Yes, real-life Mario Kart, on the streets of Tokyo, is a thing

Tokyo is known for some wacky and wild things, but I think that real life Mario Kart on the city streets ranks right up there amongst the craziest. Not to mention the most fun! I know absolutely nothing about the actual Mario Kart game, but when we arrived at the venue, ( there were racks full of costumes to choose from, to include characters from the game and a few other popular favorites. Because everything in Japan is better when in costume! I didn’t know who to be, so I chose Mario. Why not?

Mario and the girls.

Anna and Shin are good friends and the organizers of our fun evening.

And the whole gang! This was mostly a ladies trip, but a few husbands were added to increase our numbers. Unfortunately, Matt sat this one out.

After choosing our characters, we walked to the site of our go-karts to be trained on their use. Such a sight!

After a brief, (and I mean very brief) training session, we were ready to take to the streets.

Mario and Pikachu. Our fearless leaders.

I was actually pretty nervous at this point. We were going to drive these go-karts, on regular city streets, right in the the heart of the world’s largest city. Eeek!

We were sandwiched between buses, and cabs,

and stopped for trains. You know, usual stuff.

Even the police would smile and wave.

I loved watching the happiness this sight brought to passersby. Well, wouldn’t you smile, too?

Our first stop was the iconic Tokyo Tower.

Our tour guide even knew the absolute best place and angle for a photo op, of course.

After my initial nerves settled, I found my groove.

Next we drove through the busy area of Roppongi, which is a hip and happening area full of bars, restaurants and great shopping.

And our last stop? Only one of the world’s busiest intersections. The Shibuya Crossing. Think of driving through Times Square in New York City, on a go-kart. In costume. Insane, and insanely fun!

Could not find photo credit owner.

The Shibuya 109 department store is a famous landmark in Tokyo. In all, we spent about 2.5 hours driving around.

We really caused quite a stir, and bystander’s took just as many pictures of us as we took of them.

 There were no seat belts and no helmets, and literally nothing holding us into the karts. I just kept thinking, “how can this be legal!?”

And through the exhilaration, I would then think, “Well, if tonight is my time, what a way to go!”

Thankfully, we all lived to see another day and had the time of our lives.

This is one of those crazy, and unique Tokyo things that I will never forget!


  1. Laura
    July 23, 2016 / 3:46 pm

    So strange!!

  2. Pamela Cole
    August 2, 2016 / 12:49 pm

    Hilarious! Looks like a ton of fun. I'd be terrified!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Looking for Something?