TeamLab Planets vs Borderless: Which One Wins and Why?

Imagine stepping into a world where art and technology merge to create an immersive sensory experience. This is what awaits you at TeamLab’s digital art museums in Tokyo. With so many attractions in the city, deciding which ones to include in your travel itinerary can be daunting. If you have limited time, one choice you might have to make is TeamLab Planets vs Borderless.

In 2023, TeamLab Planets was crowned the top Tokyo attraction for foreign visitors, with approximately 1 in 10 travellers to Japan making it a part of their trip. However, 2024 saw the grand reopening of TeamLab Borderless, now bigger and better than ever, reigniting the debate between these two iconic digital art museums.

Though TeamLab created both, these museums offer contrasting experiences. TeamLab Planets is themed around gardens and water, offering a highly interactive journey where visitors follow a linear route and walk barefoot through exhibits featuring real blooming orchids. 

In contrast, TeamLab Borderless is larger, with more projections and exhibits. It encourages exploration without a set route, signs, or maps, allowing visitors to wander and discover independently. It also doesn’t require walking through water or removing shoes.

This article will help you decide between TeamLab Planets and Borderless by exploring their backgrounds, similarities, and differences. I’ll compare their layouts, artworks, photo opportunities, locations, and value for money. I’ll also share my personal experience with both to give you a better perspective. Ultimately, I’ll explain which museum deserves the crown as the best TeamLab attraction in Tokyo.

While both are exceptional in their own right, if you only have time to visit one, this guide will help you choose the one that best suits your interests and needs.

Comparison of two TeamLab exhibitions: 'Planets' vs 'Borderless.' The left side shows 'Planets' with hanging plants and flowers, opened in July 2018 in Toyosu with a 4.6-star rating. The right side shows 'Borderless' with numerous hanging lights, opened in February 2024 in Azabudai, also with a 4.6-star rating. The text 'Japan Travel Planning' is at the top
Tale of the Tape: TeamLab Planets vs Borderless

TeamLab Planets vs Borderless – The Background

Before these two TeamLab exhibitions go head-to-head, you should know more about their famed history.

TeamLab Planets

TeamLab Planets opened in Odiaba in 2016 as a temporary exhibition before moving to Toyosu and opening on 7 July 2018 as a larger exhibition. Originally scheduled to end at the end of 2020, its popularity has caused it to be extended several times. Now, it has been extended until the end of 2027.

TeamLab Planets consists of four large artwork exhibits and two garden areas. It was created to be body-immersive. It welcomed over 1.25 million visitors from 106 countries and regions in its first year.

TeamLab Borderless

TeamLab Borderless opened in Odaiba, Tokyo, on 21 June 2018. It was built as an immersive digital art museum with artwork that moves to different rooms, creating ever-changing art. TeamLab Borderless was awarded the Guinness World Record for the most visited museum dedicated to a single group or artist. Between 1 January and 31 December 2019, Borderless welcomed 2,198,284 visitors.

In August 2022, TeamLab Borderless closed as they prepared to move to a bigger space in a more central location in Tokyo. Borderless reopened in Azabudai Hills on 9 February 2024. The new TeamLab Borderless features new exhibits and interactive experiences.

Entrance to TeamLab Borderless at the Mori Building Digital Art Museum in Tokyo. The image shows a hallway with large, floating text that creates an optical illusion. Three people are walking down the hallway, and signage on the right wall lists 'teamLab,' 'MORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM,' 'EPSON,' 'teamLab Borderless,' and 'TOKYO'.
The entrance to TeamLab Borderless features a floating logo optical illusion.

Similarities between TeamLab Planets and Borderless

You should be aware of a few similarities between TeamLab Planets and Borderless before the showdown begins.

  • Immersive and interactive digital art museums.
  • It features clever use of technology, including lighting, music, and projection mapping.
  • Suited for a wide range of people, from children to adults.
  • Highly popular with photographers and Instagrammers. 
  • The Infinite Crystal World and Infinite Crystal Universe exhibits are basically the same at both attractions.
Visitors inside the 'Infinite Crystal Universe' exhibit at TeamLab Borderless. The space is filled with hanging LED lights creating a dazzling, colorful environment. The floor reflects the lights and the silhouettes of people, enhancing the immersive experience.
The Infinite Crystal World and The Infinite Crystal Universe are very similar exhibits.

Concept and Sensory Impact

The difference between TeamLab Planets and Borderless starts with their concept and sensory impact. They showcase different ideas, and while both have a sensory impact, the effect is created differently. 

TeamLab Planets

TeamLab Planets is a digital art museum that combines art and projections with natural elements. It features the two main themes of water and garden. Planets is a body-immersive exhibition that requires visitors to walk through almost knee-deep water, climb through rooms with cushioned floors, and move giant inflatable spheres.

In ‘Drawing on the Water Surface,’ digital koi fish and flowers move and bloom around your feet as you walk through the water. In ‘Floating Flower Garden,’ 13,000 real orchids are suspended from the ceiling.

Close-up of white flowers in the TeamLab Planets exhibit, where real plants are used. The background features a reflection of more flowers and blurred visitors walking through the exhibit, creating an immersive natural environment
TeamLab Planets uses real plants in some of its exhibits.

TeamLab Borderless

Borderless is a visually stimulating open-concept digital art museum that features rooms of immersive art that constantly changes and interacts with the human touch. The art morphs and moves from room to room, so when you revisit previous exhibits, they can look completely different. An example of this is in the image slider below. 

The ‘Sketch Ocean’ exhibit is a digital aquarium featuring fish hand-drawn by visitors. These fish interact with people and will swim away if you try to touch them. ‘The Bubble Universe’ is a space filled with hundreds of bubble light spheres hanging from the ceiling. These bubbles are interactive and will light up as you approach them.

Verdict 

TeamLab Planets is the winner of Round OneWhile both of these museums feature immersive digital art, Planets has a more sensory impact. It requires you to get more physically involved, feel different textures, and smell real flowers.

Installation Design and Layout

TeamLab Planets and Borderless have unique layouts and installation designs, making them feel like very different experiences.

TeamLab Planets

TeamLab Planets has a linear route that guests must follow. You journey through the four rooms and seven installations in one direction. The directed path allows visitors to see the exhibits in the same order and not miss anything.

The installations across TeamLab Planets look vastly different from each other. It’s clear when you leave or enter a new room, as no two spaces look alike. 

TeamLab Borderless

Borderless is in a huge 10,000-metre space. There is no set route to follow, meaning you are free to go in any direction and explore any room you wish. The lack of a clear path creates a feeling of having no borders and self-discovery.

TeamLab Borderless is an accessible flat space spread across one huge floor. This attraction is about admiring a digital art world through exploration without hands-on activities. 

Visitors exploring a dark, maze-like exhibit at TeamLab Borderless. The walls and floors are covered in vibrant, colorful projections of abstract floral patterns, creating an immersive and surreal environment.
TeamLab Borderless feels like a maze that you have to explore yourself.

Verdict

This is a tough decision for round 2. Borderless is massive, and walking around is more relaxing as it’s completely flat. The omission of any signage or map can make it challenging to find specific rooms. 

Planets might be smaller, but it offers a more tactile experience. Also, the linear route ensures you see everything. This round goes to TeamLab Planets.

Planets is in the lead 2-0.

Artworks

Arguably, the most important aspect for visitors to TeamLab Planets and Borderless is the art. You will pleased to discover that they have a variety of artwork installations on display.

TeamLab Planets

Here’s an overview of the art at TeamLab Planets

Drawing on the Water Surface: A room filled with almost kneedeep water with interactive projections of koi and blooming flower projections that visitors have to walk through.

Infinite Crystal Universe: A mirrored room filled with pointillism lights to create an illusion that the space is infinite. Crystal Universe is a very popular spot for photographs and Instagrammers. 

Floating in The Falling Universe of Flowers: A room that allows you to lie down and relax. It’s like being in a large planetarium in a universe that’s full of flying digital flowers.

Expanding Three-Dimensional Existence in Transforming Space: This exhibit features giant freestanding spheres that change colour and react to the visitor’s touch. When the lights and balls change colour, the room size appears to multiply.

Floating Flower Garden: This space features thousands of real orchid flowers hanging from the ceiling, which constantly lower and rise. Mirrored floors, walls, and ceiling make the room look larger and multiply the effect of the flowers.

TeamLab Borderless

The Bubble Universe: This is a mirrored room filled with hundreds of hanging bubble light spheres. When visitors approach a bubble light, it will become brighter before spreading the light to other nearby bubbles.

Universe of Water Particles on a Rock where People Gather: This huge space appears like a room of water that moves and follows visitors’ footsteps. The centrepiece is a rock hill with a digital projection waterfall raining down on it.

Infinite Crystal World: This is a very similar exhibit to TeamLab Planets’ Infinite Crystal World. It’s a large mirrored room with thousands of crystal lights, creating an infinite space that is fun to explore and perfect for photographs.

Microcosmoses – Wobbling Light: This unique exhibit almost resembles standing in outer space. There are hundreds of ball lights travelling around the room on tracks. As the lights of the room change colour, the room looks like different galaxies. 

Sketch Ocean: – This space looks like you are stepping into a large bright blue aquarium. However, all of the fish that are swimming across the walls have been hand-drawn by visitors in a nearby room. The fish are also interactive to human touch.

Visitors at the Sketch Ocean exhibit in TeamLab Borderless. The room is illuminated with bright blue lights and features animated, hand-drawn fish and sea creatures projected on the walls and floor, creating an immersive aquarium-like environment.
Sketch Ocean is a bright aquarium full of hand-drawn fish.

Verdict

This is another tough round in the TeamLabs Borderless vs Planets battle. Both have some equally impressive and memorable rooms. Although Planets has more variety in its artwork, it’s hard to compete against the size of Borderless. 

This round has to go to TeamLab Borderless because there are more rooms to explore and the art freely flows between rooms.

That now brings the score to 2-1, with TeamLab Planets having a slight lead before round four begins.

Photography and Social Media Appeal

Their photo opportunities are a major selling point for visiting TeamLab Planets or Borderless. Thousands of accounts on social media share stunning photographs and videos captured at these digital art museums.

TeamLab Planets

The best exhibits for photographing Planets are The Flower Garden, The Infinite Crystal Universe, and The Expanding Three-Dimensional Existence in Transforming Space. 

The Flower Garden is hugely popular on Instagram. The good lighting, mirrors, and real hanging flowers make it an excellent backdrop for posed photographs.

The Infinite Crystal Universe is the best-lit room, and if you time your photo right, it looks like you are standing in the middle of the universe surrounded by thousands of crystal lights.

The Expanding Three-Dimensional Existence in Transforming Space is the most fun to photograph. It has great lighting, and the giant ball spheres can be moved around to help you get creative for that Instagram moment.

TeamLab Borderless

The best exhibits for photos at Borderless were The Bubble Universe, The Crystal World, and The Universe of Water Particles on a Rock where People Gather.

The Bubble Universe is a great area to add depth to photos. The hundreds of bubble lights are excellent in the background and foreground of your pictures. The lights also change colour, which gives your photos a completely different vibe.

The Universe of Water Particles on a Rock where People Gather is very popular with Instagrammers. They have a rock you can walk up and pose in front of the digital waterfall.

The Crystal World is practically the same exhibit as The Infinite Crystal Universe at TeamLab Planets. It’s a great room to capture photographs with your subject being well-lit in front of a stunning backdrop.

Verdict

Round 4 is another close battle as both offer similar opportunities for photos. The Crystal World and Universe are both the easiest rooms to take pics. However, The Flower Garden adds real nature to your photographs, and The Expanding Three-Dimensional Existence in Transforming Space has giant spheres you can position for your poses. 

These reasons make TeamLab Planets the narrow winner of an important fourth round.

TeamLab Planets now breaks away with a 3-1 lead.

The author standing barefoot on a mirrored floor in TeamLab Planets, surrounded by large, glowing green spheres. The reflection on the floor creates a striking visual effect, enhancing the immersive experience.
The mirrored floors and giant spheres in TeamLab Planets make for great photos.

Amenities and Attractions

The artwork is one of the main deciding factors in TeamLab Planets vs. Borderless. But what else do these top attractions offer? 

TeamLab Planets

Vegan Ramen UZU is an award-winning ramen restaurant from Kyoto, now available at TeamLab Planets. The broth is made from vegetables, shiitake mushrooms, and kelp. All of their ramen noodles use wheat flour from Hokkaido. The restaurant space also features ever-changing projection art that moves and rotates across the ceiling, floor, and tables.

The Flowers Shop is a gift shop at TeamLab Planets, but not in the traditional sense. This store sells real orchids that have bloomed as part of the exhibits. They have other flower-related items for sale, including a flower-growing bag with the TeamLabs name emblazoned across it.

TeamLab Borderless

Inside Borderless, visitors can find the En Tea House. There are a variety of teas for sale, including barley tea, rice milk latte, and green tea chamomile. They also have frozen green tea and coconut gelato. Digital flower projections inside your cup bloom as you drink it. The flowers react to your touch when you lift the cup.

At the exhibit Sketch Ocean, visitors can draw their own fish designs, which will become part of the digital aquarium art. If you head to the Sketch Factory, your drawing can be printed on various TeamLab products, including tote bags and t-shirts. These can be edited and combined with other drawings to create a one-off souvenir.

Verdict

This is an interesting round, as neither TeamLab Planets nor Borderless has a traditional cafe or restaurant or what you could refer to as a real gift shop. 

Both Vegan Ramen UZU and En Tea House offer an art experience with their food and drink. But the Sketch Factory is better for shopping than The Flowers Shop as it offers a broader variety of products, and international visitors would struggle to take home flowers. 

This round has to go to TeamLab Borderless.

The current standing is TeamLab Planets 3 – TeamLab Borderless 2.

A white TeamLab t-shirt featuring a design with a school of small fish forming the shape of a larger fish, which is prominently displayed in blue with a red eye. The t-shirt is part of a display showcasing custom prints, with a price tag of ¥3,000 for kids' sizes
TeamLab Borderless can print your fish drawing onto TeamLab t-shirts.

Location and Accessibility 

Both TeamLab Planets and Borderless are located in Tokyo. But with Tokyo being one of the largest cities in the world, where exactly are they located? And which is easier to get to?

TeamLab Planets

TeamLab Planets is located in the Toyosu area of Tokyo. Toyosu is a man-made island in the special ward of Kōtō, Tokyo, near Odaiba and the Sumida River.

TeamLab Planets Address: TeamLab Planets Tokyo, Toyosu, 6-1-16, Kotu-ku, Tokyo.

The quickest and easiest way to reach TeamLab Planets is by train. The closest station is Shin-Toyosu Station, which is a one-minute walk from the north exit. The Yurikamome Line services this station.

Shijoumae Station is another station on the Yurikamome Line. From here, it is an eight-minute walk to TeamLab Planets.

From Toyosu Station Exit 7, it is a 14-minute walk. This station is on the Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line.

There are some nearby attractions in the Toyosu area to pair up with TeamLab Planets. Urban Dock LaLaport is a large shopping mall with around 180 shops, restaurants, and entertainment facilities.

The Tokyo Gas Science Museum is a 6-minute walk from Planets and is free to enter. The famous Toyosu Fish Market is also in the area and is one of the largest fish markets in the world.

TeamLab Borderless

TeamLabs Borderless is located in the Azabudai district of Minato Tokyo. Borderless is part of the new Azabudai Hills complex, which opened in November 2023. Azabudai is near the popular entertainment district of Roppongi.

TeamLab Borderless Address: Azabudai Hills Garden Plaza B B1, 1-2-4 Azabudai, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Azabudai is in central Tokyo, and there are multiple options for getting there by train.

The Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line services Kamaiyacho Station and it has a direct connection to Azabudai Hills from Exit 5. 

If you travel from Shinjuku Station, ride the Yamanote Line for nine minutes to Ebisu Station. Then switch to the Hibiya Line and ride for another nine minutes to Kamiyacho Station.

Another nearby station is Roppongi-Itchome Station, which is on the Tokyo Metro Namboku Line and is a four-minute walk from Exit 2.

The Azabudai Hills Complex offers many other things for visitors to see and do. It includes a range of upmarket shops, restaurants, museums, and art galleries. The Manga Art Heritage Gallery is perfect for anime and manga fans. It displays artwork from many leading series, including One Piece and Bleach. 

The Tokyo Tower is only a ten-minute from Azabudai Hills. This is one of the most popular and visually stunning buildings in Tokyo. You can spot it in the backdrop from many vantage points of the Azabudai Hills garden areas. Tokyo Tower makes a great attraction to pair with TeamLab Borderless.

Evening view of the Azabudai Hills complex, featuring modern, architecturally distinct buildings with glass facades. The tall Azabudai Hills sign is illuminated in the foreground, with a high-rise building towering above. Pedestrians are visible walking and standing around the area.
TeamLab Borderless is located in the new Azabudai Hills complex.

Verdict

TeamLab Planets and Borderless are both in great locations, with plenty of other things to see and do. However, this round has to go to TeamLab Borderless as it’s in a very central location in Tokyo and easily accessible from many different areas.

The TeamLab Planets Vs Borderless battle is dead even as Borderless scores another important point. The score is now 3 each. 

Value for Money

With scores tied, the winner will be decided in the final round. So, let’s discover which TeamLab attraction gives customers the best value for money.

TeamLab Planets

TeamLab Planets have set prices during weekdays with an increase on weekends and holidays.

Monday to Friday

  • Adults (18 Years and above): 3,800 Yen
  • Youth (Age 13 – 17): 2,800 Yen
  • Children (Ages 4-12): 1,500 Yen
  • Under 3 years of age: Free
  • Disability discount: 1,900 Yen

Weekends, Holidays, and Special Periods

  • Adults (18 years and above): 4,200 Yen
  • Youth (ages 13-17): 2,800 Yen
  • Children (ages 4-12): 1,500 Yen
  • Children (ages 3 and under): Free
  • Disability discount: 2,100 Yen

On my visit to TeamLab Planets, I spent around 2.5 hours exploring the exhibit. The majority of visitors spend between 1.5 and 2.5 hours there, but there is no time limit inside. 

TeamLab Borderless

Adult tickets for TeamLab Borderless can vary in price. They are cheaper if you buy them in advance, and they are more expensive on holidays and weekends. 

  • Adult (18 years and above): Prices vary between 4,000 yen and 4,600 Yen
  • Youth (ages 13-17): 2,800 Yen
  • Children (ages 4-12): 1,500 Yen
  • Children (ages 3 and under): Free
  • Disability discount = 2,000 Yen

There is no time limit inside TeamLab Borderless. Most visitors take around 3 hours to explore it completely; however, some people stay longer to see the exhibits as the art changes.

Verdict

This is another very close round for TeamLab Planets vs Borderless. Planets is marginally cheaper for adults if you visit on a weekday, but youths and children are the same price. In contrast, Borderless is a larger attraction and you can spend longer there as on a second visit to an exhibit, it can look completely different.

Planets are slightly cheaper. But people, on average, spend more time at Borderless. So, round 7 is a draw.

The battle concludes with the score: Planets 4 – Borderless 4.

Pros and Cons

Now that the battle is over. I will touch on some pros and cons of both attractions, which might help you make your decision.

TeamLab Planets

Pros:

  • It’s not too crowded, and it’s easier to take photos.
  • Better for children and families as it’s more hands-on.

Cons:

  • Not in central Tokyo.
  • Some of the rooms are not accessible. 

TeamLab Borderless

Pros:

  • A huge space with constantly changing art.
  • In a great location in central Tokyo.

Cons:

  • It can be confusing as there’s no route, signs, or map to follow.
  • Often very crowded and can sell out far in advance.

Verdict

Overall, choosing between TeamLab Planets and Borderless can be tough. Art is subjective. You should consider your needs and tastes and weigh up the pros and cons before deciding which TeamLab art museum to visit. 

If I had to choose one, I would personally go for TeamLab Planets. Planets offers a bit more with its concept, artwork, and layout. The rooms change and have you walking in water to walking on cushions. They have real plants, but also mirrored floors with giant soft spheres. It feels like Planets has more variety. Also, having a set route to follow offers a more relaxing experience as you don’t feel like you are skipping anything.

People often ask if they should go to both on the same trip. I don’t think this is the best option. Instead, spend your time doing a completely different popular Tokyo attraction. But, if you come back for a second trip to Japan, why not try the other one?

TeamLab Planets Tickets
  • Immerse yourself in art that's fused with technology and nature.
  • Engage and interact with the stunning art experiences.
  • Wander barefoot through the art exhibits, relax and take stunning photos.
TeamLab Borderless
  • Discover the reborn TeamLab Borderless, now in Azubadai Hills. Guinness World Record Holder for the most visited museum (single art group).
  • Explore a world of immersive digital art.
  • Book through Klook or directly through Borderless.
  • Also, check out the Klook Greater Tokyo Pass for discounts and more morning timeslots.
Pinterest graphic comparing TeamLab Planets and TeamLab Borderless. The top text reads 'TeamLab Planets vs Borderless: Which One Wins and Why?' Below are side-by-side photos: Planets on the left with hanging plants, and Borderless on the right with illuminated orbs. The bottom text reads 'JapanTravelPlanning.com.'
TeamLab Planets vs Borderless – Pinterest Image

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