A Look Inside Nintendo’s Old Kyoto Headquarters

A Look Inside Nintendo’s Old Kyoto Headquarters
A look inside. (Photo: 株式会社 Plan・Do・See マーケティング室)

If you’re a Nintendo fan, you’ve probably seen countless photos of the exterior of Nintendo’s old Kyoto headquarters. But have you seen inside?

The building has long been a popular pilgrimage site, with Nintendo fans trekking over to stand outside and take selfies. The only person I know who has ever been inside is GovernorWatts, who just…walked in the place in the late 2000s.

Now that the building will be a hotel starting this April, guests can also just walk into the place. As Kotaku previously reported, the existing building will undergo improvements, and there are plans to add 20 guest rooms as well as a restaurant, a bar, and a gym. Hotel and restaurant development company Plan See Do is handling the project.

In the past few years, there has been a trend in Japan of turning old buildings, such as castles, into hotels to cash in on the country’s tourism boom. But with Covid-19 and Japan’s borders shut to foreign tourists, the hospitality has been hit hard.

A peek behind the curtain.  (Photo: 株式会社 Plan・Do・See マーケティング室)A peek behind the curtain. (Photo: 株式会社 Plan・Do・See マーケティング室)

Photos of inside the building prior to renovation have been released, giving an idea of what it looks like inside — or rather, what it looked like.

I really like it! Fingers crossed the renovations do this building–and Nintendo–justice.

I love that fire place. This will be turned into a guest room.  (Photo: 株式会社 Plan・Do・See マーケティング室)I love that fire place. This will be turned into a guest room. (Photo: 株式会社 Plan・Do・See マーケティング室)

This isn’t Nintendo’s first headquarters. ​​In 1889, Fusajiro Yamauchi founded Marufuku Nintendo Card Co., producing traditional Japanese playing cards called hanafuda and eventually Western playing cards as well. That building was demolished in 2004 and is apparently now a parking lot.

I love these lights.  (Photo: 株式会社 Plan・Do・See マーケティング室)I love these lights. (Photo: 株式会社 Plan・Do・See マーケティング室)

However, this is the oldest Nintendo building in Japan — was, rather, as apparently Nintendo no longer owns it. The old headquarters is not in Nintendo’s possession, but rather the Yamauchi family’s.

This is a great-looking building.  (Photo: 株式会社 Plan・Do・See マーケティング室)This is a great-looking building. (Photo: 株式会社 Plan・Do・See マーケティング室)

Hopefully, the hotel will include some sort of museum with old Nintendo-related family heirlooms, so guests can have an even deeper appreciation during their stay.

The Yamauchi Nintendo sign out front.  (Photo: 株式会社 Plan・Do・See マーケティング室)The Yamauchi Nintendo sign out front. (Photo: 株式会社 Plan・Do・See マーケティング室)

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