Japan seems to have the market cornered when it comes to outrageous experiences. While in Tokyo you could attend a show at the famous Robot Restaurant, go to an owl cafe or browse a 7-storey adult store. However, if you’re looking for an experience to give you the ultimate bragging rights you should try playing real life Mario Kart on the streets of Tokyo.
MariCar is the genius idea that has quickly gained popularity in the year since they began driving around the streets of Tokyo. First step is to pick your outfit – they’ve got all your classic Mario Kart characters as well as various superheroes to choose from. I’ve always been a Yoshi fan, so after getting in my suit, we had a brief tutorial on karting basics and then it was time to hit the streets!
With Hayashi as my guide (a very capable Mario), we weaved and zoomed our way up to Tokyo Tower. When you’re sitting at a red light, the cars all around you start to look very big and the sudden realisation that you’re about to drive into very intimating Tokyo traffic hits you HARD! But then there’s no time to be overwhelmed because the light turns green and Hayashi is racing off around the corner and there’s nothing to do but keep up.
When we get to Tokyo Tower, Hayashi gives me the rundown on the tower’s history and we take a 15 min break. Zooming around in a fleecy costume in the middle of summer is deserving of a drink after all! Hayashi takes a few snaps of me at the Tokyo Tower before we set of again. This time we’re zooming through Roppongi Hills, running yellow lights, going through tunnels and driving along the freeway as the sun sets in the background.
We pull back up at the shop and I’m kicking myself for only choosing the shorter tour! Hayashi asks how it was and I just start gushing – it was truly the most memorable and exhilarating thing I’ll do the whole time I’m in Japan!
Rating: 5/5 Mario Power Up Stars
What to know:
Australian visitors will need to bring an international drivers permit along with them to be able to drive. Costs start from 8000 Yen for a 2 Hour Tour and they offer a range of routes to capture most of the sights of Tokyo.
You can rent Go-Pros and other additional equipment to record the whole thing as well.
See more at http://maricar.com