Why Isn't There A Big Nintendo Sign In Kyoto?

Kyoto is not only rich in Japanese history. It is also rich in video game history. The prefecture is home to Nintendo. But you wouldn't know that if you visited.

So why not put a display on the headquarters for all to see? The question was put to Nintendo president Satoru Iwata at a recent investors Q&A, noting that it could be good PR for the company especially because there are many foreigners that visit Kyoto.


There is a sign on the Nintendo Kyoto headquarters — but it is in white. The building is white. That makes it kind of hard to see.

"In Kyoto, there are restrictions on the size of billboards and signs on buildings," Iwata replied. Because of that it might be hard for Nintendo to do some sort of display. "Also, there are very strict regulations on illuminated signs."

Iwata went on to point out that because Kyoto is such a historical place, these regulations are in place to preserve the area's tradition.


For example, in Kyoto City, there are height limitations on buildings in certain areas so that the skyline, which is dominated by temples and pagodas, is not altered.

Oh, there is a tower, though.


Nintendo's headquarters is not in the middle of Kyoto City, however. It is outside of it in an industrial suburb. (Check out Tim's video tour of the area.) And while I do know that Kyoto City is very strict about building regulations, I do not know if that carries over to industrial areas outside the city center. Maybe!

Nintendo should think about increasing its presence as a tourist spot. It has created a museum of sorts to a traditional playing card game. The company desperately needs something like this for video games. There was a Nintendo Museum exhibit a few years back in Osaka, but sadly, it was not a permanent exhibit.


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