After the raving success TeamLab Borderless experienced during its recent opening, TeamLab had a grand re-opening of their 2016 TeamLab Planets exhibit. TeamLab Planets is also located in the Odaiba area of Tokyo. Sonia was able to reserve us two tickets for the 10-10:30 entrance slot. We arrived shortly after 10am and waited about 10 minutes to enter.
Lucky for us, the morning was overcast. The waiting area is also covered and fans had been installed to help visitors deal with the oppressive heat. As we entered the building, we were directed to stand in specific areas. During this period, we were given directions for attending the exhibit. First, we were told we would need to remove both our shoes and socks. (Honestly, in Japan, this doesn’t surprise me anymore.) Second, we were told to place all our belongs in a locker. Third, we were told we would be submerged up to our knees in water during our visit. (Wait, what?) Fourth, we were asked to use the provided smartphone cover to keep your phone dry. We followed all directions, ready to start our visit, and very curious and thoroughly confused by the water part. Until… we entered. We first walked up a long dark hallway. It was only illuminated by small blue squares on the floor. At the end of the hallway, we reached an incline that had water flowing down from a fountain at the top. (I’ll apologize now about my pictures. They are the best because of the lighting and in the beginning I had my phone in the plastic cover.)
After exiting, we were given towels to dry our feet. Only in Japan would they give each person a clean dry towel and have a return towel bin. Notice there are no towels outside of the box! I’m not sure I would want to experience this exhibit anywhere but Japan. The level of cleanliness was A+.
The second room required you to transit across bean bag cushions. It was like walking/crawling across the bead filled neck pillows. The sensory overload was really starting to get to me and make me giggle!
We transitioned through another dark hallway. This one was lined with red lights along the floor.
The next room was very similar to one of the exhibits in TeamLab Borderless. The streaming lights. They hung from the ceiling. The walls, floors and ceiling were all mirrored creating a endless amount of light.
As we walked through, it was difficult to tell what was real and what was a reflection.
After passing through, we went down another dark passageway and came to perhaps the coolest part. It was a room filled with knee deep liquid. It was cloudy so the light wouldn’t completely scatter. Notice the liquid comes up to almost the knees of the adults in the picture.
On closer inspection, you can see koi!
The light show was pretty mind blowing and a little trippy. We stayed a good 10 minutes in the water room. Taking it all in…
After the water room, we dried our feet with towels before entering the big color changing balloon room. This exhibit was again similar to the one at TeamLab Borderless.
The final room was my other favorite. It was a huge room with a dome ceiling and mirrored floor. Across the ceiling, flowers were being projected. They were growing and changing and seemed to be flying past you all at the same time. I imagined I was going through space and instead of planets passing me, there were flowers. In this room, we stretched out on the floor and relaxed.
Our time in this exhibit was much more structured than TeamLab Borderless. There was clearly a designated path to follow and workers were there to show you the way as required. We only spent about 30 minutes total in the museum. It was about an hour from the time we arrived and stood in line until we left. If I was doing this again, or planning a trip for friends, I would recommend we reserve a morning slot at TeamLab Planets, eat lunch and then visit TeamLab Borderless. It would make for a long day, but it was a long way to travel (1.5 hours one way) just for a 30 minute experience. If the thought of doing both in a day is too daunting, you could easily spend the night in Odaiba and shop in the down time. If I had to choose one over the other… hmmm. That would be tough. Probably TeamLab Borderless. More for your money (they both cost ¥2400 or $22.00). Although, I did love the crazy pool room of TeamLab Planets… either way, you won’t be disappointed.