The MariCar Experience
Holy shit how good is MariCar. Please enjoy this raw burst of an excitement rant on just how fucking good MariCar is. For those who aren’t privy to it, it’s an experience available at your fingertips to go kart around key spots in Tokyo, Japan. There’s various tracks to choose from. We went with the Rainbow Bridge track, a 3-hour ride with a 15 minute break at the halfway checkpoint to go to the bathroom, take some photos for the gram and fill up our kart tanks at a petrol station (yes you heard right, imagine 7 karts just casually filling up at your local petrol station). It was wild.
We chose to make a reservation for a night time track, with the assumption it’ll be a whole lot more fun. It was. Scarier too. I’m not going to try and fool you, I was shit scared moments leading up to our 6PM reservation. I mean, how could you not be? It’s a service that allows you to go-kart around busy Tokyo roads at an advertised speed of 60km/h with your only piece of security being a flimsy seatbelt and trust in your own international driving prowess. What could possibly go wrong?
By God I wish I had filmed the entire ride because it was fucking amazing. I immediately got over my jittery nerves once I was on the road suited up in my Spider-Man costume. The tour guide would take photos every now and then when stopped at a red traffic light. His name was Ricardo, a friendly dude originally from Sydney surprisingly. A party of 7, including Ricardo, we raced through the Tokyo peak hour traffic. It was bloody exhilarating. Random shit would hit me in the face, fall into my eyes and whatnot on account of I had no helmet or windows but hey, it’s an experience! As we passed through the city roads, we would feel like celebrities as pedestrians would smile, wave and take photos. My inner Madagascar penguin in me would come out and go, “just smile and wave boys, just smile and wave.”
Please enjoy the 3 key highlights of the circuit in order of awesomeness.
Rainbow Bridge Freeway
So this was our first time doing MariCar right, and what do we do? We pick the hardest fucking track, the Rainbow Bridge Circuit. Advertised to have a top speed of 60km/h, no, we ended up on the damn freeway doing 80km/h in a cute little kart as we drive alongside life-size cars, trucks swerving around and indicating around us, motorbikes speed and race past us as we literally ate their dust. I had a mixture of fear, blindness, excitement and adrenaline. I loved every moment though. Already know I’ll be jumping on one of these bad boys again the next time I’m in Japan.
Tokyo Drift Carpark
Would you believe it if I told you these guys let us drift around a multi-level carpark like the one in Tokyo Drift (3rd instalment of the Fast & Furious franchise)? Well believe it because that’s exactly what happened! It was insanity, it was chaos, it was cooler than a pirate playing a guitar solo rendition of Toto’s Africa on an erupting volcano. I think they purposely made the ground a little wet to help us slide and drift around as we made the turns into the upper levels, weaving around the parking pillars. Whether they did it or not, I salute them. It was so much fun, and even better going back down the multi-level carpark like a bunch of speed racers.
Ginza City Strip
Passing through the Ginza city strip was really mesmerising. All of the lights lit up bright, neon signs and billboards shone for all to see. We were lucky enough to pass through, gawking at every turn while the Ginza pedestrians did their cute little waves and snapshots of us in our karts. This part of the circuit track still have me the thrills, it was a city road and we were somehow allowed to drive past, in which we were welcomed kindly. It was crazy knowing this shit would never fly back home.
Seriously how good is MariCar. Definitely recommend. It’ll be the best 10,000YEN (approx. $125) you’ve ever spent. The price is nothing when you think of it from this perspective: it’s a one of a kind experience that you will only ever truly witness right here in Tokyo, Japan. Also, it may not be here forever so best to try it while you still can! End of excitement rant.