Nintendo Co., Ltd. is a Japanese multinational video game company headquartered in Kyoto, Japan. It develops video games and video game consoles and has some of the most well-known names in video game history. From Donkey Kong and Super Mario Brothers to Pokemon and Fortnite and from Game & Watch and Game Boy to Wii and Nintendo Switch, Nintendo has been a major player in video gaming for over 40 years.
Nintendo was founded in 1889 as Nintendo Karuta by craftsman Fusajiro Yamauchi and originally produced handmade hanafuda playing cards. Its card business continued into the late 1960s, when the company expanded into the realm of classic and electronic toys. The latter is how they eventually morphed into the video game business.
Nintendo was originally housed in a small, traditional wooden building in Kyoto, Japan. As the company grew, they expanded and built a concrete Art Deco building next door, in 1933 (the wooden shop was torn down in 2004).
To those wondering where was the 1st HQ of Nintendo (pic1), it's the same place than the old preserved famous concrete HQ in Kyoto builded in 1933 (pic2). You may notice that the letf part was still there at the end of the 90's (destroyed at the beginning of the 2000's.) pic.twitter.com/oZ5Vrc8cqd
— Florent Gorges (@FlorentGorgesFR) January 23, 2018
The Art Deco building served as Nintendo’s headquarters until 1959, when they shifted operations to a different building in another part of Kyoto.
Joe and I actually visited the 1933 era Nintendo building, back in 2005, as part of our “Johnnie Hillwalker’s Johnnie Kyoto Walking Tour” (Johnnie Hillwalker, a.k.a. Hajime Hirooka, conducted walking tours from the early 1960s until, from what I can tell, around 2014ish…he must’ve been about 1,000 years old by then ). Here are some pictures of that day (my apologies for the different writing style, slightly fuzzy, watermarked photos, etc. – although I updated the post in 2017, it originally really was written for my personal blog in 2005).
Still owned by the Yamauchi family, the Art Deco building had been left abandoned ever since Nintendo moved headquarters. However in early 2020, some great news was announced – the building was going to be turned into a hotel!
Hotel and restaurant development company Plan Do See is handling the project. World-famous architect Tadao Ando has overseen the hotel design, as well as added a newly built annex to the existing building. And with that, Hotel Marufukuro will open on April 1, 2022.
The hotel will contain 18 rooms (including seven suites), with room sizes ranging from 355 to 850 square feet. Guests can choose to stay in the original building or the new wing. Unlike many hotels where each room is “cookie-cutter” style, guest rooms at Hotel Marufukuro will feature a variety of different furnishings. The hotel also houses a restaurant, bar, gym and spa. Japan Today has some nice photos of the property.
Hotel Marufukuro has begun taking reservations – rooms and suites range from roughly $1,000 to $2,000 per night.
Feature Photo: Plan. Do. See.
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