In case you don’t know it, according to their website “teamLab (f. 2001) is an international art collective, an interdisciplinary group of various specialists such as artists, programmers, engineers, CG animators, mathematicians and architects whose collaborative practice seeks to navigate the confluence of art, science, technology, and the natural world.” They have several permanent and temporary art installations and we had bought tickets in advance for their permanent one called ‘Borderless’.
As TeamLab’s artworks are immersive and you can walk right through them, many people recommend you wear light colours, so my mom and I had prepared light and flowy outfits in advance.
We had to travel for a bit to the museum’s nearest metro station, Aomi, but as it was a lovely day we had fun just looking out the metro’s windows. Our metro also drove over the Rainbow Bridge, which is always great fun!
I had been on Odaiba once before, during my first trip with my father, but since that was in 2011 it had been ages since I had last been there. My mother had never been there before though, so we were both excited.
We got off the train and saw a ferris wheel with colorful seats and it turned out that, in order to get to the museum, we had to walk right past it. It was freaking huge!
It was quite hot in the sun, but luckily the museum wasn’t far from the station. It was still pretty quiet, there were not that many people around yet. After our visit to the museum I saw a really nice poster for it and took a picture with it, but for the sake of continuation I’m posting it now. ^^
Soon we arrived at a big, black building that didn’t look very special on the outside, but was in fact the museum.
We were welcome by a friendly staff member who showed us to the locker room. Besides cameras and phones, you weren’t supposed to bring anything into the museum. Luckily, they were plenty of lockers and even devices to stall your umbrella (I thought that was especially amazing)!
We walked back to the entrance, showed our tickets and joined a small group of people waiting in front of a thick, black curtain. Above the curtain was a tv screen that explained some things about the exhibit, after which the group was welcomed to walk through the curtain. Somehow I ended up in the front. I walked through a long, dark hallway into… what was basically a fairytale in the dark.
I entered a giant room filled with walls, panels and mirrors, all covered in projected flowers and floating flower petals, mostly in a red, blue, pink and purple colour scheme. Ethereal music played and I was absolutely mesmerized.
This artwork was called ‘Forest of Flowers and People: Lost, Immersed and Reborn’. The flowers bloomed, grew and shrunk, while the petals fluttered by. The projections went all around the room, across the floor and touching the people walking around. The mirrors made the already big room seem to go one forever.
My mom joined me and we just walked around, touching the walls and projections, mesmerized by everything around us.
Sometimes the projections were very light, sometimes they turned darker. There was movement all the time and nothing seemed repetitive. It truly was like an ongoing artwork.
After our initial wonder, my mom and I started taking pictures! We are by no means professional photographers and the conditions were tough, so not all pictures turned out perfect, but it was mostly about the experience itself anyway. Still, we managed to take many beautiful pictures!
I was really glad we had followed the advice to wear light clothing. The flower projections looked absolutely ethereal on my flowy skirt and because there were so many mirrors, I could admire myself as part of the beautiful fairytale!
After what felt like both eternity and not nearly long enough, we started to make our way the next art installation. There are no maps of TeamLab Borderless, you’re supposed to just wander, so we did.
We came across a beautiful art installation that was built like a hill, but we decided to come back there later. We walked on and soon found ourselves at the art installation called the ‘Crystal World’. The name was well chosen. Thousands and thousand of light strands hung down from the ceiling. They regularly blinked and changed colours. The floor, walls and ceiling were made of mirrors, which made the room seem to go on forever here too. Dreamy music played, enhancing the experience even more.
Contrary to the big flower room at the entrance, where you could walk freely, this art installation had paths leading through it. This made it harder to take pictures without getting other people appear in them. My mom had a specific picture in mind she wanted to try and take, so as usual I followed her instructions and stood still for as long as necessary, which resulted in one of my favourite pictures of the day!
I think this picture turned out so dreamy!
My mom and I followed the path and at one point found ourselves in a corner of the room, which was popular among other visitors as it gave you the opportunity to pose with your mirror image without any other people. After a bit of waiting, we managed to take some pictures there too.
I really loved roaming around the Crystal World, although the paths and people felt a bit restricting. I liked the roaming around freely a lot more, but still enjoyed myself a lot. This place was just so pretty! ;_; The lights, the music, everything was just gorgeous!
My mom and I left the Crystal World again and I spotted an art installation up some stairs I had seen on pictures before: the ‘Forest of Resonating Lamps’. This was a room filled with lamps hanging from the ceiling that slowly changed colours. There were mirrors all around again, creating a beautiful effect. For this artwork we had to stand in line for a bit, as only a limited amount of people could enter it. Standing in line wasn’t boring at all though: they had a window into the room (which was a mirror on the other side), so you could already enjoy the artwork from the outside. Also, a very enthusiastic kid ran face first into the mirror/window, which was painful for him but also a bit hilarious for the people in line. XD
The lamps, which had been bright orange first, turned into a soft and pale light and once we were allowed to enter, mixed with mint. Somehow my blue skirt also looked mint in this lighting, so I matched the room quite well. As there was a time limit, we quickly snapped pictures and looked around in awe.
After a while, the lamps went back to their initial bright orange, which we liked a bit more than the pale lights. However, it was time for us to go, so we obliged. ^^
My mom and I walked back to the art installation with the small hill, which was called ‘Universe of Water Particles on a Rock where People Gather’.
This huge room had projections on three walls, with falling rain on the wall above the small hill and blooming and disappearing flowers. After a while we realised that this artwork was even more interactive, as they detected where you stood, after which the projections responded to your presence. The falling rain would ‘bounce off you’, or flowers would ‘grow on you’. It was amazing!
Now that I think about it, maybe two pictures of one of the earlier collages in this post were taken in this room as well… Well, the artworks are meant to flow over into each other so it doesn’t matter, haha!
On the other walls there were Japanese writings projected. Apparently these were interactive too, as I saw a staff member show something to a visitor that seemed interactive.
After a while, the dreamy purple and blue flowers changed into yellow sunflowers, which I also really liked. Which means? More pictures.
through my pictures for this blogpost. I really like it!
After walking around for what seemed like ages and again not long enough, we left the room and wandered around for a bit. Somehow I discovered some stairs that let to a balcony overlooking both the Universe of Water Particles on a Rock where People Gather, where we had just been, and the Forest of Flowers and People. It was very dark there. It almost felt as if I had found a secret corner of the museum (which of course wasn’t the cause, but still). Just looking down at the people admiring the art and taking pictures felt really serene. I could have stayed there on that balcony for hours…
Finally we left the balcony again and my mom and I roamed around for a while. We certainly didn’t visit every artwork, as not all of them interested us, there was a line (for some) or we simply didn’t find them.
We passed the stairs back to the Forest of Resonating Lamps again and we decided to enter it a second time, to see if we could see and take pictures with the orange lamps this time and we were lucky!
The bright orange was really beautiful and made me think of traditional Japanese lanterns. I really loved the glowy orange atmosphere, a lot more than the pale lights (even though those were already very pretty too). We had a lot of fun taking pictures a second time!
At this point my mom and I were getting quite tired and so we decided to slowly head for the exit. Right at that moment however, I suddenly spotted an entrance to a room we had definitely not seen yet, so we wanted to check it out. I am so glad we did, because we then discovered the ‘Black Waves – Continuous’.
In this octagonal room, rising and falling waves were projected onto the walls continuously, accompanied by slow, meditative music. In the middle of the room were bean bags, where visitors could lie down and enjoy the art.
I can’t say that Black Waved – Continuous was my favourite artwork, as everything was just so incredibly beautiful. However, it is high on my list. The continuing waves were mesmerizing and the soothing music seemed to travel right through my body. At some point my mom and I managed to get a bean bag each and just closed our eyes, listening to the music (after shushing some loud people) or looked at the waves passing by. It was an incredibly relaxing experience and I could have stayed there forever.
to take some stunning ones after all!
With pain in my heart we left the waves behind and made our way to the exit. We did take some more pictures with the flowers and also asked a staff member whether they might have a CD of the music used in the museum for sale. Unfortunately, although Japan has gift shops for everything, there was not. However, while writing this post, I found out to my great happiness that the composer is on Spotify! Look for TeamLab Borderless and you will certainly find a list. I very much recommend it, it’s so relaxing!
We found the exit, walked through a set of dark hallways and suddenly found ourselves back into the light of the normal world, having left the fairytale behind. My mom and I both got a cute sticker to commemorate our visit.
We picked up our things from our locker and left the building. It was far into the afternoon and we had gotten quite thirsty, so we entered the Wendy’s right across the museum. We’d never been to a Wendy’s before, so that was a first. We got ourselves some drinks that were recommended on the posters throughout the restaurant and found ourselves some seats.
The drinks were really good and a very welcome distraction from the heat outside. We discussed a bit about what to do now and decided to head back for the hotel and rest there for a bit, so we went on our way, all the way back to Shinjuku. Taking the first metro from Odaiba was really fun though, as it was automated (so no driver) and we had a great view of the Rainbow Bridge and the city on front of us.
Back at Shinjuku station, where it was very crowded, we were suddenly inspired to get ourselves some more drinks, this time at Honey’s Bar. We’ve passed this small show right on the platform every time during our trips and never tried any of their drinks. As I had seen someone review it very positively in a YouTube video, I at last felt obliged to try some, so we did!
The drinks were super fruit and very delicious, so I too very much recommend them. :3
My mom and I left the station, got ourselves a snack at bakery Hokuo and headed back for the hotel, where we relaxed on the bed for a while.
However, it wasn’t for too long, as we were going to meet a friend of mine in Shibuya that night! So we went on our way again.
We took the metro to Shibuya. Right when the train doors opened, I let out a squeak, completely startling my mom! I saw a poster for the Takarazuka Revue show ‘I Am From Austria’, out in the wild! I was so excited, I had to take a picture with it!
My mom and I left the station and headed for the statue of Hachiko, where we would meet my friend, and not long after we arrived there she appeared as well. As we had never met in real life before, only online, I was quite excited!
We decided to go to Shibuya 109, to go to the amazing Purikura place there, so we waited for the traffic lights and then crossed the world famous crossing.
Unfortunately, after searching all over the upper floors of Shibuya 109, it turned out that the amazing place had been taken down and replaced by a much smaller corner at one of the bottom floors. I was quite disappointed, but since we wanted to do Purikura, we headed there and picked a machine. Luckily, the machine was really cool, with a giant moveable camera! It was quite fun. I especially loved the result picture cards, as my friend is really into goth and I like pastels, so our cards came out quite the opposite! XD
We had gotten quite hungry and ended up having dinner at a cute café in Shibuya 109 itself called Ma maison, so that’s something I can cross off my list as well. ^^ The food was great, but the desserts were even better. :3
We chatted for a long time and eventually headed back for the station, where we said goodbye. I was so happy I was able to meet my friend! ;_;
My mom and I headed back for our hotel, where I prepared some things for the next day and my mom relaxed. Then, we went to sleep. It had been a magical day!
Thank you for reading! ~☆~