Mario-kart will never be a thing of the past – not when you can now experience the adrenaline of racing on a Go-Kart on actual streets, past fascinated bystanders, alongside your fellow go-kart enthusiasts.
Recently up-and-coming in Tokyo, we have heard and seen many people, locals and foreigners alike, renting this miniature yet powerful vehicle to get out and about, and it is not difficult to see why.
Imagine cruising past state-of-the-art restaurants, maid (cosplay themed) cafes, and shops selling advanced electronic gadgets in a country that is renowned for their cutting-edge technology – in a vehicle that originates from your old-time favourite video game.
It is a true-blue Otaku experience, if we may say.
Typically measuring 2m x 1m x 0.7m, the real-life Go-kart can go up to a pretty impressive speed of 60km/h over a distance of up to 80km.
You might not want to speed through your entire ride – part of your Go-kart experience includes lots of waving to curious pedestrians and hi-fives from over-zealous neighbour drivers when they stopped by you at the traffic lights.
Riders will go through a short tutorial on the techniques and know-hows on handling a Go-kart before they set off by their assigned driving guides. However, the real endorphin rush happens during the most exciting part of the package that go-kart rental companies offer – costume rental.
Whether you are an avid Luigi fan, always loyal to Princess Peach or a die-hard fanatic to the popular Mario, you will have the chance to don on your craziest costume yet and finally stand in the shoes of your Mario idol. It will be one of a delirious dream come true – one with a complete gear, company and costume at that.
Relish the freedom in a Go-kart and take advantage of your rare chance in a cosplay by stopping for a photo or two with your closest friends or new-found pals. They will make precious memories to reminisce over or perfect photos to ignite some laughter over dinners.
The prerequisites to ride on your very own Go-Kart is minimal – a Japanese drivers licence, Japanese SOFA licence or International Drivers Permit with height within 150cm to 185cm, and you are ready to go.
To satisfy your racing experience now, the following are some of the few go-kart rental companies that can give you a taste of your lifetime fantasy.
Both of them accept walk-ins but advanced bookings are highly recommended.
Address: 1-23-15 Kitashinagawa Shinagawa ward Tokyo Met 140-0001 JAPAN
Opening hours: 1000 – 2200
Contact: +81-3-6712-8275 / +81-80-9999-2525
Choose from an option of 3 courses, each with a different route – where you can enjoy an exhilarating ride past iconic spots such as the Tokyo Tower and through the famous Shibuya crossing at a price of JPY8,000-11,000/pax.
Any one of the options entails you to a 2 hours Tokyo tour including Go-kart rental fee, gasoline fuel cost, driving guides, accident insurance, consumption tax and costume rental.
Address: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Sotokanda 2-4-6, Building cowpea B1F
Opening hours: 1000 – 2000
Rental of Go-karts is charged on an hourly basis – an hour of joy ride is priced at JPY2,700 while 3 hours of rental costs JPY5,400.
Similarly, costume rental and a briefing on how to handle your vehicle will be done prior to your ride.
Note: Banana peels, mushrooms and green shells are strictly off the roads