokyo was our playground!
Mr. B booked the tour via MariCar which offers various day- or nighttime rides around the city. You can choose between two-, or three-hour Tokyo city tours. Since our friends had very limited time in Tokyo, we opted for three-hour ride to be able to hit as many sights in one day as possible.
Before the tour starts you dress up in your favorite character. They have loads of costumes on site to choose from, anything from Mario to Iron Man or even Minions. Mr. B and I chose to be Mr. and Mrs. Mario, while our friends decided to go green and turned into a couple of Yoshi dragons.
The tour is led by a very nice guide who is driving in the very front and leading the way. The rest of us followed in a convoy of hilariously looking characters. I won’t lie driving was a bit nerve-wracking in the beginning, but once you adjust and get the hang of your go-kart the fun begins!
Our first destination was Odaiba. We drove from the office in Shinagawa via Rainbow Bridge to the artificial island of Tokyo. I have never been here before and was very impressed by the futuristic architecture, serene waterfront and gorgeous skyline of the city. I definitely want to come back and explore more.
As soon as we parked a hoard of school kids ran to us wanting to take photos.
You get around 10-15 minutes at each stop. There are moments where it didn’t make sense to stop so we kept on driving. After Odaiba we headed to Roppongi to the Tokyo Tower via Rainbow Bridge again. The ride down the road leading to the tower was absolutely amazing, we were driving straight at it.
We also stopped at Roppongi Hills and then drove down the famous sakura lane. At the point they were not in full bloom yet, but it was still magical.
Next up was the famous Shibuya Scramble Crossing! It was hands down the coolest feeling ever (cheesy of me, I know) to switch the roles and cross the intersection not as a pedestrian, but as a driver of a go-kart! How many people get to do that?!
Prepare to be in the center of attention, people gather around you, smile and wave at you, stop to take your photos and videos. Basically, you turn into a celebrity. We had a blast!
We drove around the neighborhood and through the crossing three times and after that headed back to Shinagawa, which was about 50-minute drive and provided just enough adrenaline-charged ride!
At this point you probably already got the point that I LOVED the tour and couldn’t recommend it enough. There was not a lot of actual sightseeing involved per se, but that’s not the point. For three hours we got to let go, act silly and enjoy the ride around the best city in the world! If you are an adventure-seeker who prefers to do something unique, out of the ordinary and off-beat, then go-karts tour of Tokyo is a must-do when you visit. It was like riding a roller coaster, only it lasted for three hours and was so much cooler.
Logistics and details:
You must have international driving license accompanied with a passport. It was quite chilly to drive around for three hours in an open kart, so unless you are doing it in late Spring/Summer I recommend putting on some layers. I don’t think winter would be a good time to do it at all. Oh, and wearing sunglasses/glasses is a good idea, my eyes were tearing up from the wind hitting my face when we were driving fast.