Nintendo’s original 1930s headquarters just reopened as a hotel


The original Nintendo HQ building in Kyoto has been renovated and reopened as a boutique hotel that preserves many of the building’s original features.

The Marufukuro Hotel opened today, April 1, marking the first time this historic venue has been open to the public – although we should note that it is not a museum and it is This is quite an expensive hotel which will make it difficult for many gaming fans. stay the night. IGN Japan went camera in hand.

Before Nintendo was called Nintendo, it was the company of Fusajiro Yamauchi, who started making and selling Japanese playing cards called “hanafuda” in 1889. As his company grew, it moved to its first proper HQ in 1933, and later was named Marufuku Co., Ltd, from which the hotel takes its name. The company then changed its name to Nintendo Playing Card Co., Ltd, and finally left the building in 1959. It has remained standing ever since.

Nintendo HQ Hotel – Official Opening Images

At Hotel Marufukuro, you can see many remnants of Nintendo’s original HQ. Marufuku’s original nameplate still remains on top of the building’s facade, written in stylized Japanese kanji characters, and can be seen stencilled on old supply crates with the Japanese characters for “Nintendo”. Meanwhile, a plaque on the exterior wall remains intact, reading “Nintendo Yamauchi” and listing the “assets and carta” the company was manufacturing at the time. The plate is so old that the text reads from right to left, as one once wrote in Japanese.

The building is divided into four parts, named after the colors of a deck of cards. Spades is where Nintendo’s desktop functions were originally located; Hearts is the former residence of the Yamauchi family, who ran the business; Clubs is where the warehouse used to be; and Diamonds is a brand new wing that was added with the restoration, designed by world renowned architect Tadao Ando.

With the exception of the additional wing, the building has largely retained its original structure. Much of the exterior is as it was in 1933, although the interior has been refurbished. The freight elevator is no longer functional but has remained as decoration. The chairs from the original conference room have remained in what has become a living room, while the antique clock at the entrance is also vintage, so it doesn’t tell the exact time. Some original doors and scraps of scratched wallpaper have been reused. The Japanese Suite is located in the original quarters of the Yamauchi family, renovated to evoke the style of the era, so guests can feel like the president of Nintendo.

Nintendo HQ Hotel Pictures – IGN Japan Tour

Many old Nintendo hanafuda cards made in the building were framed and displayed, while classic Nintendo hardware such as the NES and GameCube (which were created long after Nintendo left the building) were transformed into nifty ornaments.

Rooms at the Marufukuro Hotel start at around 108,000 yen (about $880) per night. Accommodation plans are all-inclusive, meaning guests get gourmet meals, use of the bar, locally brewed beer, and more included in the price. Currently, entrance to the building is only available to customers, but in the future, the restaurant located in the original warehouse wing will be open to non-customers.

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Daniel Robson is an editor at IGN Japan, and you can find him on Twitter here. Younasi is a freelance writer for IGN Japan.


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