Teamlab Borderless in Tokyo what you need to know
Probably one of the most instagramable places in Tokyo – TeamLab Boarderless. This is a permanent exhibition that sits in the Mori building in pallet town, Koto-ku. For you Pokémon fans, Pallet towns should sound a bit familiar. We planned to arrive 15mins before opening in hopes it’ll be less busy. But being as a popular as it is, the exhibition was pretty busy regardless.
Before going in, we stored our things into a locker room and were given a brief about the experience. There are no maps, the exhibition promotes the idea of “discovering” the installations. If you ask the staff for directions, they’ll be able to guide you but enforce the idea of discovering.
There is a teamLab App that you can use to interact with the art. I did use this a few times to read about the artwork and interact with one of the rooms. Once you enter through a black curtain you’re immediately hit darkness, the more you go inside you enter rooms filled with projections.
TeamLab Borderless breaks down the exhibition into 5 main areas:
- Borderless World
- Athletics Forest
- Future Park
- Forest of Lamps
- En Tea House
In this post, I’ll summaries the pieces we saw in the different areas with some photos too.
- Memory of Topography – A installation with light projected on a sea of lily pads.
- Universe of Water Particles on a Rock where People Gather – A projected waterfall, which falls down onto a rock and flows through the entire room.
- Forest of flowers and people: Lost, Immersed and Reborn – A room where 1000s of flowers scattered all over the walls and floors, going through the seasons.
- The Haze – A light show where lights move in tune with the music.
- Crows are Chased and the Chasing Crows are Destined to be Chased as well, Transcending Space – Floating Nest – A room where you’re lying down on a floating nest to give you the feeling you’re immersed into the art.
The Crystal World – A room with streams of lights descending elegantly down from the ceiling moving. If you download the TeamLab app, you’ll be able to select a nature. This nature will then be reflected in the colours and the pattern of lights in the room.
- Graffiti Nature – High Mountains and Deep Valleys, Red List – A space comprised of uneven surfaces to represent the high mountains and deep valleys with eco-system like art work projected on pillars and the floor.
- Multi Jumping Universe – A trampoline with the projected stars and galaxies
- Aerial Climbing through a Flock of Colored Birds – A children’s play area, for kids to climb their way through swinging planks of wood on ropes.
- Weightless Forest of Resonating Life – A room filled with floating balloons in all different sizes and colours.
- Sketch Aquarium – Images drawn on templates of fishes and sea creatures are projected on a virtual sea projected onto a wall.
Forest of Lamps
This room is filled with lanterns which change colour and they’re all hung at different heights and are reflected by multiple mirrors that make this look like an infinite illusion. Its stunning. One of the must sees at TeamLab Borderless
En Tea House
This is a tea house that serves tea with flowers projected on top.
TeamLab Borderless Tips
- As with most things, arrive early. The early birds take the best photos and wait in shorter queues.
- Avoid bringing too much stuff – Lockers are provided but they are pretty small. When we were going in we struggled finding a locker. Eventually we found one and shared this between the both of us. It was a tight squeeze
- Don’t wear a skirt -Most of the exhibition have mirrors on the floor which make great photos but makes it hard to cover yourself. Unfortunately, this is something I learnt the hard way. They do provide you with an apron which you can wrap around your waist, but its not the most ideal.
- Try and find your way to the Forest of the Lamps first ( it was by far the most popular room). We arrived early and went straight to this room, our wait was about 5 mins. In the afternoon, we saw the wait times were upto 1.5 hours.
- Wear comfortable shoes – Its quite a big space to explore so you’re likely to be there fore hours. In the athletic forest especially, the floors are uneven so it makes it difficult to walk around. I took in 2 pairs of shoes, a heeled pair for photos and a pair of trainers for walking around. I ended up holding the pair of heels the entire time.
- Explore and enjoy the experience – It goes without saying but sometimes you’re trying really hard to get the best photo that you’re not really embracing the moment. So take a breathe and enjoy the art around you.