10 Things To Know Before Visiting TeamLab Borderless Tokyo | CoolJapan

You probably have seen one of these shots around - someone surrounded in lamps, with projections of flowers on them, or even in the middle of (seemingly) endless tiny crystal lights. They are all by teamLab, an art collective based in Japan. teamLab Borderless is a digital art museum built in collaboration with Japanese urban developer Mori Building Co., Ltd, and the collective’s first permanent exhibition in Tokyo.

An extremely photogenic destination, the museum is, true to its name, borderless in how it’s a hit across all age groups and nationalities. Looking at how even major celebrities are squeezing in trips to teamLab Borderless when they’re in Tokyo, this is one place you’d want to include into your itinerary for your next trip to the city.

Here’re some quick pointers from us for a smoother experience.


1. Note There Are Currently 2 teamLabs in Tokyo

Many people refer to the digital art museum as just “teamLab”, the name of the art collective behind it, but there are actually two different teamLab exhibitions in Tokyo - teamLab Borderless and teamLab Planets. The latter, a temporary exhibition, is located at Toyosu and is a body immersive experience where visitors enter barefooted and wade through water for one of the artworks. This article is focused on the former, teamLab Borderless, at Odaiba.

teamLab Crystal Lights

"Wander through the Crystal World"

2. Buy Your Tickets In Advance

There is a limited number of tickets available each day, so if the designated number has been sold out, there won’t be any available at the door. Tickets can be purchased in advance from their website, and we recommend doing that to avoid disappointment.

3. To Avoid Crowds, Go Later In The Day

An extremely popular destination, lines to enter the space build up and we’ve heard it can take up to hours of wait just to get in. Early risers can consider going at the start of the day to beat the crowd, but here’s a tip - one of our team members arrived at 5pm on a Saturday and got in with zero wait, so this could be an option for those who don’t mind having later dinners.

teamLabBorderless Topography

"Memory of Topography"

4. Minimise Belongings/Use lockers

Unlike typical museums where most of the visitor experience is limited to passive viewing, teamLab Borderless is one where you get to slide through virtual fruit fields and walk through representations of topography. Keeping your belongings to the bare minimum makes it easier to get around, and also leaves you with more stamina for the trampoline at the Multi Jumping Universe!

While At teamLab Borderless Tokyo

5. Wear White

While this isn’t a hard and fast rule, the projections in the museum show up better on lighter colours, so by wearing white, you could work as a walking canvas to the art works, which makes the experience even more immersive and fun! Another outfit tip is to avoid wearing skirts and wide legged bottoms because some sections have reflective floorings. The museum has wraps ready for those who need them, but it's always good to be prepared!

teamLabBorderless Wear White

Wear white for a more immersive experience

6. Wear Flats

We can’t say this enough, but this is one museum that allows for a lot of visitor participation. There is a number of artworks that have physical activity involved, and some don’t allow heels to be worn in them. While there are shoes available for rental, going in a pair of comfy flats ensure you don’t get tired feet at the end of the visit.

7. Touch Everything! (*Except Some)

In line with the museum’s aim of encouraging exploration and discovery, many of the artworks are interactive (even the walls along the corridors are!) - definitely try going near them to see what happens.

teamLabBorderless Touch Kanji

Touch the walls to see what happens

Having said that, some artworks, such as the lamps at “The Forest of Lamps”, aren’t touchable, so do check the instructions at each individual artwork.

8. Head Up to The Athletics Forest and Future Park With The Kids (Or The Kid In You)

There are no maps nor guides provided at this digital art museum, as the creators want you to get lost in the experience and explore it your way. For those going with younger visitors, a time-saving tip is to head up first. The section located upstairs is more kid-friendly with lots of activities the little ones will enjoy.

teamLabBorderless Aquarium

Colour your own sea creature...

teamLabBorderless Aquarium 2

...and see it come to life!

One we particularly liked was the Sketch Aquarium, where you can colour your own sea creature and see it come to life in the “aquarium”! The Sketch Aquarium is currently Sketch Christmas to tie in with the festive season, so instead of sea creatures, watch your version of Santas and sleighs fly across the winter scenery.

9. Don’t Miss The En Tea House

For an additional fee, you can have a one of a kind tea experience. At the En Tea House, flowers bloom inside the tea cup. Try moving the cup around and watch the petals scatter and new blooms burst into form in the tea cup.

teamLabBorderless En Tea House

At the En Tea House

teamLabBorderless En Tea House 2
It's almost therapeutic to watch the flowers bloom and petals scatter

After The Visit

10. Share Your Favourite Shots!

After visiting one of the most instagrammable spots in Tokyo, there’s no way you would leave without a whole load of gorgeous shots. Share them with the #Clozette and #cooljp community, or add #teamLabBorderless to your posts and check out what others have posted. This is also an extremely good resource for shot ideas before your trip!

Beautiful memories, literally!

For those visiting Tokyo soon, definitely look at adding teamLab Borderless or teamLab Planets into your list!

If you’re located in or have plans to visit Singapore in the first quarter of 2020, head over to Gardens by the Bay for teamLab’s #futuretogether immersive exhibition! The outdoor exhibits are already open for viewing, and the indoor ones will be up from January 16th, 2020 onwards. Check their website for more details.