The Japanese electronics and video game company Nintendo plans to convert one of its old factories in Kyoto into the world’s first Nintendo Museum.
Site of Nintendo Museum
The Nintendo Uji Ogura Plant will be the site of the new museum. Constructed in 1969, the Uji Ogura Plant was used to make Hanafuda which means flower cards, a playing card of Japanese origin used to play various games. The cards were sometimes referred to as “the battle of the flowers” due to their floral designs.
Nintendo’s Hanafuda cards became so popular in Japan that they started to develop other classic Japanese and Western card games. Today Nintendo still produces a few Hanafuda card decks, including the popular Daitouryou variant, which features the portrait of Napoleon. The Uji Ogura Plant has been vacant since the functions were transferred to a new Uji plant in 2016.
Nintendo started as a producer of playing cards in 1889, led them to the toy business and ultimately the video game industry. They achieved great success with its game consoles as well as with the Mario, Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon franchises.
In 2020, Nintendo was named Japan’s richest company. The release of the new game Animal Crossing: New Horizons coincided with the pandemic lockdown, which contributed to record sales of the Nintendo Switch handheld gaming system. Profits increased by 34% as the company earned over $16 billion in sales.
The Pokémon playing cards have also found renewed interest during the pandemic. A rare sealed Pokémon card fetched USD408,000 at Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas.
Nintendo Museum tentatively named Nintendo Gallery
The museum, tentatively named the Nintendo Gallery, will showcase the company’s historic products as well as related exhibits and game experiences. Nintendo plans to open the gallery in 2024.
Meanwhile, Universal Studios’ Super Nintendo World opened in Japan in March 2021. The park’s opening was significantly delayed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. It was initially intended to open ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.