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Nintendo stopping "Mario go-kart" Tokyo street racing

by Moto Japan

A few years ago, a tour agency in Japan came up with a daring idea: recreating Super Mario video game in real life, and offering the experience to overseas tourists that are urged to fill their itineraries with unconventional "only in Japan" type of fun. Cause "Japan is crazy".

In the past 2 years, almost every friend coming to Tokyo from abroad wanted to do this experience together and asked us if we can get more information about it. We could only say a double no to that. "You sound so opinionated and angry", we heard in response. Yup, probably.

Yesterday, Japan Times published an article stating that Nintendo Co. filed a lawsuit against Tokyo-based go-kart service MariCar for alleged copyright violations. Apparently, Nintendo had issued warnings to MariCar over the past several months but saw no response, which is just another display of company's lousy business values. In response to our friends' comments about our general grumpiness regarding Mario go-karts, here's a shortlist of general perceptions shared by people living in Tokyo:

It should be the duty of the Japanese Government to reconsider traffic laws that allowed this activity in the first place. It is also a shame that tourists can have access to this reckless street activities with their international car drivers license, while some foreign people living in Japan often cannot translate their home country licenses to even ride a moped on Japanese streets. Another thing that is just a little bit off is that go-kart drivers are not required to wear helmets, following the rule that any vehicles with 3+ wheels are exempt from protecting their heads. Thus the funny hat party appearance...

We hope that Nintendo will finally put end to this activity and prevent irritating encounters like these in the future.

If you are coming to Japan and considering the "Mario go-kart" experience, please think again!

And if you want to do something really cool, rent a bicycle and go for the best possible Tokyo ride!


Moto Japan
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