The Marufukuro, Kyoto: Nintendo's former headquarters becomes hotel

Japan's re-opening to tourism may be limited with strict conditions but it's a start.

And in Kyoto, forward planners who love notable architecture, art deco, cultural history, food, technology and even Pokemon will find something fabulous to pencil into future travel plans.

The Marufukuro inhabits a building that was once the former headquarters of one of Japan's most successful, enduring and colourful companies, Nintendo.

Empty since 1959, 342 Kagiyacho in the Shimogyo-ku ward of Kyoto was the site where Nintendo began to transition from a conservative playing card manufacturer into the multinational entertainment giant it is today.

Dating to 1930, the hotel inhabits three original buildings, including the former residence of Nintendo's founders, the Yamauchi family.

Tokyo hospitality group Plan Do See brought in Japan's most influential contemporary architect, Tadao Ando to create a new annex.

Plan Do See designer Aoi Hasegawa kept many original features such as fireplaces and stained glass windows, selecting furnishings and finishes to hero them and infusing a jumble sale of Showa era influences and nods to Nintendo history.

The three original buildings are joined by Ando's new concrete annex, the quartet of spaces now named after a playing card suite in homage to Nintendo.

Each group of lodgings has a different aesthetic, though with common design elements ensuring cohesion. In Hearts, the former family home, the five rooms have a more traditional Japanese influence.

The restaurant, carta, is under the direction of noted Japanese chef, Ai Hosokawa and the menu uses traditional Japanese spices, condiments and ferments in seasonal Western-style cuisine designed to nourish. It accepts non-hotel guests on designated days.