Time to Toky-GO! MarioKart IRL
MariCar was by far one of the most memorable things that we did in Tokyo! It was thrilling (and a little scary) to get to ride in go-karts in the packed streets of Tokyo. I had seen videos of it months ago- and although it was CLEARLY geared for tourists- I really wanted to do it!
In order to be able to drive in Japan, we had to get an International Drivers Permit, which can easily arranged at your local AAA with just $20 and a few passport photos. You can book a reservation online through their Facebook page/ Facebook messenger, TravelAdvisor page, or by directly calling or emailing them. Slots tend to fill up fast, in hindsight I would have reserved it at least 2-3 weeks in advance.
We did the 2.5 hour session and that was more than enough. If you have ever driven for more than two hours, you know how tiring it could be, so I wouldn’t recommend doing it for longer. The best part of it was getting to see peoples faces when they see you dressed up as random characters in a little go-kart. Little kids would wave with big surprised eyes and pull their phones out for pictures.
Make sure to bring a sweater with you or something warm to wear underneath- it was quite cold while driving over bridges and although you are only driving at most 30 mph- with the wind whipping your face it can get quite chilly. They also offer goggles, which I thought I wouldn’t need because I was bringing my sunglasses- MAJOR MISTAKE. At times I could barely see because my eyes were tearing from all the wind. There is a tour guide who drives in front of everybody and makes sure everyone is not driving too slow- he pointed out different areas and took pictures for us at the Rainbow bridge.
They have many shops around Tokyo, but I would say you should go to the Akihabara or Shinagawa shops which has more people walking around and is in the center of town. I went to the Tokyo Bay BBQ shop because it was the only one that had a 2.5 hour time slot at the time I wanted. The Tokyo Bay shop is kind of far about 45 minutes to an hour from Shibuya- where our Airbnb was and the most popular neighborhood in Tokyo. This was easily one of the coolest things we did on the trip and would not miss this experience.