When and Why Did Nintendo Shut Down Its First Ever Headquarters in Japan?

Published 03/27/2022, 2:06 PM EDT

Nintendo has been a worldwide phenomenon and a force to reckon with, ever since it made its debut. It has a glorious history of giving out amazing titles and entertaining surprises to fans across the globe. It all started in the iconic headquarters located in Kyoto, Japan. But now, the iconic building has been turned into a hotel.

However, this newly unveiled hotel boasts tons of memories that most people might be unaware of. There must have been one of the key reasons why Nintendo eventually decided to turn the building into a public hotel.


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Nintendo’s first headquarters in Kyoto turned into a hotel

The newly unveiled Marufukuro hotel is currently located in Kagiyacho, Kyoto. Originally named as the Yamauchi Nintendo headquarters, the building will soon welcome people who are interested in the ever-growing brand of the gaming industry.

It will be a great opportunity, especially for those who want to know the history of the company and how it was in the past. There are various designs inspired by the culture of Nintendo’s initial style. The hotel’s name is taken from Nintendo‘s distribution firm, which is known as Marufukuro.

The origin of the building dates back to the year 1889. During that time, it served as the official headquarters of Nintendo, with Fusajiro Yamauchi being an early founder.

Locations, Interiors, and Tour

As is mentioned above already, the Marufukuro hotel is located in Kagiyacho, Kyoto. Upon the official inauguration, it will be open to the visitors, while also serving as a sacred ground for most of die-hard Nintendo lovers.

Talking about the looks, then the hotel has 18 rooms, featuring inevitable details based on the original building. Out of the total number of rooms, seven will serve as the suites.

The majority of the original interiors have been kept unchanged in the building, also including various fittings. So that way, it will remind the visitors of the old history of Nintendo.

As per the official website of Marufukuro, Tadao Ando is the designer of the newly opened building. He has tried to bring together an “old-time stately ambiance and a modern approach”.

Why did Nintendo shut down its first headquarter?

Nintendo initially started as a company that made playing cards in 1889. And the building in Kagiyacho, Japan was its first main office ever.

By 1933, Nintendo was a huge entertainment entity as everyone knows it today in the modern era. During the 1950s, Yamauchi’s grandson got the rights to feature Disney characters on the playing cards. In a way, it was the indication of Nintendo getting on the track to earn even more money.

Due to Disney’s association, playing cards became more popular. They were no longer seen as a part of gambling. Instead, they appealed more to the families for entertainment purposes.

Meanwhile, Nintendo also tried to venture into multiple businesses like taxis, love hotels, toys, and also drum machines.

As it was climbing up the ladder of success, the company was bound to make a physical change as well. It started with the very first headquarters building itself.

The headquarters building was in full operation until 1959, when Nintendo eventually decided to expand. As it was growing rapidly, it made the choice for a bigger and larger space.

Since 1969, the Yamauchi Nintendo building remained vacant until recently.

Know the Secret of the Nintendo Kyoto

Aside from the gaming history, the existing building is itself an amazing site to go to, because of its location. The new hotel Marufukuro simply blends in with the old headquarters.


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It also means that visitors can have the best of both worlds. While there is a modern touch present, the classic, old Nintendo memories can also be felt without a doubt. Marufukuro is very near to the Kyoto station as well, meaning that there won’t be a problem of taking more time to reach the building.

Furthermore, all incoming guests will also get to enjoy the beautiful views from the hotel. That’s because it is in between the Kamo River and Takase River.

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The hotel will be open starting April 1, 2022. This means that all the hardcore Nintendo lovers can start making their plans for a stay already. It looks like people will surely love the experience of living inside this blend of old and new experiences.

Not to mention how the passionate gamers will feel when they actually see some of the rare accessories in the hotel, dating back to a century ago. It will be great for everyone indeed.



Mintu Tomar

1673 articles

Mintu Tomar is an eSports author at EssentiallySports. After completing his bachelor's in Philosophy, he has followed his passion for covering news as a budding journalist. He lives and breathes video games and is a die-hard Call of Duty fan.

Edited By: Pritam Priyedarshi