Just when we thought we’d seen the best from this talented Japanese art collaborative, they come out with another mind-blowing museum in Tokyo.

The museum scene in Tokyo became infinitely more interesting this summer, when world-leading Japanese digital art collective teamLab unveiled their new awe-inspiring permanent digital art museum in Tokyo’s Odaiba district on 21 June.

As it turns out, this was just the beginning of TeamLab’s mission to wow the city and its people with their inspiring interactive digital installations, because on 7 July they opened TeamLab Planets – a new museum even more immersive than their first – in Tokyo’s Toyosu, where the world-famous Tsukiji fish market will be moving to in October.

▼ The view of the new building from Shin-Toyosu Station.

This new TeamLab Planets museum has been produced in collaboration with DMM.com, a Japan-based e-commerce and Internet company that specialises in video-on-demand and online shopping services. Three years ago, DMM.com helped to produce TeamLab Planets as a temporary exhibition in Odaiba, but now it’s back for a much longer run, as the new museum will be open until autumn 2020.

While some of the displays at TeamLab Planets are similar to the ones at their sister museum in Odaiba, it’s still an entirely different experience, which starts at the front door when all visitors are asked to remove their shoes and socks. The reason for this is because some exhibits are filled with knee-length water.

▼ Shoes have to be stowed in free lockers before you enter the museum.

TeamLab Planets also has mirrored floors, so it’s best to wear shorts instead of skirts when you visit. If you want to protect your modesty, though, shorts can be rented free of charge from the front desk.

As soon as you enter the museum, you’ll be shrouded in darkness, with dimly lit floors helping to guide you through the building.

The fun starts immediately, as the sound of rushing water can be heard in the darkness, steadily increasing in volume until you finally come to its source: the Waterfall of Light Particles at the Top of an Incline.

This is a great introduction to what the museum has in store for visitors, as they escape the outside world and walk up towards the lit waterfall while water gently runs down the slope. It’s the first of many immersive experiences involving light, sound and water to invigorate the senses.

Once you’ve stepped out from the waterfall area, staff are at the ready with towels so you can dry your feet as you make your way to the next exhibit.

That’s where you’ll come across the Soft Black Hole, where “Your Body Becomes a Space that Influences Another Body”. It’s not easy to make your way across the room here, as your feet sink with each step into the soft, uneven flooring, but it’s a whole lot of fun to stumble around on your hands and knees as you do it!

As you make your way through the building you’ll come across some familiar scenes, with The Infinite Crystal Universe looking very similar to the Crystal World room at TeamLab’s Odaiba museum.

▼ This is where you should download the special app so you can manipulate the light and sound patterns in the room.

While this room is similar to the Crystal World at Odaiba, it’s a much better experience – not only are the floors mirrored here, but the ceilings are mirrored too, creating an intense world of reflections as far as the eye can see.

The Infinite Crystal Universe is aptly named as the reflections here really seem to go on for an eternity.

And if you stand in the right spot at the right time, it can make it seem like you’re floating in a crystal universe.

Another familiar room is the Expanding Three-dimensional Existence in Intentionally Transforming Space – Free Floating, 12 Colors.

Like the Weightless Forest of Resonating Life at Odaiba, this space is filled with huge balloons, which move around and change colour as visitors walk through the space.

Again, this is a much better version of the exhibit at Odaiba, as there are many more balloons here, and the mirrored floors enhance all the different colours and patterns.

You can really get lost in here, bouncing off the balloons and pushing your way through them as you make your way out to the next exhibit.

This is where you’ll be asked to roll your trousers up above your knees as you’ll be stepping into water again, and this time it will be in a knee-deep wading pool filled with hundreds of digital koi fish.

The sounds and light displays are constantly changing here too, and if you manage to tickle a fish with your hands or feet as you walk through, you’ll see it transform into a flower before your very eyes.

The flowers then release their petals, slowly spreading to create bright patterns all around the pool.

Once you’ve enjoyed the digital koi fish, it’s time to step into the final display before you exit: Floating in the Falling Universe of Flowers. This is a huge domed room where you can lie down and immerse yourself in the rotating light display, rendered in real time, which swirls all around you, thanks to the polished mirrored floors. According to the organisers, “eventually your body floats and you dissolve into the artwork world” here, but we spent so long looking around us that we ended up feeling dizzy by the end of it all!

Once you step out from the Falling Universe of Flowers, it’s time to retrieve your shoes and other belongings from the lockers at the front and make your way out into the brightness of reality.

While it’s smaller in scale than the museum at Odaiba, TeamLab Planets is far more immersive, and dare we say it, a lot more fun too. Whether you’re living here or coming to Tokyo in the next couple of years, this is definitely worth a visit. Just be sure to book tickets online before you visit so you can avoid waiting in line, and you might want to take a look at our visitor’s guide to the TeamLab Museum at Odaiba for tips to help you get the most out of your visit!

Museum Information

TeamLab Planets Tokyo
Address: Tokyo-to, Koto-ku, Toyosu 6-1-16
Hours: 9 a.m.-midnight every day (last admission 11:00 p.m.)
Admission: 3,200 yen (adults); 2,700 yen (seniors and juniors between the ages of 12-17); 2,000 yen (children between the ages of 4-11)

Photos © SoraNews24  

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