Nintendo to convert former Kyoto factory into museum of the company’s history
Written by tokyoclub on June 2, 2021
A historic venue for a historical facility.
With Nintendo’s longevity in the video game business alone, it’s easy to forget that the company not only predates gaming, but household electricity in most parts of the world, having been established in 1889 as a playing card company.
It would be quite a while before the advent of home consoles, so instead the company steadily grew in the analog game market. In 1969 they built a factory in Uji City, Kyoto Prefecture and even after the Famicom/NES made it to market the Uji Factory continued to serve in the production of hanafuda cards while also handing game console repairs on the side.
▼ The over-50-year-old factory looks in remarkably good condition
However, in 1988, another Uji Plant was created and the original was renamed the Uji Ogura Factory. By 2016, card manufacturing and repairs were taken over by the newer Uji Plant, leaving the Uji Ogura Factory essentially useless.
▼ The newer Nintendo Uji Plant is just a few blocks away from the Uji Ogura Factory
After a few years of deliberation, the company decided to convert the old Uji Ogura Factory factory into a museum, highlighting the company’s very long manufacturing history. The announcement was made on 2 June, so details are still scant, but Nintendo suggested that the museum’s purpose will be “to display products released in the past, so that our ideas for manufacturing can be widely understood.”
For most other companies that might sound relatively dull, but Nintendo has been notoriously guarded about these things, so such a museum could potentially shed a lot of light on interesting parts of the company seldom seen by the general public.
▼ This guerrilla-style YouTube video offers a very rare glimpse inside the building Nintendo used as a headquarters during the mid-20th century
By offering outsiders a look at how the company operated over the years, Nintendo is also hoping to give back to the local community by drumming up some much needed tourism in the area around nearby Kintetsu Ogura Station.
Tentatively named The Nintendo Museum, this facility is expected to be completed some time in fiscal 2023, which means before April 1st, 2024 in Japan. Hopefully, that should give the country enough time to finally free itself from the grip COVID-19 and let people from all over the world experience a more intimate tour of this video game giant, and maybe even spend the night in its former headquarters for the full Nintendo dream vacation.