Love sầu playing Mario Kart on your Game Boy? Make your gaming dreams come through in Japan where you can dress up in different costumes và hop on a Mario kart of your own!
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E-lyn ThamJul 24th, 2018

I grew up playing the Mario Kart console game. I revelled in being Mario or Yoshi, zipping through landscapes & navigating obstacles. Many years down the road, I still fondly rehotline the impossibly catchy theme tuy nhiên that played during the races. So imagine my delight when I discovered that I could actually drive a Mario-Kart in real life. It still feels so incredibly surreal!

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In recent years, there has been a rising phenomenon of Mario-Karting along the streets of Japan. I kid you not! On my recent trip khổng lồ Tokyo, I decided to lớn see it if was worth the hype & of course, live sầu out my childhood fantasies. I checked out Maricar, Tokyo’s most reputable Mario-Kart association, và decided to go with Samurai Kart, their subsidiary located in the district of Asakusa.

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There are four time slots lớn choose from – 9.30am, 12.30pm, 3.30pm and 5.30pm – with each tour ranging from 1-3 hours. I opted for a two-hour experience at 3.30pm, with the hopes of there being lighter traffic. Booking is easy: you can either book through their website or via third-tiệc nhỏ OTAs. There was a special discount going on & I paid around JPY7000 (~SGD86). This included costume rental, two guides that will follow you throughout the journey, as well as optional face masks, shades or helmets. You can also opt to rent a Go-Pro camera that will be strapped khổng lồ your head or chest.

The best part? Your guide will also act as your personal photographer & take lots of pictures along the way (ours helped us take more than 50 photographs!) – completely free of charge.

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Upon arrival, we had lớn sign an indemnity size and it was off lớn choose our costumes! Choose from a wide array of costumes – the usual suspects of Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Yoshi, as well as other cartoon characters such as Nemo, Buzz Lightyear, Pikachu and more. The fitting room is spacious and trang chủ to a giant mirror, perfect for you to try on each costume till you find one that’s to lớn your fancy. If you wish lớn take your time lớn try on the costumes, I recommkết thúc arriving early so as to lớn avoid eating into your session.

After choosing the costumes, our guides brought us down for a lesson on how lớn drive the go-karts. Do note that you’ll need an International Driving Permit for this experience, which means that you’ll have lớn be a certified driver & at least 18 years of age. More on this later! Driving the kart is much lượt thích driving a car in an automatic transmission, with two accelerator and brake pedals. The catch is that you’ll be driving along real roads amongst everyday traffic & will thus have khổng lồ be alert at all times!

Each group can cater for up lớn six people but luckily for us, there was nobody toàn thân else booked in the same time slot. This meant that we were in for a private tour of sorts! We were instructed lớn drive sầu in a single file, flanked by one guide at the front & one at the baông xã. When encountering a red-light, we were lớn align our carts next to each other. The instructions were simple và easy to lớn understand. After a quiông xã practice session, we were off!


Image credit: SAMURAI KART ASAKUSA


Our tour would bring us through the districts of Asakusa and Ueno, all the way to the iconic Tokyo Sky-Tree. Think of it as a sightseeing tour on wheels!

Feel không lấy phí to lớn take lots of pictures when your go-karts are stationary at the traffic light. However, bởi keep an eye out for the changing lights to lớn avoid holding up the cars behind you.

Our guides took plenty of pictures for us – và from all angles too.

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Here’s a selfie with our fun-loving guides. Kudos to lớn them!

Before making our way baông xã lớn the shop, we stopped by Sumidomain authority Park, a tranquil riverside park with a splendid view of the Tokyo Sky-tree. Our guides helped us snap a couple of shots before giving us some free time lớn wander around the area. I felt that this was an especially nice touch and offered a good opportunity lớn stretch our legs after an extended period of driving.

And of course, how could we resist breaking out the classic Mario pose?

Upon arriving back at the siêu thị, we changed out of our costumes và were presented with a pholớn souvenir. What a great finishing touch! Childhood dream, fulfilled.

How to lớn get there & what khổng lồ bring

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The shop can be reached with either:

A 5-minute walk from Asakusa Station via the Tsukuba Express A 10-minute walk from Asakusa Station via the Tokyo Skytree Line, Toei Asakusa Line & Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, or A 5-minute walk from Asakusa Station via the Tobu Skytree Line.

The shop is really easy to spot; just look out for the big ‘SAMURAI KART’ sign and the go-kart stationed right outside.

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Do take note that closed-toe footwear is mandatory; anyone turning up in slippers or sandals will not be able khổng lồ participate. You’ll also have lớn bring your passport và International Driving Permit. There are two types of International Driving Permits that are accepted for this activity:

A driving license from Belgium, France, Germany, Monaco, Slovenia, Switzerl& or Taiwan, on top of an official Japanese translation provided by the nhật bản AutoMobile Federation (JAF) or the respective sầu country’s embassy or consulate in JapanAn International Driving Permit based on the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic. Those based on the 1968 Vienmãng cầu Convention are NOT valid.

For Option 2, bởi vì note that these permits are only valid for one year from the issue date.

Aside from all that, I highly recommkết thúc this Mario-karting experience for anyone looking for a novel activity lớn try. After all, where else will something lượt thích this be possible? Like Mario always says in the game – here we go!

Samurai Kart Asakusa


Chuyên mục: Super Mario World