If you’re looking for a place to stay in Kyoto, there are a huge variety of hotels ready to provide you with a comfortable bed for the night. However, only one will be able to provide you with a bed and a side of gaming history as well.
The hotel we’re talking about is Marufukuro, a new place to stay that’s housed inside the former headquarters of gaming giant Nintendo.
That’s right — the hotel sits on sacred ground for gamers, as it’s the same location where Nintendo was founded by Fusajiro Yamauchi, under the name Nintendo Koppai, in 1889. The building itself dates back to 1933, when the company changed its name to Yamauchi Nintendo and began to switch its focus from manufacturing and selling hanafuda (Japanese playing cards) to specialise in Western-style playing cards, long-known as “karuta” — from the Portuguese “carta” — and widely known as “toranpu” by the end of the 19th century.
That’s why both the words “toranpu” (“トランプ” , written left-to-right, according to Western conventions) and “karuta” (“かるた”, written right-to-left, Japanese-style) can be seen on a plaque outside the building.