If I can recommend only one activity, go for GoKarting with Maricar Tokyo !
It is seriously FUN!
I first came across Maricar Tokyo from Mashable (link), how cool is that!
Some folks dressed in their Mario characters and drifting driving in Metropolis Tokyo! When I saw this YouTube clip, I was flabbergasted.
.. flashbacks of the fabulous scenes from Tokyo Drift Fast and Furious, drifting through the crazy crowd at Shibuya Crossing! (YouTube link)
Maricar please take my Yen and give me a Gokart!
..nah the first rule of Maricar is NO Drifting (and no throwing of bananas :p) . You may overtake when it is safe, but I already had so much adrenaline driving on Tokyo street. Safety is our No1 priority.
YES, GoKarting at 60kmh on the street is already super COOL !
Take note there are 8 Maricar outlets in Tokyo alone, and there are franchises in Osaka, Yokohama and Okinawa too. Besides Maricar, there are many other vendors who do GoKart on the streets (price, costume and routes differs).
..before we drove off, we already had so much fun dressing up and playing our role, and wefie!
First thing first, these are the few steps which you need to fulfill before heading down.
Registration and Booking
-Choose your Maricar Tokyo outlet (out of 8) . Different outlets have different routes
-You can book through their Facebook app too. Maricar Facebook response is fast, they will advise you on the logistics
-Choose you package (1, 2 or 3 hours). Fee starts from 7000 Yen (estimated $85 SGD), please choose minimum 2 hours package
-Go and register your International Driving Permit (IDP, aka License) from AAS ($20, on the spot)
-Beg a Gopro and strap from your friend (or you can rent on the spot). Do not selfie while driving.
On the actual day
– Registration and payment might take up to 15 minutes, choose your costume (another 15 minutes)
** I would recommend you to go 1 hour earlier, cater for train and navigation delays. If you reach early, you can pick your choice costume too
-Safety briefing and GoKart mechanics, your GoKart comes with signal lights, head light, hand brake and horn too
We are ready to roll in Mario Kart style!
-There will be a front and rear guide. They will take photos and Airdrop to you at the end. Ramie was my guide at Shinagawa.
The cool Spyder (bottom right) is for those who prefer to “pillion” or who do not have driving license. Fees apply.
My 2 hours package brought me to Tokyo Tree and Shibuya crossing! Checkout my Maricar video below (Facebook link).
Our Maricar Tokyo convoy of crazy characters ! Bowser, Mario, Luigi, Mr Potato, Angel and MonsterInc’s James. I spotted Nemo, Sesame Street and Minions in other convoys too! (more costumes at this hashtag #Maricar )
We will just pose silly at every stop, or wave to the other road users and pedestrians.
Yoshi costume is cute, and Mushroom (Toad) is not available today.
My trusted GoPro 5 session kept the Fun rolling (for extra juice, I would recommend the ultra slim 6700 mAh Ravpower 6700)
Maricar Gokart Tokyo feels exhilarating, you get to see the city from another angle!
Hello Mario brother! My kids were mad jealous when they saw my GoKarting video!
Other tips to enjoy MariCar GoKart in Tokyo
a. I cannot emphasize enough, go Early. It is not easy for tourists to navigate Toyko subway :p
b. I chose the earliest package at 1000, so I could finish in time for lunch.
Some might recommend a 3 hours package from 4 to 7pm, so you get to play in the day and night too. Shibuya in Neon should be spectacular!
*c. Choose the package which has Shibuya Crossing! (only three outlets) Other outlets might offer circuits with icons Ginza, Skytree, Ueno, Rainbow Bridge and Odaiba.
d. You need to bring along your Passport, Driving licence, and IDP
e. There is a small pouch in your GoKart for a few loose items (phone, passport, Driving license) Leave everything else in the locker.
f. You can rent a GoPro (and strap) at Maricar
g. Maricar GoKart Tokyo adventures are weather friendly (sun or rain), unless it snows
h. If you are going during Winter (0 to 10 degrees), layer up, I got 6 layers under my Luigi costume. Extra Jackets and Glove are available from Maricar, while stocks last
*i. Make sure you clear your bladder before riding off. It is no fun to peel off the layers in a public loo. Those with 3 hours package definitely need to go to the loo once.
j. For a even better experience? Gather your friends or spouse along!
k. Keep smiling! At every junction, someone will be curious enough to take photo of your Mario Kart gang!
l. Be vigilant and look out for each other. We are driving on the road and GoKarts’ lower profile might be harder to spot . Have Fun but Be Safe!
j. As long as you keep to your lane and do not perform stunts, Maricar Tokyo is relatively safe
Maricar karting in Tokyo is One of the craziest things I have done in my life. YOLO!
-Nintendo had earlier sue Maricar for brand infringements
-We heard Police will enforce laws to mandate Helmet and seat belt in the future.
Meanwhile, participants can still ride and enjoy the street adrenaline!
Read about my Sento experience here