teamLab: Borderless OR Planets?

Sometimes, when I see people online asking whether to go to teamLab Borderless or Planets in Tokyo, I feel like replying:



via GIPHY

To me, it feels like asking "shall we have Japanese or Chinese tonight?" Like, you can have white rice with agedashi tofu, or white rice with mapo tofu, and it's still... rice with tofu.

Without a doubt, I knew that I wanted to go to both digital interactive art museums by the same group during my trip to Japan last month. They were both digital interactive art museums, but there were enough slight differences that made both worth visiting each.

Now, if I had to choose ONLY one to visit, though... I'd probably choose this one.



There are two reasons why I'd choose to visit teamLab Planets over teamLab Borderless:

1) This is a temporary installation while teamLab Borderless is a permanent one, and
2) Planets is much more Instagram-friendly than the other, if that's your thing (it's my thing).

Planets had less art installations compared to Borders. Additionally, there were a couple of art installations in Planets that were the same as those in Borderless.

If you wanted more things to look at and discover, I would recommend Borderless.

However, if you wanted more space to appreciate the things, Planets would be best for that. Planets' best feature was that each art installation occupied more SPACE, so everybody could have their own little corner to appreciate art without being jostled or blocked by other people.

This picture was taken in Planets:


This picture was taken in Borderless:



It was the same art installation, but experiencing it in Planets and experiencing it in Borderless gave me two completely different feelings - as the expression on my face in both pictures might indicate.

The one in Planets was larger in size, and it was possible to take a picture without having people in the background easily.

With the picture I took in Borderless, I had to wait until a bunch of people from before were also done with taking their own pictures while facing the mirror. I also had to stand pretty close to the wall mirror to ensure that no one else appeared in my picture.

The fact that the art installation in Planets was just BIGGER in size already gave it so much plus points. It was also nice to just stand still and watch the colours change without having anyone block the periphery of my vision while enjoying it.

I am not a people person.

I also liked Planets' feature art installation much more than I liked Borderless' most famous art installation.


Planets' feature art installation is a large pool of calf-high water, where digital art fishes swam about right by you and changed shapes into rainbow-coloured streaks to the sound of pretty chill music.

I loved this space so much - keyword, SPACE.

Sure, there were quite a few people here, but it didn't ever feel crowded. I didn't feel that I would be rushed out of the place without having time to enjoy it, either, unlike my time in the most famous room at Borderless.



I literally waited HALF AN HOUR for this room, waited for everyone to move along to another part of the room for 30 seconds, quickly snapped this picture while there was still a Borderless staff behind me, and then...

I was rushed out.

Like, I spent about a minute in that room.

There's no appreciating this room of pretty lights. It was literally just, come in, get your Instagram snap, GET OUT.

There were a lot of cool bits to look at in Borderless, but this room was not it at all.

What I DID like in Borderless were the constantly changing art installations in the "outside" rooms, and the moving artworks that were super pretty to look at.



The floral rooms were soothing to wander around in and look at, crowd and noise notwithstanding. If you're not a fan of kids running around screaming, PLANETS IS FOR YOU.

One of my favourite parts in Borderless was the EN TEA HOUSE. To enter, you had to pay about 500 yen for a cup of tea, and this pretty much deterred a lot of people.

Except me.

It was a quiet oasis where I could just sit down for half an hour and enjoy PRETTY ARTWORK IN MY TEA.




Um, yes please?

In this gorgeous tea house, as soon as the tea is placed on top of the table, digital artwork will start appearing on the top froth of your tea. You can watch flowers grow, THEN when you remove the cup to drink, the flowers will wilt and "fly" away from where your tea was placed.

I loved it - it was probably MY favourite place of Borderless to be in. The second would be just idly wandering around following moving artworks, and the third to be the Athletic Forest portion.

I spent around 3 hours in Borderless, and slightly over an hour in Planets. There is much more to look at in Borderless if you want to get the most out of all your money. If you're going for actually appreciating digital artworks without being bothered by others (and of course, for the Instagram-worthy shots), Planets would be a better choice.

In the end, I still liked both teamLab museums - I might even go back to Borderless again on a weekday to see what it's like without that many crowds (I went in at 4PM on Sunday, and it was... bad). Borderless's only problem was crowd control, which caused some long lines, but the insides were still pretty cool.

In both teamLab exhibitions, I did feel that teamLab has done a super great job at revolutionizing the whole 'museum' experience that most people think are stuffy or nerdy (I still love traditional museums, though!). If it brings people to appreciate art more, I'm all for it - so whether Borderless or Planets, seriously. JUST GO.

Can I go to another (SPACIOUS) teamLab exhibition again NOW, please? 

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