Have you ever visited a museum where you can:
Walk up a cascading stream, wade in knee-deep water with digital koi, sink into soft bean bag flooring, float in space with flower petals, and push giant human-height spheres around?
All these, and more, are what you will experience at teamLab Planets TOKYO in Toyosu, Tokyo. In this one-of-a-kind museum, the boundaries between art, self, and nature are blurred.
Digital projections, sounds, scents, lights, and textures are artfully combined to create multiple surreal experiences, one after another.
You will walk through dark, maze-like corridors into multiple stunning dreamscapes. Think a galaxy of glittering crystals, floating in space with falling flowers, walking into a living garden of flowers in mid-air. And more.
Visit to teamLab Planets TOKYO- What to expect?
Before you even reach teamLab Planets TOKYO, you would spot from afar the 15m high public artwork “Universe of Fire Particles Falling from the Sky”. This pillar has become a natural gathering point for people visiting the museum.
It is interactive as its flame projections will change depending on the physical presence it detects. The top part of the pillar syncs with the sky- it will be sunny, cloudy, dark, etc. depending on the weather.
Amenities and Accessibility
You will enter the museum barefoot. Keep your belongings such as bags, shoes and socks in the free lockers provided. You will want to explore the dreamy alternate worlds in the museum unencumbered, light and free. For those travelling with big luggage or prams, there are secure spaces provided for storing them too.
People with mobility issues can enjoy the museum too. When I visited, I saw visitors in wheelchairs in the immersive artworks, including the one with knee-deep water. There are staff around to give guidance on the accessible paths to take.
What to wear?
As there are areas in the museum with mirrored floors and water up to the knees, wear something that will not expose your underwear and that you can roll up above the knees so as to keep dry.
Nonetheless, no worries if you do not have appropriate attire, because shorts may be rented for free. The shorts are available from XS to 6L.
New Garden Area!
During the pandemic, teamLab Planets, rolled out a brand new Garden Area, just in time for the resurgence of travel. The Garden Area features two whimsical experiences right out of a futuristic fairytale setting:
Floating Flower Garden
Walk freely in the Floating Flower Garden filled with over 14,000 live orchids blooming in mid-air. The orchids are a type of air plant that can grow without soil by absorbing moisture and nutrients from the air.
The flowers float up and down as you navigate through them; they float up to make space for people to walk through them and descend again to fill up the space vacated.
The mirrored walls and flooring create an illusion of never-ending flowers while the natural fragrance of the blooms fills the space, making this artwork a wonderful visual and olfactory experience.
Moss Garden of Resonating Microcosms
This is an outdoor art installation that is open rain or shine. As you are barefoot, you will be given slippers to wear; umbrellas are provided if it rains too.
Exiting the museum door, you will find yourself in an undulating moss garden filled with futuristic, organically-shaped ovoids, or what I prefer to call magical glowing eggs.
Each asymmetrical egg is synchronized with light and sound technology. Give the egg a slight push and it will respond by emitting a musical tone and light, influencing the surrounding “eggs” to do the same! The eggs are ever-changing in colours throughout the day.
Besides the new garden-themed art installations above, read on for the other enchanting art installations you can experience. Note that they are NOT exhaustive! Other surprises await.
The Infinite Crystal Universe
A perennial favourite of visitors since teamLabs Planets opened in 2018, The Infinite Crystal Universe offers infinite Instagram-worthy picture possibilities, limited only by your creativity and the patience of your companion helping you with the snaps.
Tip: Download the teamLab App to interact with the artwork. You can send make the crystals change colour and display different light shows. You can also download the app at the museum where there are QR codes around for you to download the app.
Drawing on the Water Surface Created by the Dance of Koi and People – Infinity
Wade into knee-deep water and experience digital koi swimming around you. Touch them and see them transform into petals, scattering away.
The water temperature is adjusted according to the seasons to ensure a comfortable experience. During winter, the water is pleasantly warm and during summer pleasingly cool.
The digital projections are interactive and rendered in real-time by a computer. Interaction between visitors and the installation causes continuous change in the artwork, making it unique at each moment in time.
Floating in the Falling Universe of Flowers
This is another out-of-the-world experience. Lie down or sit still in this massive dome and contemplate the flowers and petals falling all around you like shooting stars. Eventually, a sense of weightlessness will come across you as you feel yourself floating through the floral galaxy.
Expanding Three-Dimensional Existence in Transforming Space – Flattening 3 Colors and 9 Blurred Colors, Free Floating
These huge spherical balloons change colour as they touch each other. Kids and the young-at-heart will not be able to resist pushing the balloons around and marveling at the colour transitions.
Vegan Ramen UZU Tokyo
Right at the entrance of teamLab Planets TOKYO is a vegan ramen restaurant that also offers vegan ice cream and a variety of teas. Check out their menu here.
Their sister outlet in Kyoto was awarded the Bib Gourmand accolade in the MICHELIN Guide Kyoto Osaka 2023.
The interior of the restaurant is an artwork in itself entitled “Reversible Rotation – Non-objective Space”. If you would like to enjoy your food in this artwork, you can pay an extra 660 yen to sit inside. Otherwise, you can choose to enjoy your food at the two public artworks outside for free.
The restaurant operates on a first come, first served basis; no reservations are taken.
Note how the “Table of Sky and Fire” reflects the “Universe of Fire Particles Falling from the Sky” pillar perfectly. No detail is left to chance.
Seasonal Special: Cherry Blossom Artworks until 30th April
To celebrate cherry blossom season in Japan, selected artworks at teamLab Planets will feature the famous flower until the end of April.
Cherry blossoms floating on water.
Hotel near teamLab Planets
Thinking of how to fit teamLab Planets into your Japan itinerary?
According to teamLab, most visitors spend an average of 1.5 to 2 hours per visit. However, if you are not in a rush, I suggest allocating three to four hours for your teamLab Planets visit. This will give you ample time to have a meal at Vegan Ramen UZU Tokyo and browse the gift shop too.
You may consider staying in Toyosu, where teamLab Planets is located. A convenient accommodation will be Hotel JAL City Tokyo Toyosu which is only a 5-minute walk to teamLab Planets. Besides teamLab Planets, other attractions in Toyosu include the Toyosu market where you can observe Japan’s famous tuna auctions which had moved over from the old Tsujiki market.
Is teamLab Planets really worth visiting?
If you fancy being wow-ed, a visit to teamLab Planets is definitely in order.
I lost count of the number of times I went “wow” at teamLab Planets. Let’s just say that if I got 100 yen (100 yen is approximately SGD $1 ) for every “wow” I uttered, mouthed, or thought, I would be able to get myself quite a bounty of snacks from any one of Japan’s famed combini.
teamLab Planets TOKYO
You can buy tickets on-site or online. You will have to choose a timeslot to enter the museum. But there is no time restrictions on how long you can stay in the museum. It is highly recommended that you buy your tickets online beforehand as tickets may be sold out.
Adults (18 Years and above) JPY 3,200
Junior high school / High school JPY 2,000
Children (Ages 4-12) JPY 1,000
Under 3 years of age Free
Disability discount JPY 1,600
*Note: From Saturday, April 1, 2023, ticket prices for weekends, public holidays, and dates with extended opening hours will increase by JPY 300.
Buy tickets at the teamLab Planets TOKYO Ticket Store.
teamLab Planets TOKYO, Toyosu
Address: teamLab Planets TOKYO, Toyosu 6-1-16, Koto-ku, Tokyo
- 1 minute on foot from Shin-Toyosu Station (Tokyo Waterfront New Transit Waterfront Line Yurikamome Line)
- 10 minutes on foot from Toyosu Station (Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line)
- 5 minutes on foot from Shijoumae Station and Toyosu Market
Check out the directions for bus and taxi here.
What is teamLab?
teamLab is an international art collective of various specialists such as artists, programmers, engineers, CG animators, mathematicians and architects who together, create works combining art, science, technology, and the natural world.
In Singapore, teamLab has a permanent exhibition “Future World: Where Art Meets Science” at the ArtScience Museum.
Header image credit: teamLab, Floating Flower Garden; Flowers and I are of the Same Root, the Garden and I are One © teamLab