My pilgrimage to Nintendo’s headquarters in Kyoto

I’ve been a Nintendo fan for 30 years, and I was in Kyoto for the first time. Well I had to go to Nintendo, didn’t I?

First stop was very hard to find, and Google (at least in English) was very little help. I wanted to see the oldest surviving (1930s-1960s) Nintendo building, buried in the backstreets of a now largely residential area of Kyoto.

KyotoNintendo2_0009

After some research (largely machine translating Japanese walking tour maps), I worked out it was somewhere near here, which was around 15 minutes walk from the apartment we were staying in.

kyotonintendo

So we set off the next morning. After a lot of wandering in the freezing cold winter air, we found it!

KyotoNintendo_0002

 While nicely designed with lots of detailed flourishes, it’s an otherwise relatively nondescript building. Except for two plaques:

KyotoNintendo_0004

The sign references Japanese playing cards ‘Karuta’ (かるた) and western playing cards ‘Trump’ (トランプ – Toranpu)

KyotoNintendo_0003

This was their playing card factory and distribution centre before they became a larger toy company, and it has stayed in company hands.

KyotoNintendo_0005

 I took a peek inside as well, it is clearly well maintained and clean, but seemingly closed (it was a Friday). So many

KyotoNintendo_0006

It appears to have been maintained perfectly from the 1930s until today.

The next stop would be much easier to find. It was about 40 minutes walk away through residential and industrial areas, though we stopped in at a couple of Kyoto’s famous temples along the way.

KyotoNintendo2_0012 KyotoNintendo2_0015

KyotoNintendo2_0020KyotoNintendo_0028

Until it appeared…

KyotoNintendo2_0058

KyotoNintendo_0041

Mecca.

KyotoNintendo_0049

KyotoNintendo_0052

Two blocks away there is the other monolith, the new development building.

KyotoNintendo_0059

KyotoNintendo_0063

KyotoNintendo_0064

Not too much to see, you’re not allowed in either building. But they do have a nice big sign at the development centre.KyotoNintendo_0067

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “My pilgrimage to Nintendo’s headquarters in Kyoto

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s