HotelsThere's no play like it than Marufuku, Nintendo's 1930s headquarters turned hotel adorned with classic Nintendo memorabilia.

Nintendo’s original Kyoto HQ is now a hotel

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The 25-key boutique hotel is adorned with Nintendo memorabilia, including its original cards which can be found throughout the corridors.
The 25-key boutique hotel is adorned with Nintendo memorabilia, including its original cards which can be found throughout the corridors. Photo Credit: Hotel Marufukuro

Gamers will be delighted to find that they’ll be able to stay in the birthplace of one of the largest video game companies in the world once Japan reopens. The building which served as Nintendo’s first and original headquarters from the 1930s was recently refurbished into a boutique hotel.

Founder Fusajiro Yamauchi began his career making and selling Japanese cards in 1889. When his business picked up in 1933, he moved into the building and established Marufuku Co., Ltd. which would eventually become Nintendo Co., Ltd. Even though Nintendo moved out of the building in 1959, the hotel still holds much of the company’s history.

The former Nintendo headquarters and current Hotel Marufukuro sits in a quiet location between two rivers, north of Kyoto Station.
The former Nintendo headquarters and current Hotel Marufukuro sits in a quiet location between two rivers, north of Kyoto Station. Photo Credit: Hotel Marufukuro

Hotel Marufukuro, named after Yamauchi’s initial playing card business, features the original nameplate from its time as Marufuku Co., Ltd. affixed at the top of the building and a plaque on its building façade that reads “Nintendo Yamauchi”, along with a list of all the cards the company produced during that period.

The hotel houses 18 standard rooms and seven suites, with each room’s interior and design elements differing from one to another. There are rooms furnished in traditional Japanese tatami and equipped with an outdoor bath, and a room designed by celebrity architect Tadao Ando that contains a small pantry area and a laundry machine. For a luxurious stay, look no further than the Marufukuro Suite, the only room in the hotel that extends over both the original and new annex designed by Tadao Ando. Rooms start from ¥108,000 (US$880) a night.

The hotel’s traditional Japanese rooms feature an outdoor bath.
The hotel’s traditional Japanese rooms feature an outdoor bath. Photo Credit: Hotel Marufukuro

Breakfast, tea-time, dinner, and supper are included daily, inclusive of alcoholic beverages. Breakfast and dinner will be served at Carta, helmed by chef Ai Hosokawa who is famous for her Japanese-Italian fusion dishes.

Guests can experience a blast from the past with a visit to the Library dNa — a unique space filled with the company’s original products and memorabilia, that also doubles up as a bar that offers a selection of Japanese and international whiskies.

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