teamLab Borderless

Last year we had an amazing experience at the teamLab Planets exhibition in Odaiba. TeamLab is a audiovisual art collective that produce amazing interactive and light displays. When we discovered they had another major exhibition called Borderless in Tokyo we definitely wanted to go. Borderless is a maze of rooms connected by projected displays that flow through them with subtle stories and seasons. There are flowers, fish, waves and a parade of animals and people. Rooms have different features. There’s the amazing hanging LED strips with mirrored ceilings and floors from Planets that give you an incredible sense of the infinite above and below.

In another room that is a feeling of vertigo as projects spin around a sloping floor and walls. The seasons are projected on the a terrace of plates, making you feel like you are standing in the countryside. Children’s drawings of fish react to your touch. Peacocks and tigers dissolve into flowers. A room of suspended glass globes, their interiors lit by lights, reflect off a mirrored floor making your feel like you are suspended in the universe.

Characters projected on to mist, ghosts you can walk through. An incredible light tunnel as if you were staring into a captured star. And more.

There are no water rooms at Borderless, unlike Planets, and I think we slightly preferred the latter because of that, but Borderless is still an incredible experience worth spending a lot of time inside, absorbing the magic.

This is our last day in Tokyo. I have enjoyed it more than usual, spending more time on experiences instead of shopping.

Back to Akihabara on the Hibiya subway line, we buy some last cream treats, then collect our luggage and head to Tokyo station. Buy ekiben, then board our Tokaido Shinkansen for Shin-Osaka, then Fukuyama.

After hours of standing and walking, it is nice to relax on the comfortable Shinkansen seats. Though the route is familiar, there is still much to see and the pale light is that special Japan late afternoon. Even Mount Fuji makes an appearance, out the other side of the train unfortunately.

Our Shinkansen terminates at Shin-Osaka. When we change to our Sakura service platform towards Fukuyama we get a surprise.

A 500 Series Shinkansen on the Kodama service is waiting at the platform. Only six remain and all but the last two are slated to be retired by the end of 2026. Their pointed noses and curved sides are unique amongst the Shinkansen family.

I have an n-scale model of a set

So far as I remember, I have only caught a 500 Series once in my life and Alex never has. So we jump on board and find the unreserved section.

The curved sides make the window seats less comfortable than their more recent cousins and the purple and grey interior is definitely showing its age. It’ll take us half an hour longer than we were ticketed for, but it’s an experience!

I already like Fukuyama. There’s a fantastic view of the castle from the hotel, some interesting shops and restaurants by the station (though we had chain eatery Coco Ichiban for dinner) and the vending machines stock Grapefruit Gokuri.

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