More than just a museum, the teamLab Planets TOKYO takes visual art to a new height. The genre-challenging digital art exhibition created by the world-famous digital-art group teamLab has been making waves around the world with their immersive exhibition. Visiting art galleries will never be the same after you’ve visited teamLab Planets! ? We recently had the chance to visit it during our trip to Tokyo and we’re here to help you plan your visit to teamLab Planets!
Looking for more things to do in Tokyo? Check out 8 New And Unique Things To Do In Tokyo For Your Next Vacay! Also, let us help you plan your itinerary with this 7D6N Muslim-Friendly Itinerary For The Best Family Vacay ?
So, what exactly is teamLab Planets TOKYO?
teamLab calls it “body-immersive” works and they do mean it literally! You’ll explore the museum barefoot and would even wade through a room submerged up to the knees in water (don’t worry, you can stash your shoes and belongings in a free locker). You know how you can’t touch certain artworks at a museum? Yeah, no such thing here as you’re expected to engage with the exhibition!
The concept of teamLab Planets TOKYO is to “Immerse your Body, and with Others, Become One with the World”, so prepare for all your five senses to be fully engaged! We love how the creators combined natural elements, technology and music for an incredible art experience. If you think this is just another Instagram-worthy exhibition, it's not!
Credit: teamLab,The Infinite Crystal Universe © teamLab
Located near the futuristic neighbourhood of Odaiba and near Toyosu (the new Tsukiji Market), teamLab Planets houses nine multi-sensory, full-body immersive art displays that combine, touch, sight, sound and forward-thinking creativity to formulate an experience unlike any other. If you’re in Tokyo, this is a must-do!
The rooms at teamLab Planets
There are nine different artworks separated into two main sections: Water and Garden. We recommend that you explore the Water section first which has more artwork! Without giving too many of the surprises away, you can expect to be barefoot, and given that many of the displays feature water, you can expect to get a little wet! You’ll wander through dark rooms, open, light-flooded displays and synchronised music. Be sure to charge that phone, because the Instagram and TikTok content opportunities are abundant ?
Our favourite exhibit is the first exhibit of the Water section, the Waterfall of Light Particles at the Top of an Incline. It felt so surreal to be walking up an incline with water cascading down.
Another that we loved is probably the most Instagrammable spot of the museum, the Floating Flower Garden in the Garden section. The space is completely filled with flowers and the space changes as the flowers float up and down. This artwork is so popular that there's a time limit for visitors here!
Our toddler's favourite is the artwork with free-floating spheres which change colours when touched or when visitors pass by. To her, it was a huge playroom of colourful balls which she could push and have fun with!
Credit: teamLab, Soft Black Hole - Your Body Becomes a Space that Influences Another Body © teamLab
She also loved the Soft Black Hole exhibit which is practically a huge beanbag! Try to walk or move fast and you'll sink. The space changes according to the visitors in the exhibit and the weight of people's bodies. It wasn't very crowded when we visited but if it is when you do, look out for your kids because other visitors may not see them in the dark space.
Given that there’s no clearly marked pathway, you can expect to get a little lost, but this is half the fun; there’s a good chance you’ll stumble across a hidden surprise. Also, many of the rooms have mirrored walls and light displays that will trick your sense of space and depth of vision, so tread carefully!
Limited time only: the cherry blossom special
Credit: teamLab, Floating in the Falling Universe of Flowers, 2016-2018, Interactive Digital Installation, Endless, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi © teamLab, courtesy Pace Gallery
From March to April, visitors to teamLab Planets TOKYO will enjoy two beautiful shows of cherry blossoms that bloom across the room ? Floating in the Falling Universe of Flowers is an artwork in which flowers bloom and change with the passage of time, and the universe of life spreads across the space, will be filled with cherry blossoms during this limited period.
Credit: teamLab, Drawing on the Water Surface Created by the Dance of Koi and People - Infinity © teamLab
Meanwhile, in the Drawing on the Water Surface Created by the Dance of Koi and People - Infinity room, visitors walk in water and koi swim on the surface of the infinitely expanding water. When the koi collide with people, they turn into cherry blossoms and scatter ?
What to wear and bring
For HHWT girlies, we don’t recommend wearing skirts or wide-hemmed pants because there are reflective surfaces. We don’t want you to be uncomfortable here because you’ll want to pose for photos everywhere!
- We’ve mentioned earlier that you will be experiencing the museum barefoot and there are artworks with water where your feet and even your legs (up to your knees for some of you!) will get wet. For Muslimahs, we recommend changing into swim pants before you enter the museum. For those who can't roll up their pants or prefer not to, you can rent shorts if you prefer (free of charge).
- Bring a change of clothes for your kids because their clothes may get wet or carry them (if you can!) like we did so they won't get wet at all.
- You’ll have to take your shoes off at the entrance, so it’s best to wear shoes that are easy to remove.
- Avoid wearing foot-covering tights as they will have to come off too.
- You have to store your shoes and bags before entering the exhibits so we recommend getting a phone case with a sling or use a pop socket because you don't want to drop your phone (especially in exhibits with water!).
- If you're bringing along a stroller/luggage, there is a storage area outside the museum.
- If you have any abrasions, open wounds or cuts on your feet, make sure they’re covered well, because while the water is very clean, the chlorine may sting.
Things to know before your visit
- For those with infants/toddlers, you may use a baby carrier in the exhibits.
- For those with disabilities or children, there are detour routes if you wish to skip certain exhibits.
- To enjoy the exhibitions fully, be sure to download the teamLab app to learn more about the concept of the artworks and where you can interact with the artwork (eg. Infinite Crystal Universe) using the app! it allows you to do some pretty cool stuff while walking around. You can find details on the inside of the lockers ? The teamLab app is available to download from App Store and Google Play.
Best time to visit teamLab Planets
Credit: teamLab, Universe of Fire Particles Falling from the Sky © teamLab
The digital art museum in Tokyo is understandably popular, so no matter what time of day you go, there will likely be a small crowd. However, the space is large enough that even when it’s busy, it never feels too crowded. Each ticket also has an admission time, to help keep movement flowing, and you might be able to go in early.
We recommend going during the first two and last two hours on weekdays when it’s the quietest. There’s always a crowd on weekends with people getting there early, so if you can, try to time your visit to teamLab Planets on a weekday. To avoid having to line up to buy a ticket, you can select your time and date and book on their website.
The interior of Planets is a whopping 10,000 sqm, and it does require a bit of additional work, taking off shoes, drying your feet, posing for the perfect shot, etc. Schedule at least two hours (not including travel time) here and you’ll be able to fit everything in, with a little time to revisit your favourite displays.
Nearest halal food to teamLab Planets
Credit: teamLab Planets TOKYO © teamLab
Hungry after a sense-provoking visit to teamLab Planets? Drop by a vegan ramen restaurant at Vegan Ramen UZU Tokyo where you can eat in an artistic environment. There are three spaces designed by teamLab that you can choose to enjoy your meal.
Credit: teamLab Planets TOKYO © teamLab
If the weather is warm enough, you can enjoy dining outdoors in the space called Table of Sky and Fire and the One Stroke Bench.
Credit: teamLab, Reversible Rotation - Non-Objective Space © teamLab
While indoors, there’s the new Reversible Rotation - Non-objective Space installation.
Check out the website for the full menu.
Halal status: No meat is used in the ingredients. Mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine) is used in the ramen, but customers can request for it to be left out. We recommend you dine at your own discretion.
Address: Japan, 〒135-0061 Tokyo, Koto City, Toyosu, 6 Chome−1−16 teamLab Planets TOKYO
Opening hours: 11am - 7pm (weekdays), 10.30am - 7pm (Saturday and Sunday)
How to get to teamLab Planets TOKYO
It’s easy to get to Teamlab Planets on public transport. It’s just 1 minute away from Shin-Toyosu Station (via Yurikamome line) or 10 minutes walking from Toyosu Station (via Yurakucho line).
#HHWT tip: While you’re in the area, you might want to have a whirl around the nearby Tokyo Gas Science Museum, or pop over to Toyosu Fish Market (the new Tsukiji), which is just one train stop away from Shin-Toyosu — alight at Shijo-mae Station.
Address: 6-1-16 Toyosu, Koto Ward, Tokyo.
Opening hours: 10 am – 10 pm (weekdays), 9am - 10m (weekends and holidays)
This exhibition is available until the end of 2023.
This article is brought to you by teamLab Planets TOKYO.