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Nintendo's ex-head office remodeled into luxurious hotel in Kyoto

A library that showcases Nintendo Co.'s history is seen at Marufukuro hotel in Kyoto's Shimogyo Ward. (Photo courtesy of Platinum Inc.)

KYOTO -- Nintendo Co.'s former head office here has been given a new lease of life as a hotel designed by world-renowned architect Tadao Ando, complete with a library showcasing items relating to the firm's over century-long history.

    The four-story hotel, Marufukuro, located in Kyoto's Shimogyo Ward opened on April 1 after the former headquarters building was renovated and expanded. It has 18 guestrooms with a floor space of 33 to 79 square meters each. The room charge ranges from around 100,000 yen (about $810) to 250,000 yen (roughly $2,040) per night for two guests.

    In a library lounge on the second floor are about 100 items and works on display, including digital footage using the images of traditional Japanese "hanafuda" playing cards, as well as a paper model of the popular "Family Computer" (Famicom) console, tracing the firm's history from a hanafuda maker to a global game manufacturer.

    The company started producing hanafuda and other Japanese "karuta" playing cards in 1889, and eventually established Marufuku, the predecessor to the present-day Nintendo, in 1947. The former head office has three three-story buildings, with the oldest dating back 92 years. The four-story new building was designed and overseen by Ando.

    (Japanese original by Norikazu Chiba, Kyoto Bureau)

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