Nintendo opens free gameplay area in Japan’s Kansai International Airport

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International airport closest to company’s Kyoto headquarters lets you start your Nintendo travel fun right away.

Japan occupies a unique position in the travel world in that both its traditional and modern pop culture strongly appeal to international tourists. So while some come to the country because it’s the land of tea ceremonies, samurai castles, and kimono, others hop on the plane for Japan because it’s the birthplace of video game publisher Nintendo.

The operators of Kansai International Airport, located in Osaka, are well aware that many of their arrivals, particularly younger travelers, were drawn by a love of Nintendo’s titles, and to get their stay in Japan started on a fun note the airport will be opening an entertainment area called Nintendo Check In.

Located on the first floor of Terminal 1, visitors to Nintendo Check In will be greeted by a smiling statue of Mario, twirling his cap from the upcoming Super Mario Odyssey. A number of demo stations will be set up with Nintendo Switch and 3DS hardware, as well as smart devices, on which travelers can try out a number of Nintendo games free of charge.

While Nintendo Check In appears to be a permanent addition to the facility, to celebrate its opening special Nintendo decorations will be going up around the airport for a limited time. Nintendo promises that images of Mario and his pals will greet travelers as soon as they get off the plane, smiling at them from the walkways they pass through on their way to the general-use section of the building.

Nintendo Check In opens on June 23, and will operate daily from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. To celebrate its addition to Kansai International, Mario himself (or his costumed equivalent, at least) will be on hand from June 23 to June 25 at 10 a.m., noon, and 1:30 and 3 in the afternoon. Since he’ll be shaking hands and posing for photos, hopefully the management won’t ask the famous plumber to fix any toilets during his downtime.

Source, images: Nintendo

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