If you are planing to visit Japan, this is the one activity you HAVE TO DO! MariCAR uses Tokyo City as a real life go-kart track, and you are dressed as cartoon characters…because, why not?
Before we left for our trip to Japan we sent an enquiry through to the company to arrange a booking. They replied with available times and sent a confirmation e-mail. No pre-payment required. You can book into a 90 minute, 2 hour or 3 hour course. The courses go around the centre of Tokyo and visit Rainbow Bridge, Odaiba, Tokyo Tower, Roppongi and Shibuya. However, these change based on which shop you leave from (they have 3 shops in Tokyo).
TIP: You need a valid Japanese Licence or international driving permit to participate. Make sure you get one before you go to Japan if you plant to do MariCAR.
On the day of our booking we turned up 15 minutes early to ensure enough time to pick our costumes, sign waver forms and most importantly, learn how to drive the go-karts.
Then we were off! Driving on the streets of Tokyo in a go-kart was exhilarating! Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought this was something you could do (and definitely isn’t in Australia). We drove around for our 90 minutes, stopping at iconic landmarks and when we lost half the group. Don’t stress, there are two guides that stay with you the whole time, one at the front and one at the back. They also take photos for you along the way and send them to your mobile when your finished. You feel like a celebrity the entire time! Everyone wants to take your photo and wave at you. We found it so funny and of course, we posed for photos and waved and gave thumbs up to people. Gotta make the most of it!
A caution message from MariCAR “MariCar is healthy recreation service that provides our customers the opportunity to ride our custom go-cart on the street. Maricar is in no way a reflection of the game “Mario Kart”. Therefore, when riding the go-carts none of the following will be allowed. 1. No racing each other on the streets. 2. Do not throw banana peals or any other garbage on to the streets. 3. Do not throw red turtle shells or any other objects to each other. Maricar is a very exciting once in a life time experience tour you can enjoy in the streets of Japan. Safety is our top priority. We wish our customers to respect the safety of yourself and other while having fun. Thank you.”