【Kyoto】Marufukuro – “Omotenashi” at the origin of a world-class company

【Kyoto】Marufukuro – “Omotenashi” at the origin of a world-class company

Nintendo – a video game manufacturer with fans all over the world. Did you know that its history began in Kyoto, Japan, where it manufactured and sold Hanafuda (Japanese playing cards)? Later, the company started manufacturing playing cards for the first time in Japan and developed into the largest card manufacturer in Japan. In 2022, the building that was used as a company building, warehouse, and the home of the founding family was reborn as a hotel called “Marufukuro”! I stayed at a hotel with such a unique history!

The Location

The Marufukuro is located in a traditional residential area, close to Kamo River, a 10-minute walk from Kyoto Station and a little more than a 5-minute walk from Keihan Shichijo Station.

The Buildings

The Marufukuro consists of four buildings: the “Original Building” that utilizes the original Nintendo company building, warehouse, and founder Yamauchi’s home, and the “Newly Building” that was designed and supervised by world-renowned architect Tadao Ando. The original building was designed in the Art Deco style, which was popular in Japan in the early Showa period (early 20th century), with modern motifs scattered throughout the Japanese style.

A model made of LEGO is displayed in the lounge just inside the entrance, which may help you to understand how it is constructed!

The Guest Room

There are a total of 18 rooms, including 7 suites. The “Original Building” and the “New Building” have completely different atmospheres, and each room has its own personality, making you to try all of them!

I stayed in a Standard King Room in the “New Building”. The room looked simple, but it was functional and comfortable, and you could feel that it was carefully designed with a lot of attention.

The Restaurant

There is a restaurant in the hotel named “carta”. Basically, it is a restaurant exclusively for hotel guests, and we had both breakfast and dinner here. Although it is a hotel restaurant, you have to go outside the premises to find the entrance.

The restaurant is small, with a U-shaped counter and a few tables, and the interior is simple.

Marufukuro also offers an “all inclusive” concept which is still rare in Japan – you can enjoy listed beverage as much as you want including 2-3 kinds of sparkling wine, white wine, red wine, beer, sake, and soft drinks, all of which were domestically produced.

The food is served as a course but more like home cooking style menu – I had hamburger steak! Of course, since it’s course structured, I had other dished but over all, it was simple and homy & warm dinner.

For breakfast, you can choose either Japanese or Western menu and you can add a carte menu items, which is a great system for those who want to taste more! I chose Japanese menu and got a fruit open sandwich on top!

The Guest Lounge

The guest lounge, located just inside the entrance, is a space for check-in procedures. It appears to be a reception room from when this building was used as a company building, and the furniture from that time has been reworked and is still there. The area has a stately atmosphere, but with a warm sense of hospitality.

The Dining Lounge

At the rear of the lobby is the dining lounge. This lounge is open 24 hours a day to our guests and is always ready with beverages, including alcohol, and snacks. They also serve light meals during lunch time and in the evening. Moreover…the menu is quite good, which you would not expect from a light meal!

The Library – dNa

The library is the only place you could feel Nintendo. The library was created based on the concept of embodying Nintendo’s DNA as interpreted by the Yamauchi family, the founding family. Books about Nintendo and Kyoto, as well as Nintendo games, are on display.

By the way…the game is only displayed as an “object” and cannot be used.

The library is available from 8:00 – 23:00 (terrace until 20:00) and the bar next door is also free to use. (They do not have staff, so it is self-service style!) Whiskey, gin, and other items favored by the founding family are on hand for you to enjoy as you please.

The art deco style of the Original Building and the simple design of the New Building are in perfect harmony with each other, creating a unique atmosphere. The unique rooms and the concept of “All Inclusive” give a special feeling to those who know Kyoto well enough to choose it as a place to enjoy a different Kyoto. The hotel is also unique in that it is located in the place where Nintendo, a world-famous company, was founded! It is not a theme hotel, so there are no video game characters in the hotel, nor can you play games in your room, but that is why the space is full of strong feelings and beliefs that come across. Why don’t you consider this for your next visit in Kyoto?


Address342 Kagiyacho, Kamogawa Nishiiri, Shomen-dori, Shimogyo-ku,
600-8126 Kyoto