Tokyo’s infamous Street Kart may be long gone, but you can still experience something like a real-life Mario Kart up in the mountains of Hakuba. The luxurious Hakuba Iwatake Mountain Resort is offering rides through forested mountains and surrounding greenery on a motorless off-road go-kart made by German company Mountaincart.
Hakuba is one of Japan's most popular ski resorts, and it's easily accessible from Tokyo in about three hours via a shinkansen and a bus. Outside of snow season, this resort village up in the mountains of Nagano offers lush green scenery and a range of outdoor adventures.
To partake in this off-road go-karting, take a gondola up to the summit of Mt Iwatake. You’ll then get to cruise through a 2.1km course on a Mountaincart, all the way to the bottom of the mountain, while taking in a spectacular view of the Northern Alps. The engineless karts can go up to 50km down the steepest hill, but you can always slow it down by pumping the breaks. The entire journey takes about 15 minutes and a guide will be with you through the entire course.
A ride on a Mountaincart costs ¥1,500 per person, which includes safety gear like a helmet, goggles, knee and elbow protectors. Rides are available daily until the end of August, and then only on weekends from September to November 14. It’s limited to 60 people per day, so we recommend you book in advance on the website.
While you’re at the resort, make sure to check out the other outdoor activities including ziplines, a trampoline park, a guided buggy tour and much more.
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