File photo
File photo

Take to the mean streets of Tokyo in a go-kart

by Terry Wilson
Yokosuka Naval Base

Inspired by a popular video game franchise, MariCar allows you to go-kart around the streets of Tokyo providing an experience you’ll never forget. It’s simply fun. Waving at onlookers. Stopping to take photos. And riding at high speeds with the wind against your face. If you have a valid International Driving Permit, a SOFA License, put it to good use by experiencing Japan in a unique way.

After checking in at their reception desk, you can pick out a costume to borrow and wear during your drive. Wearing a costume adds to the fun factor. When you stop at red lights you’ll draw the attention of pedestrians and other drivers. You’ll be assigned a tour guide who will take point during the drive. Your guide will give you a proper safety brief and training on how to operate your go-kart.

If the weather is cold out, it’s highly recommended that you wear gloves, as your hands and fingers will be exposed to the elements. And it’s also recommended that you wear a scarf over your mouth and nose to dissipate the taste of exhaust you’ll be exposed to on the road. As for what time of day to schedule your ride, it’s entirely up to your preference. I rode around Tokyo during at night. The ambience of the night lights made for an experience straight out of anime. Tokyo Skytree lit up the dark sky as we rode towards it. I’ll definitely have to try out a daytime route.

As a veteran and a military spouse, I’ve been able to visit a plethora of countries, but never have I been able to ride a go-kart alongside street traffic. It’s one of the many things that set Japan apart as an amazing place to visit. MariCar has routes in Tokyo, Kyoto, Okinawa and Osaka. For more information, visit their website at https://maricar.com/.

Editor’s note: We are always looking for submissions from our community. If you have a story tell, photo to share, or even an idea for a future story, send us an email at: japan@stripes.com

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