Explore nighttime illuminations amidst a stunning naturescape at teamLab’s Botanical Garden.
Escape the city for a different take on “night life” at teamLab’s Botanical Garden exhibit in Nagai Botanical Gardens
The bright lights of Shinsaibashi and Shinsekai are often the first things that come to mind when picturing nightlife in Osaka.
But a new exhibit from the international art collective, teamLab, is taking the light show out of the hustle and bustle of the city streets and into a more natural setting.
The teamLab Botanical Garden is an interactive outdoor art experience housed within the 240,000m/sq Nagai Botanical Garden, located about 15 minutes south of Namba on the Midosuji subway line.
Nestled among the forests and fields of the botanical garden are a variety of illuminated exhibits, ranging in size and scope from subtle illuminations embedded in the grass to completely awe-inspiring radiant pillars that dance in the wind and reach into the sky.
The Pillars that Dance with the Wind installation at teamLab Botanical Garden
Where to get Tickets
As this is a popular event with both tourists and locals alike, purchasing tickets in advance is highly recommended. I purchased my tickets from GetYourGuide.com which sent the tickets straight to my smartphone. Upon arrival, simply show the QR codes at the entrance to enter the garden.
Scan the QR codes on your smartphone at the admission gate to enter. Buying tickets in advance is recommended for this popular attraction
Inside the teamLab Botanical Gardens
Once you enter the grounds, it feels like being transported to a world miles away from Osaka. Deep, meditative music fills the air as you walk through the wide pathway flanked by towering bald cypress trees. While subtle at first, you’ll begin to notice that the lights illuminating the trees will rise and fall in brightness depending on your proximity to them. This is your first hint that this is more than just a walk in the garden—YOU are a part of the exhibit!
Enter a different world, surrounded by trees, lights and soothing music
Like the existence of such a large, natural space within a sprawling metropolis like Osaka, the teamLab Botanical Garden exhibit explores the boundaries (or lack thereof) between life, the environment, and the built landscape around it. The result is an art installation that both welcomes and rewards interaction. You won’t find any velvet ropes or “do not touch” signs here, but instead are encouraged to see how your interactions within this unique “ecosystem” will influence your surroundings.
Rounding a corner, you’ll see the The Sculptures of Dissipative Birds in the Wind installation standing tall on the edge of the lake, looking not unlike Van Gogh’s Starry Night come to life here in Japan. The flowing swirls of color react to the flight paths of any passing birds, further adding to the layers of interactivity throughout the gardens.
The Sculptures of Dissipative Birds in the Wind exhibit interacts with flying birds, and looks like Starry Night come to life in Japan
Continue along the pathway through the trees and the sights will continue to change with the landscape. Small, waist-high glowing eggs fill the forest around the camelia garden, which foreshadows the absolutely overwhelming mass of 10ft tall orbs in the eucalyptus garden. Getting lost amongst these luminous ovoids is a highlight for visitors young and old, and sure to put a smile on your face.
You’ll find even more surprises as you continue along the circular route through the gardens. Take the time to soak in the installations that speak the most to you, and don’t forget your camera to capture these stunning visuals for your Instagram feed.
Luminous ovoids in teamLab’s Botanical Garden exhibit in Nagai Botanical Gardens
Visiting with Children
The teamLab Botanical Garden is a great experience to share with children. Given its location in a large, outdoor space as well the attitude towards encouraged interaction, little ones will have an absolute blast running through the trees and getting lost among the illuminations (some of which must seem absolutely massive from a child’s perspective). If your kids have felt stifled at all during a day spent visiting quiet temples, then the teamLab Botanical Garden will be the perfect outlet for busy bodies to get their wiggles out.
teamLab’s Botanical Garden is kid friendly, the perfect spot for little ones to explore and burn off energy
When to Visit
Doors to the teamLab Botanical Garden open after sundown, the timing of which changes throughout the year. Be sure to view the official website for the current schedule as well as any upcoming closed days due to maintenance. Weekdays are typically less busy than weekends, and the exhibit may be closed temporarily during inclement weather, so plan accordingly.
The gates to the teamLab Botanical Garden open after the sun goes down
How to Get There:
The teamLab Botanical Garden is located in the Nagai Botanical Garden. It can be reached via the Nagai Station on the Midosuji subway line, JR Nagai Station on the JR Hanwa line, or Harinakano Station on the Kintetsu Minami-Osaka line.
Nagai Botanical Garden, 1-23 Nagaikoen, Higashisumiyoshi-ku, Osaka
2023.11.01 (Wed)-2024.01.31 (Wed): 18:00-21:30
2024.02.01 (Thu)-2024.02.18 (Sun): 18:15-21:30
2024.02.19 (Mon)-2024.03.10 (Sun): 18:30-21:30
2024.03.11 (Mon)-2024.03.31 (Sun): 18:45-21:30
2024.04.01 (Mon)-2024.04.21 (Sun): 19:00-21:30
2024.04.22 (Mon)-2024.05.07 (Mon): 19:15-21:30
2024.05.08 (Tue)-2024.05.31 (Fri): 19:30-21:30
2024.06.01 (Sat)-2024.07.31 (Wed): 19:45-21:30
2024.08.01 (Thu)-2024.08.16 (Fri): 19:30-21:30
2024.08.17 (Sat)-2024.08.31 (Sat): 19:15-21:30
2024.09.01 (Sun)-2024.09.13 (Fri): 19:00-21:30
2024.09.14 (Sat)-2024.10.31 (Thu): 18:30-21:30
2024.11.01 (Fri)-2024.12.31 (Fri): 18:00-21:30
Subway: 10-minute walk from Nagai Station on the Osaka Metro Midosuji Line. Take exit 3 and walk east through Nagai park to access the admission gates.
JR Railway: 12-minute walk from Nagai Station on the JR Hanwa Line. Take the East Exit and walk east through Nagai park to access the admission gates.
Kintetsu Railway: 15-minute walk from Harinakano Station on the Kintetsu Minami-Osaka line. Take the West Exit and walk through Nagai park to access the admission gates.
Mike Rogers is a content creator who has lived on-and-off in Osaka for over 13 years. When not in Osaka, he’s travelling the world with his worldschooling family of four or building up his small homestead on Canada’s west coast. His adventures and exploits are documented on his website, Slowsteading.
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