By Crystal Branco If you’re looking for a quick trip to Tokyo and want an indoor experience for the whole family, the artists and engineers over at TeamLab have created a space to check that box and then some. Although […]
By Crystal Branco
If you’re looking for a quick trip to Tokyo and want an indoor experience for the whole family, the artists and engineers over at TeamLab have created a space to check that box and then some. Although this article will only cover the Borderless exhibits, TeamLab is an international art collective and according to their website (borderless.TeamLab.art), they “aim to explore the relationship between the self and the world and new perceptions through art.” Even though the majority of the TeamLab exhibits are in Japan and other parts of Asia, there are also permanent exhibits in Sydney, Australia, San Francisco, New York, and Istanbul.
This museum literally lives up to its name: Borderless. No map— just arrows pointing in the direction of different attractions. The art moves almost freely around the rooms, even colliding with the art exhibits in others rooms through whimsical means. The exhibits are designed to interact with visitors as they move about the spaces. There’s a sort of personal synergy a visitor can feel with the flowing art, allowing each individual’s experience to be different from even others in their own group.
The museum is very large—around 10,000 square meters. With all this space to explore, don’t expect it to take all day. Plan to allow no more than 3 hours. Be forewarned that it’s exceptionally easy to get lost in this museum (especially while finding a particular exhibit), but this is both the genius *and* the beauty of this immersive collection.
Here are highlights of many of the exhibits, but all are well worth seeing while at the museum. Some require more time than others, while some can be fully enjoyed in a matter of minutes. Note that you can move freely about the museum so you can see exhibits as many times as you like and stay for as long as you’d like at the museum to enjoy the immersive art collections at Borderless.
The “Crows are Chased and the Chasing Crows are Destined to be Chased as well, Intersections Create Life – 1 Crow where Light Rays Cross” Exhibit
This exhibit flashes and dazzles! One could easily feel like they just walked into a hip-hop music video from the early 2000s. Located right next to the Flower Forest, 20 rays of lights move around masterfully creating geometric shapes both above you and below you. Below? Yes, the walking surface is a mirror reflection. You could spend a long time in this space. With dramatic music playing to the visuals and bright rays of colors occasionally adding to the display, it’ll grab your attention for a long time. Disclaimer, this room is not advisable for people who suffer from seizures.
The “Wander Through the Crystal World” Exhibit
Being a continuation of an artwork that began with TeamLab Crystal Tree in 2013, this one is a multi sensory favorite for visitors of Borderless. In this large mirrored room full of thousands of LED strings hanging from a tall ceiling are small walkways to navigate the maze of lights. The lights are flashing and changing colors, only to be complimented by occasional “thunderstorm” sounds. You may not spend much time in this space, but please take note that at the end of the exhibit and to the right before you exit there is a control panel. Not many seem to know it is there, if you find it, you could manipulate the lights and sounds for the entire room. Changing the colors and intensity of the lights with the flick of a dial is a cool experience, so if you get a chance to try, do it!
The “The Way of the Sea in the Memory of Topography” Exhibit
Walking into this space feels like you are walking into a room full of tall trees. But as you walk, you quickly realize you were walking under lily pads and are now walking among them. The dynamic changes in the walkway elevation allow you to feel immersed in the artwork. As the art lights up and the visions of fish appear, you can’t help but feel part of the art yourself.
The “Athletics Forest” Exhibit
This is a family favorite and in my opinion, visitors should make a dash for this exhibit first. The reasoning being that there are only a certain number of people allowed here at a time and unlike most other exhibits (the only other exception being The Floating Nest), there might be a long line to enter. Anecdotally, I was told by several people that there have been lines up to an hour to get in. Luckily, we only had a 10 minute wait. Once in, you are free to spend as much time as you want up there. Along with a bouncing trampoline, there are two obstacle courses and play rooms for children aged toddler to 12. Even though many people with young children go there and stay there for hours, people of all ages will enjoy the exhibit full of large lighted balloons. I recommend this space for all ages and it’s worth the wait.
TeamLab Borderless Information
Aomi Station, Odaiba, Tokyo
Opening Hours are Daily 9:00- 21:00
Closest Train Station is Tokyo Teleport Station
(If driving, a parking garage is attached and is free for up to two hours with validation)
Tickets can be purchased at the exhibit space, but it is highly recommended your buy tickets on the website, which is very easy to navigate by smartphone.
*Note: You must select an entrance time. They are available in 30 minute windows.
Adult (15+): 3,200 Yen
Child (4-14): 1,000 Yen
Special Evening Rates (valid for admissions after 18:00)
Adult (15+): 2,200 Yen
Child (4-14): 1,000 Yen