We went to the teamLab Borderless Digital Art Museum in Odaiba, Tokyo. They have a few different art installations, but I picked this one because it looked mind blowing. I have to say it definitely lived up to the hype. This really was one of the coolest museums any of us have ever experienced.
You have to get tickets ahead of time as it usually sells out, but even with tickets, there is a wait to get in. We waited maybe 20-30 minutes before we got in. I was happy that I’d looked at the website as there were no maps or directions inside so it wasn’t obvious where to go or how to find things. Plus it’s very dark especially in between the rooms. But because I knew of certain rooms, I knew to keep wandering hallways and staircases until we found everything.
I’m also glad I read the online reviews that said to wear a white shirt and light pants as you’ll blend into the art better. I told the rest of the family, but was pretty much ignored (in their defense, I don’t know that any of them brought white shirts on the trip).
We first entered a long, dark hallway before emerging into a long room with light projections of flowers on every wall. It was incredible to be immersed in the space.
After exiting that room, we entered a huge room with a rainfall that was really cool.
Next we entered a room that consisted of hundreds of lights dancing in different patterns. We spent a long time in this room mesmerized by the choreographed lights.
And then we went up some stairs and discovered one of the coolest rooms we’ve ever seen, “The Forest of Lamps”. There was a wait to get in as it’s quite popular and once inside, you only have a couple of minutes max to enjoy it. There is one way glass though, so you can watch the lamps transform from color to color while you wait which was amazing in and of itself.
Our time in the room was way too short, but it is still so vivid in my mind and one of the highlights from our entire trip.
Next up we found the Crystal World. The crystals are laid out in a maze so you have to follow the the cutouts as you wind your way through. Once we were ready to leave, we couldn’t find the exit and had to keep wandering paths until we finally found doors. The crystals changed colors and patterns so it was constantly changing.
This is how it went for the next hour: Opening one door to discover a room then leave and find another room then walk up a staircase and find yet another room or a balcony into a room and on and on.
We were getting a bit hungry at this point as it was around lunchtime, but I knew we were missing one of the cooler rooms I’d seen online. Eventually we found a tall staircase and at the top was the “Athletics Forest”. Its a massive room with a planet trampoline, undulating floors with various sea creatures, a side alcove with a slide, another few side alcoves with lights or activities, and a room of giant balloon lights in the back. I don’t even know how to describe what it was like being in there.
The kids started by jumping on the trampoline while Chuck and I explored. He noticed you could interact with the water droplets coming down the pillars which was fun to play with.
Then we discovered the drawing center. Here they had various creatures you could color in. Then they would scan it and your creature would show up on the walls and floor and crawl around. We had a great time finding our creature and following them around the room. Stepping on them would cause them to smash briefly before they’d be fine and start crawling around again.
We spent over an hour in the area enjoying the room, its alcoves, and all the activities.
At the back of the Athletics Forest we found the Sketch Aquarium which was like the main room in that you could color a sea creature, scan it in, and watch it come to life. I loved this room – it made me so happy!
As the kids played in some of the rooms, I went to the main room and realized the floor and walls were responding to me. As I stood still, the water droplets moved around my feet and a garden started to grow. Then I sat down and watched a garden grow on my legs.
After a good hour and a half in the Athletics Forest, we decided it was time to go. On our way out, we walked through one last room and took our last photos.
All of us were blown away by the experience. None of us wanted to leave, but our legs were tired and we were so hungry. Plus, we were headed to the onsen next and needed to make sure we had enough time for that.
I really hope this museum comes to the US sometime as all of us would go back in a heartbeat.