Nintendo WINS! Wait! Then, what happens to the Mario Kart?!

  • Would you like to taste the adrenaline in the real life, on a real road? I think everyone is accustomed with Nintendo and of course, everyone must know the popular game “Mario Kart” brought to us by them.
    Now, you can have a taste of it in your own マリカー(MariCar)! A must do if you`re coming to Japan!
    In the past few years, these MariCars have been the source of many discussions, here in the country. In this article, I will talk in detail about this topic and the reason of the gossips.
    For those who don`t know much about these MariCar, let`s start with a brief…

    Introduction: What is MariCar?

    mario kart

    The MariCar is a service that allows you to experience a go-kart tour and enjoy some sightseeing on your drive! You can dress up as your favourite Mario character and drive on the streets of Japan.
    You can appreciate it even if you’re not aware of many details, but I believe is better to have some basic knowledge regarding the rules, the company etc. so a bit of information would not harm anyone.
    If you plan on trying it, here are some points you should know before coming here:

    1. Do you have a license?


    In order to drive a Mario Car, a driver’s license is required! If you are travelling to Japan, make sure you possess an International license first.
    As the international license can only be used by short-term residents, be aware of the fact that foreigners already living here can’t use it. In case you are thinking of getting a license here, in Japan, below is more information on how to do that:
    Driving license Website
    However, if you possess a driver’s license obtained in Switzerland, Slovenia, Germany, France, Belgium, Monaco or Taiwan it can be used.

    You can also find some useful information about driving license and how to obtain it in the following links:

    Obtaining a Japanese driving license or How Hard is it to get a Driver’s License in Japan?

    2. Do I have to wear a helmet/ belt?


    No, you don’t have to. The Mario Car is controlled by two laws, yet it managed to successfully slip through those rules.
    As the vehicle size is smaller than the vehicle safety standards mentioned in the road transport legislation, it’s considered to be a vehicle similar to a four wheels bicycle and it’s not necessary to be equipped with seat belt. Also, on the Road Traffic Legislation is classified as a four wheels vehicle, so that makes it unnecessary to wear a helmet. As a result, there is no need to wear either seatbelts or helmets. Still, due to successive problems and accidents, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism took the decision to strengthen the regulations so starting from 2020 , wearing seatbelts , helmets etc. will become mandatory, so each vehicle will have various features in order to ensure the car’s and drivers’ safety.

    3. Won’t it be stopped by Nintendo?


    It is true that Nintendo filled in a complaint and sued the company for Copyright infringement, so this year in September, the Tokyo District Court prohibited the operating company to lend Mario Costumes and they were obligated to pay damages. However, the operating company changed it’s name from 「マリカー」(MariKa) to Mari Mobility Development so it continued its services. Even though they are not lending costumes anymore, you can buy your own for about 2,000 yen , dress up , hop in your car and have the same experience.