Opened in 2018 in Tokyo’s Odaiba district, teamLab Borderless is not just a museum but an all-encompassing experience. Powered by lights, sounds, and projections, it gifts visitors with fully digital immersive explorations of art and technology.
Notably, this captivating destination co-operated by the Mori Building holds the Guinness World Record as the world’s most visited digital art museum.
In January 2024, teamLab Borderless is slated to reopen at a new site in Azabudai Hills after a period of relocation and refurbishment. Visitors can anticipate new features and, of course, the timeless favorites that have made it iconic around the world.
What is teamLab Borderless Gallery Japan?
A popular fixture in Tokyo’s vibrant art scene, teamLab Borderless Gallery attracts thousands of visitors every year, from art enthusiasts to tech geeks.
The digital art museum was the brainchild of teamLab, an international art collective that has been creating artwork using digital technology since 2001. The Borderless space opened in 2018, and teamLab has also opened other permanent spaces in Shanghai and Singapore.
The collective refers to themselves as “ultra-technologists”. Its members have backgrounds in a wide range of disciplines, including computer programming, CG animation, engineering, mathematics, and architecture.
For the collective, ‘borderless’ is not just a name but a philosophy. Using advanced technology, they aim to explore the relationship between nature and artificial creations though expansive interactive spaces.
When teamLab Borderless reopens
The Borderless Gallery in Odiaba district closed in August 2022 in order to move the exhibits to its new location. Although the reopening was expected in 2023, it will now take place in January 2024.
In the meantime, you can experience some of the collective’s dazzling installations at teamLab Planets. This offshoot museum is open until the end of 2023. This is located right next to Shin-Toyosu Station on the Yurikamome line (not included with the JR pass).
Popular exhibits at teamLab Borderless
Among the various exhibits at teamLab Borderless, some have particularly etched themselves in visitors’ memories:
- Forest of Resonating Lamps – As the name suggests, hundreds of lamps create a kaleidoscope of changing colors, creating a dreamy ambiance that leaves visitors spellbound.
- Athletics Forest – An adventurous digital playground that invites you to jump, climb, and frolic amidst digital creatures and landscapes.
- Crystal World – A galaxy of hanging crystals which respond to your presence, changing patterns and colors as you move.
- Borderless World – A dynamic digital art piece, this installation captures the essence of nature with projections of landscapes, animals, and other elements that morph and evolve over time.
- En Tea House – A serene space that marries tradition with technology. Visitors can participate in an interactive tea ceremony, with every step of the ritual enhanced by stunning projection mapping.
Many of the exhibitions that were housed in the Odiaba space are expected to be replicated in the new Azabudai Hills location, although altered and enhanced. Additionally, never-before-seen installations will be added to the new museum.
How to get there
The new space is situated amidst towering skyscrapers in the Toranomon district of Minata Ward. It’s located between several Mori Building Company projects: Roppongi Hills to the west, Toranomon Hills to the east, and Ark Hills to the north.
To get there, your destination is the Kamiyacho station on the Tokyo Metro. If you’re relying on the JR Pass, note that this station isn’t included, so a separate ticket is essential.
Planning your visit to teamLab Borderless
If you want to fit in a trip to teamLab Borderless during a busy Tokyo sightseeing itinerary, we advise you to factor in at least a few hours for your visit.
While the immersive nature of the installations might make time fly, on average, visitors tend to spend about 2-3 hours in the space. However, such is the allure of the gallery that some get lost for up to 5 hours.
If you’re visiting as a family, we also advise you to take the museum’s age restrictions into account. While the gallery welcomes art enthusiasts of all ages, visitors under the age of 15 should be accompanied by an adult, and individual exhibits might be age restricted.
Finally, teamLab Borderless encourages visitors to photograph and film inside most exhibits to capture beautiful moments to take back home. However, be on the lookout for signs to ensure photography is permitted, or simply ask a friendly member of staff.