An interactive experience at Tokyo’s teamLab Borderless

Photos by Hazel Gray
Photos by Hazel Gray

An interactive experience at Tokyo’s teamLab Borderless

by Hazel Gray
Stripes Japan

Upon arriving at our destination in Odaiba, we peer across Tokyo Bay to the city and make our way to face the giant building before us. teamLab Borderless awaits our entry, excited to reveal to us the enormous, mysterious power of interactive digital art within.

We learn that this unique museum has no map or planned route but is instead a maze where the exhibits flow from room to room. Animals walking proudly burst into flowers when touched. Images of samurai warriors and a kabuki parade of rabbits, frogs, and cows march along the walls and bow to us when try to reach for them. The further we meander through the corridors of this unique exhibit, the smaller we become as the digital flowers flourish as if we’d stumbled into a fantastic field. Every exhibit leads to one central room where water flows from the ceiling and flows around where we stand.

teamLab Borderless offers many other spectacles like a floating lantern exhibit, a room with mirrored stringed lights dancing to music, a laser bending room that changes with how many people are in the room, a floating net with a dome where we can watch an ever-changing show of life, a dark room with transparent panels reflecting dancing Japanese cultural figures, and a quiet space with continuous deep ocean waves.

In addition to the designated exhibit rooms, there is a large educational play area called Athletic Forest, where we can run and play with giant glowing balloons, complete an obstacle course, watch our own artwork come to life, bounce around in outer space, and so much more! The goal of the Athletic Forest is to promote thinking on many different levels, as well as to encourage the whole family to have fun and grow together.

Turn a corner and you might discover the special tea house only accessible once inside the exhibit. A cup of tea costs 500 yen, and the price covers the unique experience as well as a refreshing drink. Flowers appear in our cups and other magical art plays around us as we enjoy our time here. Our hearts beat in time with the music and our enjoyment itself becomes an art also, mingling with the energy around us.

My favorite exhibit is a cave-like domed wall in a hallway. Music saturates the air and digital displays flow through and intermingle. Suddenly, great glowing birds with an infinite streak behind them, like airplane contrails, take off from their roost and form glorious and graceful patterns in space. The electrifying music is heavenly, but filled with an extraordinary vivacity and bursting with warmth and enthusiasm. Our eyes are riveted to the rapidly shifting scene, our hearts are burning with the vigorous energy prompted by the uplifting music and we feel our souls on fire. We take deep breaths full of repressed zeal. When the show fades to silent darkness, we stand spellbound, breathing hard, ready to conquer the world.

This passionate show culminates our visit, and still marveling, we depart, impressed with the talents of the artists who created teamLab Borderless. We will remember this day always, and the recollection of art transcending boundaries encourages us to draw our own paths in life.

Take note, teamLab’s Borderless exhibit will close in August 2022. The digital art collective has plans to reopen an exhibit at a new undisclosed Tokyo location in 2023, according to reports.

Entry fee (yen): adults (15+) 3200, children (4-14) 1000, disabled 1600

Hours: weekdays 1000-1700, weekends and holidays 900-1900

- Closed March 1, 15

- Permanently closing August 2022

- 3-minute walk from Aomi Station on the Yurikamome Line

- 5-minute walk from Tokyo - Teleport Station on the Rinkai Line

- Pay parking nearby

English website


Subscribe to our Stripes Pacific newsletter and receive amazing travel stories, great event info, cultural information, interesting lifestyle articles and more directly in your inbox!

Follow us on social media!

Facebook: Stars and Stripes Pacific
Flipboard: Stars and Stripes Community Sites

Looking to travel while stationed abroad? Check out our other Pacific community sites!
Stripes Okinawa
Stripes Korea
Stripes Guam

Related Content

Recommended Content

Around the Web