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Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Nintendo "Uji Ogura Plant" → "Nintendo Gallery"... Around 2023–2024

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Don't feel jealous of Japan. America already has this covered.

What do you do when you have an idle factory on a bunch of land? ...Apparently, convert it into a gallery of your company's history—or to editorially put it, a museum. That's what Nintendo just announced they'll be doing with their Uji Ogura Plant. That factory was established in 1969 in Uji City, Japan to manufacture Hanafuda cards and games (of the analogue kind, such as classic and board games like mahjong and checkers). Nintendo in the 1980s built a new Uji City plant to expand capacity, called the Uji Plant, which is still used today. The old one was renamed the Uji Ogura Plant, due to the Ogura neighbourhood of where it's located. The old one is closed.

Google Maps Nintendo Uji City factory plant Ogura Makishima
The current Uji City plant (which apparently does service repairs according to Google Maps reviews) is also next to the historical Makishima Castle.
...That castle is just ruins.

Nintendo plans to renovate the abandoned Uji Ogura Plant to showcase their “product development history and philosophy with the public” and showcase “historical products” with “exhibits and experiences” by March 2024. They're tentatively calling it the Nintendo Gallery, not to be confused with the Game & Watch Gallery or anything. You may be thinking, aw, shucks, this is another case of Japan always getting cool things. But... fret not, America has these kinds of gaming exhibit opportunities that already exist.

The American equivalent of visiting Kyoto Japan is visiting Washington state in the United States. Nintendo of America's headquarters is there. The ground floor has been described as akin to a museum with historical memorabilia—the problem is that under normal circumstances, they don't do public tours of it. Now, if you're friends with someone who works there, you might be able to get a tour...

If you happen to be in New York, you can visit the Nintendo New York store. It used to be more museum-y back when it was the Nintendo World store, but there's still great stuff to see. In terms of literal museums, you can visit The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, which is a museum dedicated to play. This includes the World Video Game Hall of Fame and the International Center for the History of Electronic Games. It's not Nintendo-specific, but since Nintendo is a major part of videogame history and the present day, there are tons of items stored there that are Nintendo-related.

Down in Frisco Texas is the National Videogame Museum, one of the few places that agrees with me in spelling videogame as one word. They have interesting-looking exhibits there too. ...Including a display of disfigured plumb-scum:

Until this Nintendo Gallery is made years from now, all Japan really has is the Huis Ten Bosch Game Museum... which is less impressive than it sounds, because that's a small location in a non-game related theme park. Not that Nintendo-y either.

America is actually ahead of the gaming gallery game, especially if you discount things like the Kirby Cafés and the like, but that's more notable for music than showcasing memorabilia. Stay local!

Ludwig hasn't visited any of the locations named in this article, though he never picked up an appreciation for museums to begin with, so he probably wouldn't want to visit these anyway. Lots of people apparently think otherwise. Let him know if you're one of those.


  1. So glad I was able to visit the Nintendo World Store/NY museum. Now is much harder with THE BABY 2.

    1. I guess the pandemic makes it harder too, but by 2024 it should be easier again, right?!

  2. I stay in touch with the displays that address me the nation over. They all have heavenly notorieties and consequently they are overflowed with specialists' requests every week. So how would you make yourself stand apart from the group?

    1. I... can't find this comment on a search engine. So... this isn't a spam comment and it's original?

      What the hell does this mean?


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