The Mario Kart in Tokyo and Japan experience where you dress up as your favourite Mario Kart character and drive a Go Kart around the streets of Tokyo up to a speed of 60 kmh is one which many visitors to Japan are keen to experience. Many of our readers have asked questions about where and how to book the Mario Kart experience so we decided to put together this comprehensive guide to respond to these questions.
The original experience was pioneered in Akihabara in Tokyo in 2011, and has since then become one of the most popular tours for tourists. Because of its popularity additional locations have been established in many great locations including multiple locations within Tokyo, Osaka, and Okinawa.
You may have heard that this activity was shut down due to a legal battle with Nintendo. The court case did occur, and the key outcome was that the operators are not allowed to market this activity as a ‘Mario Kart’, and also rider are not allowed to wear Nintendo themed costumes. As a result the name has changed but you can still participate in this fun activity!
As each Go Kart can only hold one occupant who is the holder of a drivers licence, what this means is that only adults can book a Mario Kart experience, and it is therefore not a feasible option for children or anyone without a driver’s licence.
For all locations plan to arrive at least 10 minutes before your booking, and have the expectation that the first 30 minutes will be focused on getting your costume, verifying your drivers licence and receiving a briefing on how to drive your Mario Kart.
Below I have provided information about all of the locations you can experience Mario Kart in Japan, including how to make your booking.
Mario Kart Locations in Japan
The locations in Japan where you can have the Mario Kart experience are as follows, with further information on each option lower in the article.
From $US 52
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From $US 129
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From $US 54
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You MUST have a Japanese Drivers Licence, Japanese SOFA Licence or a Drivers Licence and an International Drivers Permit (IDP)
Drivers without a Japanese driver’s licence or Japanese SOFA driving licence strictly MUST bring their passport and one set of the following:
1) A driving licence from Belgium, France, Germany, Monaco, Slovenia, Switzerland or Taiwan; and a official Japanese translation provided by the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF) or the country’s embassy or consulate in Japan.
2) Both a driving licence and an International Driving Permit (IDP) based on the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic.
IMPORTANT: IDPs based on the 1968 Vienna Convention are NOT valid.
For more information on how to purchase an International Drivers Permit (IDP) check out my article on this topic. Note that you must purchase an IDP before you depart your home country.
Mario Kart in Akihabara in Tokyo
This is the best known Mario Kart in Japan as it is the original site for the concept, and is located in the north of Tokyo. There are both shared and private tour options.
Akihabara Street Kart Shared Tour Experience
Head to the original location of Japan street karting to have a great shared tour experience. You can choose either a one hour or two hour guided tour.
Akihabara Street Kart Small Group / Private Tour Experience and Photo Shoot
Head to the original location of Japan street karting to have a great small group or private tour experience, with included photo shoot. You can choose a one hour guided tour.
Mario Kart in Osaka
Osaka is a great option to do a Street Go-Kart tour as it is a great location to zip around the Dotonburi area.
Osaka Street Kart Shared Tour Experience
Head to Osaka to have a great experience driving around Osaka with this great shared tour experience. You can choose a two hour guided tour.
Mario Kart in Okinawa
You may not realise that you can also go on a Mario Kart tour in Naha in Okinawa and check out the sights!
Okinawa Street Kart Shared Tour Experience
Head to Okinawa to have a great shared tour experience. You can choose either a 1.5-2 hour guided tour.
You may also be interested in the following articles:
- Where to Stay in Tokyo With a Japan Rail Pass
- Easiest Options to Get from Narita Airport to Shinjuku, Shibuya and Shinagawa
- Easiest Options to Get from Narita Airport to Yokohama
Join the Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group or Discord Server
You are also welcome to join our Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group and our Japan Travel Planning Discord Server – they are great resources to enable you to ask questions about your upcoming trip to Japan!
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