Exploring teamLab Planets TOKYO – Surreal and Instagrammable Digital Art Wonderland

When people picture a trip to Tokyo, they often think of bustling sights like the iconic Tokyo Tower, the renowned Shibuya scramble crosswalk, or cultural spots such as Asakusa and Tsukiji fish market. However, not many realise that Tokyo also boasts an incredible art scene. teamLab Planets TOKYO is an example of this city’s boundless surprise.

What makes teamLab Planets TOKYO so special?

The artworks at teamLab Planets TOKYO are based on the concept of “body immersive” art. This means that visitors can interact with the artwork in ways that allow them to become part of it. It cleverly combines technology, music, and natural elements to create an extraordinary art experience such that you have to be there to feel it for yourself!

You’ve probably seen plenty of photos taken at teamLab Planets on Instagram and think that is all to it, but I can say with confidence that you will be greeted with a stunning atmosphere of multimedia art that will have you walking barefoot, sinking onto beanbags, and even standing in knee-deep water!

teamLab, Drawing on the Water Surface Created by the Dance of Koi and People – Infinity, 2016-2018, Interactive Digital Installation, Endless, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi © teamLab, courtesy Pace Gallery

Engaging, Imaginative and Instagrammable 

“Pics or it didn’t happen” – is the mantra of our times and that makes this museum more relevant than ever.

Everyone starts the journey barefoot and is only allowed to bring their phones. Pro tip: Highly recommended not to wear long pants. However, shorts are available to rent.

The museum comprises two areas: Water and Garden, with seven distinct artworks that are created to free your senses.

The recommended path is to enter the Water area first, then the Garden area. I followed the usher’s advice and went to the Water area. I have never experienced something like that in a museum before—I was actually walking through the water as it gushes down from the incline!

teamLab, Waterfall of Light Particles at the Top of an Incline, 2018, Digital Installation © teamLab, courtesy Pace Gallery

Not knowing what was going to happen next, I explored the teamLab app and discovered an artwork had been revealed on the app. As I journey through the museum, the app works in real-time to showcase the artwork that I’ve just experienced. The app is also designed to add another layer of experience for visitors, I could interact with certain artworks like the Infinite Crystal Universe.

teamLab, The Infinite Crystal Universe, 2018, Interactive Installation of Light Sculpture, LED, Endless, Sound: teamLab © teamLab, courtesy Pace Gallery

teamLab Planets TOKYO has lots of instagrammable moments, so the overall experience will take about 2 hours. The Infinite Crystal Universe here is larger in scale than the one at Singapore’s Art Science Museum Future World, just so you know that you are still getting a different experience from teamLab!

On Becoming One with the Artworks

I still remember how amazing it felt to walk into a warm pool with koi swimming around and turning into flower petals as people walked in! The atmosphere was enchanting! Without a doubt, one of the most well-known artworks in the museum. In fact, this particular artwork, “Drawing on the Water Surface Created by the Dance of Koi and People – Infinity” is constantly evolving based on the presence of visitors.

Another popular artwork that reveals the wonders of nature – Floating Flower Garden, where the entire installation is made up of epiphytic orchids grown mid-air and without soil. The type of orchid used in the exhibit has been known to live for up to 50 years.

This museum made me walk barefoot, wade through water, and, at one point, lie down in an immersive dome of floating flowers! It was a surreal and meditative art experience, one that allowed me to escape into an immersive world crafted by artists and explore dreamlike realms full of colour and movement.

teamLab Planets TOKYO blew our mind! sucha incredible art experience! #teamLabplanets #fyp #tokyo #thingstodointokyo #explore #toyosu #teamlab

♬ Natural Emotions – Muspace Lofi

A Different Experience at Night

I also learned that the art installations situated outdoors along the Garden area will change depending on the time of day. At the Moss Garden of Resonating Microcosms, you will encounter a garden full of shiny ovoids, and you can actually push the ovoids to make a sound! Like most of the artworks in the museum, it inspires visitors to interact and see the artwork from another perspective.

teamLab, Moss Garden of Resonating Microcosms – Solidified Light Color, Sunrise and Sunset
, 2021, Interactive Digital Installation, Endless, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi © teamLab, courtesy Pace Gallery

Fusing Food and Art at Vegan Ramen UZU

After the art exploration, you can dine at a teamLab-style restaurant that serves Vegan Ramen UZU from Kyoto while being surrounded by digital art. There’s also a teamLab Flower Shop where you can purchase an eco-bag and bring home the flowers that once bloomed in the “Floating Flower Garden”.

teamLab, Reversible Rotation – Non-Objective Space, 2021, Digital Installation, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi © teamLab, courtesy Pace Gallery

Cherry Blossom Season Special

teamLab, Floating in the Falling Universe of Flowers, 2016-2018, Interactive Digital Installation, Endless, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi © teamLab, courtesy Pace Gallery

And with the arrival of Spring, two of the art installations will be featuring cherry blossoms.
For anyone planning a holiday trip to Tokyo soon, this place should certainly be on your itinerary—its immense popularity is definitely well-earned. Who knows, you may spot celebrities there too!

How to go to teamLab Planets TOKYO:

Address: Toyosu 6-1-16, Koto-ku, Tokyo

Opening hours: 9 a.m.– midnight every day (last admission 11:00 p.m.)

Nearest station: Shin-Toyosu Station

Get tickets to teamLab Planets TOKYO!

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