by - Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Fast forward a little, it’s JAPAN DAY 9!!
I wanna write this out while my excitement is still burning yknow. As age catches up, your memory kinda fail and all hahahahaha.

Yes, yes I turned 26. Surprise surprise y’all.

Ok, let’s cut to the chase. I’ve been looking forward to my Day 9 Japan itinerary even before I embark on my one month trip. I had made Kimmy book us a MariCar drive during our stay in Tokyo. That was probably the first activity on our to-do list when we arranged a trip to Japan. The last time I visited Japan, I didn't have a driver's license, and this time, since both me and Kimmy had gotten our license, so why miss the chance!

We had booked the evening slot due to numerous safety reasons. Like we wouldn't want it too early because we may still be in slumber mode, and cannot focus on the drive. We also wanted to be alert enough to fully enjoy the drive safely. Plus, it's summer. Trust me when I say the sun was crazy. There are also many different slots to chose from after you have confirm your booking with them through Facebook or email. And that's it! You've reserved yourself an unforgettable drive of a lifetime! Next was getting our IDP (International Driving Permit) in Singapore. Remember to pack along your driver's license too, because you'll need it for verification! And the rest is really just waiting for the day to arrive hahahhahaha.

When we first arrived at MariCar Akihabara, we were told to come back later because we were an hour early, LOL. So we went to walk around and return at about 5:45PM, for the 6PM drive. God, when we went back the second time, most of the cute outfits were taken already, :( Karters from the same time slot had already signed in earlier, and chose their favorite onesies. On the bright side, we were not on team Mario like everyone else hahaha.

We were then told to fill in the liability waiver form and sign in using their iPad. We got the procedures in reverse because it was so crowded, you'd usually be required to make payment and sign the liability waiver form first before choosing your outfits. After which, you'd be grouped with other people from the same time slot based on nationality and language spoke! We were grouped with 4 other Koreans from Daegu, hahaha. People at MariCar can speak many different languages, so fret not! You'll be in ultra safe hands so long as you follow their instructions. After you are done locking up your items, and changing into your onesies, you are good to go!!

Our guide for the day was Ken! He speaks really good English, and is really funny! What I really love about Ken is that, he is extremely attentive and protective of us. He will make sure drivers don't get too close to us, or cut in front of us to cause the group to separate because there are drivers like that and it is really really dangerous. Ken brought us over to the garage and gave us a quick crash course on how to operate the go-kart. It is relatively easy, especially if you have a driving license. Only new things to remember is the hand signals from the guide, for us to slow down, line up in single file or stop in pairs kind of thing. Kimmy got us the 3-hours night drive package @ 10,000 yen, which brought us to the ever famous Rainbow Bridge! It was crazy, the drive on the bridge was plain AMAZING.

Here's our Karts!

And this is the route we went!

Kimmy brought along his own GoPro to video our ride. MariCar also provides mounting for you if you have your own camera. Otherwise, you can also rent the GoPro from them if you wish to video down your journey. It is illegal to use your phone while driving in Japan, so you don't actually get to take videos or photos along the journey, unless you are stopped at the traffic light waiting for it to turn green. The guide will also help us take photo along the way and send it over to you when you return back to the shop.

But if you are taking the same package as me, they will stopover at Odaiba, Aqua City for a toilet break! Over there you can see amazing night view and take nice photos! Or you could be like one of my group mate, he brought along his digital camera and sling it around his neck. He spammed his camera every time an opportunity arises! I personally chose not to because I really just wanna enjoy the drive and not feel cautious at every turn, feeling scared of scratching my camera and all, hahahaha. And dayum, that choice was right. I literally sped at 70km/h when we were going down the Rainbow Bridge loop!

Here's the video from our drive, a pity the camera died half way.. We didn't get to capture the night lights at Ginza on the way back to Akihabara. If you are planning to use an action cam, bring along a portable charger and charge during the 20 minutes break just in case it dies!

It was overall a really amazing and crazy experience! Wish I had brought along an action cam to film too, what a waste, :(
Here is the summarized step by step guide to your MariCar experience:

#1 Plan your itinerary & chose your route!

#2 Contact them!
Contact them through their Facebook or find them on their webside! If you are contacting them through Facebook, Chappie the robot assistant will help get you started.

#3 Get your International Driving Permit!
After Chappie is done with your temporary reservation, go get your IDP! MariCar will ask for photo verification in order to finalize your reservation.

#4 Get ready for the trip!
It's as easy as this! I would recommend the 3 hours evening route so you won't get burn under the scorching hot sun. I'm not sure if they run during winter though! You might want to check with them if you are visiting during winter!

Now some pretty photos taken by our guide, Ken!

It is as their slogan says, once is never enough!

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  1. wa. rainbow bridge too?! i am seriously considering this..


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