Right now all the hype in Japan is this museum called the MORI Building Digital Art Museum by EPSON teamLab Borderless. Everyone kept saying how amazing it was, so I decided to check it out to see what the fuss was all about. Is it hypeworthy? Read on to find out!
- Getting there. First, let’s talk logistics (i.e. tickets, parking, etc.) The museum location is in Odaiba and an easy walk from the train station — although they have an attached parking lot as well. You’ll want to purchase tickets beforehand because they can sell out on the day of – especially on weekends and Japanese holidays. You can buy tickets online or at 7-11 (because 7-11’s in Japan rock). I purchased our tickets online and paid about 7400 yen for two adults and one kid (small kids are free). One thing to know is that these tickets are non-refundable and can only be used on the specific day you choose so make sure you are ready to commit! We opted for the train and went on Saturday after 4pm because the website said it would be less crowded then.
- Lines. Even if you have prepaid tickets, you may still have to wait in a few lines once you enter the museum to see different exhibits – so be prepared! You’ll also spend about 2-3 hours in the museum so make sure you eat beforehand.
- There’s no map. If you are wanting a layout of the museum to follow, you won’t find one. Just like in the title, the museum is literally borderless. It’s a giant building that’s kind of set-up like a dark maze with walls that you can walk through. <—- Yes, pay attention, because some of the walls lift up and take you to another room.
- It’s dark. Again, I just want to emphasize that the museum is pretty much dark and only lit up with the moving digital photography. I’m mentioning this for those of you with small children because this might cause some anxiety. If you have children that like to escape, you may want to invest in one of those leash things because this would be a stressful place to lose a child. The museum also has a policy that there has to be one adult for every two children – and this is for good reason.
- Make time for the Athletic Forest. The Athletic Forest is a cool spot for kids to let out some energy. There are designated areas for climbing, sliding, and trampoline jumping (although you only get one minute of jump time). My three-year-old spent most of the time in this one spot so I recommend to save some of your time for this area. Another thing to note: the floors here are slanted but you are not allowed to slide or jump on them. It’s a little misleading for kids, but there will be staff there to immediately stop you.
- It’s still a museum. As fun and interactive this museum looks, remember that it’s still an art museum so there are rules. In addition to the no floor-jumping/sliding, the LED lights are fun to look at but you can’t touch them (and by you, I mean your children). Also, the giant balloon/balls are not for playing with, but they make a great Instagram photo backdrop. 🙂
- Your art can come to life! One cool thing about this museum is that you can choose a pre-made drawing to color and then watch it come to life! A staff member will upload your picture and the drawing will then move across the floor and walls. My five-year-old loved this and it’s a cool way to be a part of the whole art experience!
- Appreciate your surroundings. There is so much to see in this museum so try not to get overwhelmed by it all. Take your time to enjoy the beauty and creativity of the whole experience! And of course, check out the lantern room (but be prepared for a bit of a wait).
Have fun. Enjoy the day. Hang on to your kids. 😉
What do you think? Would you like to visit a unique museum like this?
I’m off to a new adventure!