Come on, even you exquisitely jaded experience junkies want to do this, admit it!
I’ve been to TeamLab’s “Planets” exhibition before, but this week I jumped into the newest version and it did not disappoint. The offerings were generally the same, but they’ve been freshened up so that the experience was just as much fun the second time around.
Here’s what it felt like to be wading around among the fish & flowers:
And before you move on to the next part of the attraction, don’t miss the small side room featuring this lovely piece of slowly spinning, morphing art, staged with utmost simplicity above a serene reflecting pool.
I have to warn you that the only disappointing part of “Planets” remains the first room you come to, which is an inexplicably treacherous memory foam hell that must be crossed as quickly as humanly possible on the way to the divine crystal LED maze. Fortunately, the maze is so dazzling, it almost makes you forget that you had to flail through brown pleather quicksand to get there.
Here’s a taste of what it feels like to be in the crystal maze:
The last part of the attraction is unchanged, but still meditatively entertaining.
Note: Enjoying this exhibition is a little challenging, because you have to experience it barefoot. Before you go in, you have to put shoes & socks and all your belongings in a (free) locker for the duration. You’ll get wet up to your knees (even if you’re an adult) so wear pants/skirt that can be rolled/hitched up and not drag in the water. They do rent shorts for the unprepared and there are changing rooms, but it’s easier if you just wear clothes that work. All visitors are loaned clear cellphone cases with neck lanyards so you don’t drop your phone in the water while taking pix.
Also, if you’re like me, and are deathly suspicious of vast pools of warm water that have been waded in by god knows how many unwashed members of the general public, don’t be. It’s Japan! The water in the fish & flowers room is not only comfortably warm, it’s absolutely, spectacularly clean, and devoid of the nasty hairballs and dead bandaids that always seem to plague American water parks.
Admission: Adults: ¥3,200; Ages 13-17: ¥2,400; Ages 4-12: ¥800; Ages 65+: ¥2,400; Disability discount: ¥1,600
Exhibition dates: July 7, 2018 – December 31, 2018 (It has been extended at least until the end of the year. Check website for details.)
Hours: Weekdays: 10:00 – 23:00 (last entrance at 22:00); Sundays, Saturdays, and National Holidays: 9:00 – 23:00 (last entrance at 22:00)
It’s right next to the Shin-Toyosu Yurikamome monorail station at: Toyosu 6-1-16, Koto-ku, Tokyo
More info and advance tickets can be had on the Teamlab “Planets” website
The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon
“A fascinating mix of history and mystery.” —Booklist
Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!