Recently, my sister came home to visit from Cleveland, Ohio. Since we only see her maybe a few times a year, we decided to go on a sibling trip to Tokyo, Japan! This was our first ever sibling trip and what fun we had.

Sara-Anne read somewhere that you could ride go-karts in costume on the streets of Tokyo and that was our main priority during our trip. I must say, after spending a few hours on these four wheeled speed demons, it did not disappoint.

There are 8 different locations throughout the city you can choose from. We chose the Akakusa location and signed up for an afternoon tour. We arrived promptly at 3pm and began our process of checking in. Fortunately for us, our guides for the day spoke very good English so we didn’t have any problems communicating with them. Our group of riders included my brother, sister, me and one fellow from Korea named Yim and two guys from Australia named Alex and Jotham.

After checking in, they led us to a changing room where we could choose our desired costume for the day. Stanton and I immediately went for Mario and Luigi (what can I say, we’re brothers) and Sara chose Yoshi. For some odd reason, rather than diversify, Yim and Alex also chose Mario (for those of you keeping count at home, yes, that’s three Marios in the same group). Jotham chose something else, but I’m not exactly who he was supposed to be.

A closet of new identities

I guess one or two Marios weren’t enough

After that, we headed downstairs to receive our instructions from Taku, our fearless leader. He showed us how to operate the vehicles and how were to drive in various formations using hand signals to show us what he wanted. He also made it a point to mention, that unlike the game Mario Kart, we were not, under any circumstances, to throw banana peels or red turtle shells at anyone.

Once he completed his briefing, it was off to the races (ahem, not race, but driving tour). We headed out and drove the streets of Asakusa for the next two hours. At first, I couldn’t believe we were driving on the actual streets, sharing the roads with cars, taxis, trucks and buses. After a while though, you kind of get used to sharing the space and seeing jaws drop open while people are trying to take pictures of you dressed up in full costume. And despite their small size, the go karts really have some zip. I think they max out around 50 KPH, which is more than enough speed considering we weren’t wearing helmets and we were in open air. We stopped to visit the famous temple (and I’m sure shocked a few people taking pictures in quiet tranquility to see Mario and his friends enter their frame). We saw incredible views of the Tokyo Sky Tree and because of the time of our tour, we saw the sun go down and the city slowly transform into a sea of colorful neon lights.

Stopped at a light with the SkyTree behind us

Disturbing the peace

After driving we were a little stiff and freezing but oh what a time we had. We shared laughs and smiles as they gave us cups of steaming green tea and they generously shared all of the pictures and videos with us via AirDrop. Overall, the 6000 yen (around $55) was well spent considering we had two amazing hours seeing the streets of Asakusa like we had never seen them before. And as I mentioned before, there are still seven other locations for us to explore. So on your next trip to Japan, be sure to look them up. You won’t regret it!

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