I have wanted to visit TeamLab Borderless Tokyo for awhile. From the photos online, it looked even bigger and more epic than the Art Science Museum I loved in Singapore. Recently, I had a couple of days to spend in Tokyo, so I finally got to check off this bucket list attraction. Visiting TeamLab felt like a dream. The whole exhibit screamed magic, from the lights to the music. In this post, I will walk you through the TeamLab Borderless Tokyo experience, with important tips for Instagram enthusiasts. Because let’s be honest, we are all here to take some fresh shots for the ‘gram. 😛
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What is TeamLab Borderless Tokyo?
TeamLab Borderless, full name MORI Building Digital Art Museum: EPSON TeamLab Borderless, (Have you ever heard of a longer name for a place?) is located in the Odaiba area of Tokyo. According to their website, TeamLab is described as “a world of art without boundaries, a museum without a map.” This 10,000 square space truly feels infinite, with its interactive artworks that are forever changing. The brainchild of five students from the University of Tokyo, TeamLab Borderless was brought to life through collaboration between professionals in various fields such as artists, programmers, engineers, CG animators, mathematicians, architects, graphic designers, painters, and more.
Intrigued? Here are some practical information you should to know before visiting TeamLab Borderless Tokyo.
How to get to TeamLab Borderless Tokyo
MORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM: teamLab Borderless
Odaiba Palette Town, 1-3-8 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo, Japan
There are two stations near TeamLab Borderless, making access very easy. Depending on where you are coming from, you can either get off at Tokyo Teleport Station on the Rinkai Line or Aomi Station on the Yurikamome Line. Once you are outside of the station, look for a giant Ferris wheel and walk towards that direction for about five minutes. Once you are close, you will see signs pointing you to the exhibit entrance.
Things to note when visiting TeamLab Borderless Tokyo
Don’t confuse TeamLab Borderless with TeamLab Planets
TeamLab has another exhibition called TeamLab Planets, located in Toyosu. Although I haven’t been, I gathered that the Planets exhibition is a lot smaller. For those with limited time in Tokyo, perhaps Planets is a better option for a visit. At Planets, there is also a water element to the show, something not featured at Borderless. Swimming with light koi in a pond room? I got to check that out next time.
Buy ticket ahead of time
Tickets for TeamLab Borderless can be sold out fast. It would be the most disappointing thing to show up on the day and not be able to enter. Definitely plan your visit in advance. Check the TeamLab Borderless website for available days. Tickets are 3,200 yen for adults (15+), 1,000 for kids (4-14), and 1,000 yen for disabled person (Someone who has a disability certificate and one accompanying person).
Note that the exhibit is not open on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month.
No extra photography equipment is allowed
Tripod, monopod and other equipment such as selfie stick are not allowed in this museum. Flash is also prohibited. I know I know….But just imagine if everyone brought their big gadgets to this indoor space with lots of delicate artwork. It would be chaotic and dangerous.
Check your bag
On the day of your visit, know that there is a locker corner where you can check your bags. We didn’t notice the locker section at first and went in carrying all our bulky jackets and other unnecessary things. Luckily, the staff were kind enough to let us come out, stow our things, and re-enter again.
Tips for getting the best photos at TeamLab Borderless Tokyo
Time for some tips specifically for getting those gram shots!
Bring an Instagram husband….I mean photography buddy
Because no tripods or selfie sticks are allowed, it is a little difficult to get nice photos on your own. I’m all about getting things done myself, but for this attraction, I recommend going with a friend. Besides, TeamLab Borderless is such a cool experience to share with somebody. The interactive elements get more fun, the more people there are. My friend Xander and I definitely had a blast.
Having said that, the experience is still super awe-inspiring even if you are going alone. You can ask the staff or other visitors to help you take some photos, it is just a bit of extra work. The other option is taking advantage of the reflective surfaces in many of the mirrored rooms.
Go early or late
TeamLab Borderless Tokyo Hours:
Weekdays 10:00 – 19:00
Sun, Sat & Holiday 10:00 – 21:00
Before I visited TeamLab, I’ve asked people from friends who have attended previously, to TeamLab employees, what time at the museum is least crowded. The general consensus is either right when it opens at 10 AM or when it’s about to close after 5 PM. Google maps confirm this as well. We went at 10 AM and that is the time I recommend. There is so much to see at the museum that you don’t want to feel rushed. We went in expecting to spend about two hours but ended up staying almost 4 hours!
Go straight to your priority room
The most Instagrammable spots in the museum, in my opinion, are: the Forest of Resonating Lamps (AKA the lantern room), Crystal World, and the main big room with a waterfall on a rock (not sure what it’s called). As they are so pretty, they are of course very popular. Crystal World is especially hard to get a photo with no one else in it, so try to get there as soon as you can. As the space has no map, you have to ask a staff where a certain room is. All the workers are very nice, so they will be happy to assist you.
Read on for more information about individual rooms.
Wear light colors
If you follow me on Instagram, you know how much I love my colors. For TeamLab Borderless, I purposely wore a neutral white dress. Because many of the rooms are dark, it would be hard to stand out as the subject in a photo if your clothing is also dark. Definitely avoid wearing black on the day. A light color like white is great, as you kind of becomes the canvas for the projections. Fabulous for some artistic shots!
Do not wear short skirts
This is an important tip for the ladies, do not come in a short skirt. Many of the rooms at TeamLab Borderless have mirrored floors. So it can become quite embarrassing if you are not dressed appropriately. The facility can provide a cover-up apron/skirt thing but it is not really stylish. I recommend a maxi dress for maximum comfort and Instagrammability. 😛
The Rooms at TeamLab Borderless Tokyo
Let’s check out the best rooms at TeamLab Borderless Tokyo. Note: this list does not cover everything featured at the museum. I did not visit the Tea House and Athletics Forest. More reasons for you to explore them yourself. 😉
The Forest of Resonating Lamps
Starting with my top pick, the Forest of Resonating Lamps is such a simple concept. You know..just some lamps in a mirrored room, but it looks like an absolutely DREAM. The lamps change colours and brightness intensity when they sense people near them. It’s as if they are alive. You have to queue up to enter this room and there is a time limit of two minutes for each batch of guests who enters. Take full advantage of the time you have in there. We went back to the queue three times because we just couldn’t get enough of this room. Luckily it was still early when we were there and the wait wasn’t too long. By the time we walked passed in the afternoon, the line was so long that it was spilling from upstairs to downstairs. Go early!
You can find the Forest of Resonating Lamps on the second level.
Do go chasing waterfalls. I’m not actually sure what this display is called, but I will call it “Waterfall Rock” 😛 If you know the actual name, please tell me in the comments. This is in the main room on the first floor of the museum. You can climb on to the rock (be careful) and stand under what looks like a waterfall. It’s super neat because the water droplets will “bounce away” from you as if they can really touch you. The projection sometimes turn into flowers and other beautiful patterns as well. I think we took literally 100 pictures here.
Memory of Topography
This room is inspired by a rice paddy. I love that connection with Japanese traditional life. The music and lights will change representing the changing of seasons. If you ever remember me mentioned in my post Why Japan is the Best Country to Work and Live Abroad, the Japanese are very proud of the fact that Japan has four distinct seasons. 😛
It’s raining crystals! This room will dazzle you. Be careful to not touch the crystals and wear any bags in front of your body. Otherwise, go ham on those Instagram shots!
This attraction is not really photograph-able but it is really amazing. Guests are invited to lie down and relax on a hanging net while watching a projection mapping show. The combination of light and music was absolutely epic. I felt like I was in space flying with celestial beings. The feeling was almost spiritual.
I don’t know why this room was almost empty when we visited. The waves reminded me of the famous Japanese painting “The Great Waves Off Kanagawa” Stormy with moments of calm. Being a girl who loves the ocean, I really enjoyed the Black Waves. There are some pillows in the middle of the room, in case you want to catch a nap “beside the sea”. No tan lines involved. 😛
Light Shell and Vortex
My friend said this was his favourite room and I liked it a lot too. It looked like a night club that made me want to dance. OR a scene from one of those spy movies where the hero has to cross a room with lasers. The light beams are so mesmerizing as they move. Psst try to touch the light and see what happens. 😉
TeamLab Borderless Tokyo Summary
Walking through TeamLab Borderless and playing with the creations inspired me so much, and reminded me of the vast power of human imagination. There is never a dull moment here. Even the connecting hallway walls have surprises in store. You will find creatures strolling pass like an elephant made of light. I would return to this museum again in the future. I’m sure it would be a different experience as the displays are forever morphing and changing!
TeamLab Borderless Tokyo Tour in Video
Have you heard of TeamLab Borderless Tokyo before? Is it on your bucket list?
*Biggest thank you for TeamLab Borderless Tokyo for sponsoring my experience. All opinions expressed are my own.
*Photos in this post by @Xandermcg
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