Japan 2019 – Day 5

(This post is part of a series, you can start here or the view the previous post. You can also checkout the Google Photos album, which has all the pictures I took, as well as those of Mikel and Jesse.)

We started our day with a one hour train ride to teamLab Borderless Digital Art Museum, something Jesse found online. He said he read it was one of / the “most Instagramable” places in the world. No way it’ll be super crowded, right? Right.

It was rainy and cold, but at least not windy. I certainly could have brought better clothes (warmer jacket, footwear that tolerates water at all). I was happy to have my umbrella, though our Airbnb provided enough for each of us; mine collapsed more nicely than theirs, fitting in my backpack. It’s also worth noting Jesse complained occasionally about his sore calves, likely a consequence of his run yesterday due to a forgotten train card.

When we exited the train I saw this awesome sign:

I looove weird translations (because language is fun, not because I think they’re “dumb” or anything; language is hard)

Anyway, when we got there, a little bit after opening, there was a huge line. In the rain. Here is some of it:

It went behind us about half as long as this, wrapped around the street to the left of the part far off in the distance about another half as long, and once you got inside there was still more line

We stood in it for a bit and then realized we were in the line for ticket holders, not for us non-ticket holders. Whoops. So we left the line and got tickets, which fortunately had no line (it’s worth noting for anyone going later, we could have stayed in the line and bought tickets on our phone). When we got back in line it was longer. Lovely. In retrospect, we ought to have arrived before opening.

We have gotten lucky for nearly all of this trip, given we have planned no more than the morning ahead for the most part (if even that!). This is the flip side of that though. It sucked pretty bad. Honestly it would only have taken a few more minutes research for us to have at least known what we were getting into, so we deserved what we got. It wasn’t all bad though, checkout this sign:

Comedic relief

I should also note at this point not only did we not plan or think ahead, we got in line at 10am without having eaten anything. To enter a museum with no food inside. When we “planned” to spend ~4 hours inside…

Next, things were awesome. The morning was rough but the digital art museum was great. I should say though none of the pictures do justice to the experience. Here was the first thing we saw:

There are some awesome videos here, here and here.

That was the first “exhibit” but the hallways in between them were still filled with art:

Moose composed of flowers; video here

They were projections, as you can see here:

I was blind for this picture

The next exhibit was a room full of hung LEDs strings:

Mikel was pleased.

As I said, the pictures / videos really don’t do it justice, so I’m omitting most of them here, but I thought this video somewhat conveys how amazing it was; just imagine being totally immersed in it. There were a lot of different patterns as well:

Rainbows are pretty

Here’s a rain pattern. And here’s another cool one. We spent a good while at that exhibit and Mikel got a little emotional (they guy just loves LEDs) but we still have plenty of museum left at this point!

For the next room, unfortunately many of my pictures came out blurry but this video came out well. The next hallway was great though:

Here’s a video of the area

Here’s me embedded in the hallway exhibit:

Also blind

Here are a few random, smaller exhibits:

I should have taken a video of it
This reminded us of Arrival
Just pretty

Here was an exhibit we didn’t choose to participate in (Jesse couldn’t, with his calves) but looked awesome. Here’s Mikel and Jesse playing with a balloon. This picture of Jesse came out well:

Unfortunately when I tried to get a similar one, I was told we were to remain standing in this area

At least I got this:

We used Nightsight heavily, and a side-effect of it is that it takes in part of the picture at a time; the balls were always the same color, not like in the picture.

You saw me and Jesse, now here’s Mikel:

What a happy guy

And here’s the three of us:

Mikel has a good selfie arm

We took a few selfies, since you never know how they’re going to turn out, and the one above was my favorite because of the colors. That said, Jesse liked this one more. While I’m at it, here was our third.

Here were the silly ones:

Little does Mikel know…
Oh, nevermind

Here is an awesome whale:

Here is a video of this awesome whale

The next exhibit we saw was one where crayon drawings from visitors were scanned into the system and then projected on the wall:

Video here

The hallway projections changed over time, and that moose became other things:

I forget what was in front of the lion
Kangaroo! It was running away, I barely got this pic.
They were mostly hopping forward, I was happy to nail this view
Lazy guy
Love the colors on this one

For the last exhibit, we had a had time finding it but we eventually made it to the Forest of Resonating Lamps:

This is the view from outside, through a one-way mirror; video here
All that was before we even got into the room!

And here are Jesse and Mikel the moment we walked in:

Freaking awesome

I thought this picture of me turned out pretty well:

Fake candid

While we were there, a couple other tourists asked us to get a picture of them and then they returned the favor:

This selfie of Mikel is too funny to not share:

Can’t believe he made this face on purpose

Overall we got a lot of good pictures of this exhibit, you can check them all out in the Google Photos album.

The worst part of this museum, and it wasn’t really that bad, was the Floating Nest. We stood in a really long line since we wanted to see everything but that exhibit just turned out to be a net that you lay down in and watch the same stuff as outside. Not worth the wait, if you ask me (this basically delayed us eating).

Couple other notable things on our way out. I loved this phoenix, and the flower animals were more interesting, such as a lion chasing another animal. Unfortunately I was not able to get a video of that.

We were all a little hangry at this point, it being around 2:30pm (although we were being mindful of it), so we went to the first place we saw – Wendy’s. We liked this very useful display:

No more “was that our number?”

The plan was to get sushi after Wendy’s, with that being a snack rather than a lunch, so we just got floats/yogurt and shared a large fry. We sat across from a couple who looked like they were traveling, and Jesse got a conversation started with them. Their names were Serena and Kanal (not sure of the spelling).

They ended up being really cool and they shared “burnt butter” flavored fries with us. Jesse loved those fries. I was on the other side of the spectrum. They also recommended we checkout a sister museum to the one we just left, Planets, and a Michelin-recommended ramen place, Ginza – KAGARI. Serena had the great idea of getting a selfie before they left:

Serena is a good selfie taker

After they left, we bought tickets to Planets on my phone and then took the train over. We felt full enough we ended up skipping the sushi lunch. When they told us about Planets, they mentioned you’re barefoot the whole time and that it’s a more tactile experience rather than being purely visual (there was audio as well, but nothing particularly impressive). I was excited.

So we got there and put our shoes in a locker. The first part of the museum is an incline with very shallow water running down it. Unfortunately it turned out blurry but here’s what was at the top of the incline:

I was more careful about blurry pictures later

They had us towel off and then we were onto the next part. It was basically a room where the floor was a bean bag. It was awesome. We relaxed here for a while:

They look so comfy
I don’t like how I turned out but hey

Following the bean bag room was the LED exhibit all over again:

Happy guy

I don’t think this was the case at the first place, but here the floor was a mirror:

Plus more video here and here.

More pretty:

The ceiling is a mirror

The next room was another water one, but this time nearly up to your knee. It was dark, so the photos didn’t turn out great, but this video shows what was going on pretty well. The room after was glowy and bouncy balls again, though it was big enough that we played some tag. The room after that had projections on the ceiling similar to the previous place. Pictures were tough but I thought this video and this video were good.

So we wrapped up there and headed to the ramen place Serena and Kanal had recommended (second day without sushi ugh but ok). After a short wait, we were inside, and taking pictures of our food:

My dinner
Jesse’s – prettier – dinner

Shortly after we started eating, guess who showed up?! Serena and Kanal!

I wish we had made sure Serena was in the second picture

They sat next to us and we had more laughs. I should mention here that we did not originally get that first selfie from Serena, which I regretted so much, but we got these two pictures after our second run-in. Good times!

Our way back to the place had some good sights as well:

I thought this screen on the train was interesting:

“Passenger rescue”

By the time we got back to the place, I was beat. Even though it would mean I was two blog posts behind, I just showered, flossed, brushed and went to bed. Tomorrow the plan is Tsukiji fish market!

Fitbit step count for the day: 13,225

Next: Day 6

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