Go kart tour Tokyo
Photo: Giuseppemasci/DreamstimeAn undated stock photo of street go-karts in Tokyo

Street go-karting is back in Tokyo – here's how to get behind the wheel

You can once again take go-kart tours of Tokyo – some even let you dress up as your favourite character

Kaila Imada
Written by
Kaila Imada

Now that travel has returned to some sort of normalcy, Tokyo’s hottest attractions have never been busier. Pre-pandemic, one of the most popular tourist activities was the coveted ‘Mario Kart’ tour, which ran into some legal trouble back in 2020. While that original tour is no longer available, you can still dress up and tour the city in your very own kart. 

Interested? Here’s a breakdown of the available tour options and what you’ll need to get behind the wheel.

English-language go-karting tours

What you need

First and foremost, you will need to be at least 18 years of age and have an international driving permit (presented with your home driving licence and passport) or a Japanese driver's licence (more on attaining your Japanese licence here). Other accepted documents include a Sofa licence for those part of the US military forces in Japan or a driver's licence issued in one of the following countries with translation: Belgium, Germany, France, Monaco, Switzerland or Taiwan. 

Want to dress the part? You’ll have to check with each individual tour to see if costumes are available. Otherwise, you can purchase outfits and accessories at shops like Hands and Don Quijote before your tour. Most tour companies should also provide face masks, shades and helmets for additional protection.

Due to popularity, these tours can get booked up quite quickly. We suggest reserving a tour well in advance to secure yourself a spot. 

Safety precautions

While you’ll be following a guide on your tour, it’s still good to stay aware of your surroundings and keep in mind some safety tips. Firstly, remember that we drive on the left-hand side in Japan. Additionally, racing is not allowed and you must dress appropriately (high heels, sandals and long skirts are not allowed).

The tours take you through Tokyo's streets, which can get quite busy. The go-karts also sit quite a lot lower than your average vehicle. But so long as you drive responsibly and follow your guide carefully, you should have an unforgettable tour of Tokyo.

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