If you haven’t already seen the videos online, you can dress up as Super Mario Kart characters and drive (legally) around the streets of Tokyo. This is the Japanese Mario Kart experience for you.

You’ll be taking in lots of the sights and getting an adrenaline rush whilst you’re at it! I was in Japan recently and explored all the best sites in Tokyo.

And of course, the Mario Kart experience was one of my top things to do. It was so good, and I can’t wait to tell you more about it in this guide.


Japanese Mario Kart: Introduction

Before going through the main details, let’s start with all the essentials you should know before visiting, such as the price, the requirements, and more.

What is the Japanese Mario Kart in Tokyo?

In Tokyo, the Japanese Mario Kart experience, commonly known as “Real Life Mario Kart,” is an incredibly fun and unique activity.

It’s inspired by the famous Nintendo game, where you dress up as popular characters and drive around the city in go-karts.

This adventure takes you through the streets of Tokyo, allowing you to see famous landmarks while karting.

Is the Real Life Mario Kart Japan Legal?

Yes, it is legal, but with specific regulations. Participants must have a valid Japanese driver’s license or an international driving permit.

The karts are street-legal and must adhere to Japanese traffic laws. Read below for the requirements.

Requirements to Join the Mario Kart Real Life

To join the Real Life Mario Kart in Tokyo, there are a few key requirements:

  • A valid driver’s license: International visitors need an International Driving Permit (IDP), or a Japanese driver’s license if residing in Japan.
  • Driving permits from Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Qatar, Mexico, Indonesia, and Pakistan are not allowed to drive in Japan.
  • You may need an official translation, on top of your drivers’ license (for Belgium, France, Monaco, Germany, Switzerland, and Taiwan citizens)
  • Appropriate clothing: While costumes are provided, you should wear suitable clothing for driving a kart.

For British readers, you can get the translation of your driving license from your local Post Office so make sure you plan ahead and get this done, once you have one it’s valid for one year. This currently cost £5.50.

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Is the Japanese Mario Kart Safe?

Yes, the Japanese Mario Kart experience in Tokyo is generally safe. Operators prioritise safety with helmets and safety briefings, and the karts are equipped with basic safety features.

Participants must adhere to Japanese traffic laws and be attentive while driving on public roads and that’s why a guide is there to lead you. All in all, was it worth it? 100%!

Mario Kart Tokyo Price

The price for the Real Life Mario Kart experience in Tokyo varies depending on the tour length and package you choose. Generally speaking, expect to pay around US$110 – US$120 per person.

This price includes the kart rental, costume rental, and a guide to lead the group.

There are many options available to you, there are currently 7 Maricar stores in Tokyo! I went with Akihabara, and I was very happy with the overall experience.

You will have several extra options such as hiring a Bluetooth speaker, action camera or even LED shoes! However, the costume rental and helmet (which is optional) is included in the price.

You can also choose if you want a day or night tour, personally I think this tour is better in daylight hours.

What to Expect at the Japanese Mario Kart in Tokyo

Get ready for an awesome ride with Tokyo’s Japanese Mario Kart! Picture yourself zooming through the city, dressed up like a character from your favorite video game.

It’s super fun driving past famous spots and getting smiles from people you pass by. These karts are easy to drive, and you’ll be part of a cool group rolling through the streets.

Before you start, you’ll get your helmet on and learn some important safety tips. It’s a really fun way to see the city, mixing the excitement of a game with exploring new places.

The Fancy Costume

Once you’ve signed up, you can choose your fancy dress from a whole rack of costumes.

Now of course the Super Mario characters are the ONLY way to go, however there are also many other superheroes to choose from, especially for those of you that have a childhood fantasy to live out.

There is even the option to purchase an outfit if you’re keen!

train in Japan JR Pass

Is the Mario Kart Experience in Tokyo Worth it?

This is truly a one-off experience, where else in the world can you drive Go-Karts around city streets?

I really recommend it as a cool way to see Tokyo, you do feel like a celebrity doing it and the tourists love waving and taking photos of you.

Other Tours in Tokyo

Travelling to Tokyo and want to make the most of it? Other than the Japanese Mario Kart, here are other fun tours you can join while in Tokyo.

Where to Stay in Tokyo?

There are plenty of excellent accommodation options in Tokyo, and these below are the best, no matter your budget.

Luxury: The Prince Park Tower Tokyo

The Prince Park Tower Tokyo

Mid-Range: Via Inn Prime Akasaka

Via Inn Prime Akasaka

Budget: Citan Hostel

CITAN Hostel

Getting to Tokyo

KLM UK flies to Tokyo, using Amsterdam as a hub (why not stopover here too?). Going via Amsterdam allows you to fly from 17 UK based airports, rather than only travelling from Manchester or London.

I flew from Southampton, which is hugely convenient for me as my local airport. The changeover in Schiphol is smooth and straightforward, KLM will inform you which gate (sometimes from the arrival plane) your connecting flight will depart from, and you won’t need to collect and check in your luggage again.

I flew to Tokyo as a guest of KLM UK. My flights to Tokyo were complementary, but return flights from the UK start at £406, including taxes. All of the content, opinions and photography are my own. Please take time to visit KLM UK‘s websites to support me on more adventures like this one!

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Have you been to Tokyo? Did you try the experience? Tag me in your photos on Instagram, or I’d love to hear about it in the comments below 🙂

4 thoughts on “Japanese Mario Kart in the Streets of Tokyo: 2024 Guide

  1. Pingback: LP Pathfinders: top posts from January 2018 - IGWorldClub Mobile Photography

  2. Resti says:

    Hi im from indonesia. Can i still translate my driving licence to international and use it for mario kart experience?
    Thankyou so much and hope to hear from you soon

    • Scottie T says:

      I am not sure, you will have to contact the company but I don’t see why not. But you will still need to get an International driving license in Indonesia

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