Nintendo's Old Kyoto HQ is Being Made into a Hotel, so Make Your Pilgrimage Now

Nintendo's Old Kyoto HQ is Being Made into a Hotel, so Make Your Pilgrimage Now

See the Nintendo plaque, $5. Touch the Nintendo plaque, $10.

Nothing lasts forever, even cold November rain and Japanese buildings of great historical importance. Nintendo's old headquarters—the small, unassuming building where the company first made its hanafuda cards and other toys—is scheduled to become a hotel.

The renovation will turn Nintendo's former Kyoto headquarters into fancy lodgings that includes 20 rooms, a bar, a gym, a spa, and a restaurant. (Translation via Japanese Nintendo.) The modest stone building isn't outfitted for that kind of glamor, so renovations are in order. The project is scheduled to be done by 2021. The original "Nintendo Playing Cards" plaque that marks the building's significance remained even after Nintendo moved out, but it's not clear if said plaque will remain after renovations are done.

Lots of Nintendo fans have understandably made the pilgrimage to the company's old headquarters. The building is unofficially called "Yamauchi Nintendo," as it's the location where former iron-fisted Nintendo President Hiroshi Yamauchi turned Nintendo from a toymaker into a video game empire.

Pre-Famicom Nintendo didn't limit itself to toys and cards, though. It dabbled in just about everything, my favorite being a line of strollers that had to be recalled because they kept pinching kids. Other ventures included light gun shooting galleries, a taxi company, instant rice, and a chain of "love hotels" where lovers could meet for a few hours of private time. That last one is a little ironic, given the old headquarters' transformation into a hotel.

Nintendo outgrew its old home decades ago, but it's still sad to know such a famous site might soon be renovated beyond recognition.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

Related articles

Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond's Multiplayer Looks Surprisingly In-Depth for VR

That lever-action rifle spin does look like it'd be incredibly fun.

A New Scientific Study Aims to Learn More About Why Players Do or Don't Invert Controls

The researchers say the work could be "useful for almost all aspects of gaming and visual technologies."

Cyberpunk 2077 Shows Off What's Possible With Its Photo Mode

It's also a nice reminder that yes, this game is out next week.

You may also like

These Are the Movies and TV Shows to Watch Before Playing Cyberpunk 2077

From Akira to Dredd, there's a lot to watch before Dec. 10.

I Thought Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light Would be Too Archaic. I Was Wrong

A new translation and some key quality-of-life additions make this genre pioneer worth playing.

Mega Man X3's Instruction Booklet Is a Perfect '90s Snapshot of Web 1.0

Mega Man X3's odd booklet is a product that can only exist in 1995.

Nintendo Hacker Sentenced to Three Years Following Guilty Plea

The defendant was sentenced for both hacking and possession of child pornography.