We took a trip on Sunday to Arashiyama to see the Nintendo history museum. It was great. Just to the right of the entrance they were selling DS systems and a game I haven't seen anywhere else. Just to the left of the entrance were lockers in which to check your shoes, bags, and expectations. The history of Nintendo, you must remember, is about 30 years of video games preceded by a long and rich era of traditional Japanese poetry playing cards.
That isn't to say the influence of modern Nintendo wasn't present. The first 20 minutes of the museum is an interactive room with a floor full of HDTVs. Specialized Nintendo DS units provide 2 interactive exercises- navigating a bird's-eye map of the area and locating specific cards from Nintendo's original game, as well as location-sensitive detail on each card on a wall display that spans the periiter of the room.
The next room has another pair of interactive experiences- a 2-screen immersive session of a simplified version of the actual card game, and round standing consoles with a series of minigames based around the cards and poets, in a peaceful virtual koi pond.
The second floor of the museum is a card showcase, with multiple decks from various eras and a giant tatami room containing a series of manequins representing poets featured on the cards from various eras in Japan's history.
The DS software for sale includes the 2-screen card game and a version of the map exercise. I bought a copy for myself if anyone wants to see it when I get back. Michelle could be convinced to buy a copy for the ETC if anyone expresses an interest. Unfortunately, it's only available in Japanese, and thanks to Nintendo's recent push to include more educational incentives in software, it includes a fair bit of kanji and requires a significant knowledge of classical Japanese poetry to play well.