On August 1st 2020 TeamLab opened a permanent digitized nature solo exhibition called Resonating Light in the Acorn Forest. It is in the Musashino Woods of Higashi Tokorozawa Park. The Higashi Tokorozawa park is located next to the much anticipated Shin Tokorozawa Sakura Town. Sakura Town has several attractions including a library and manga museum, and a “Cool Japan” modern shrine. The Musashino Woods has a small cafe too. The outdoor seating overlooks the Teamlab installations. Please note that from the end of September 2023, the attraction will only open on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.
This is not Saitama’s first partnership with Team Lab. In fact, Saitama Prefecture was the very first place in the whole world to get a permanent indoor TeamLab. In the play area in the Teamlab Islands in Lalaport in Fujimi. Unfortunately, that branch closed down during and due to the pandemic. Saitama also hosted a TeamLab collaborative illumination event at the Metsa Village (Moominvalley Park) in Hanno which was extremely popular.
—This post first appeared on the events section of insaitama.com to disseminate information about the opening of Acorn Forest. It has been adapted for the main section of the blog.—
The art installation is in the Musashino Woods Park within the larger Higashi Tokorozawa park. The rest of the park is free to use. It has a children’s playground in it, right beside the Teamlab exhibition. The exhibition is the Acorn Forest or its full name “teamlab: Resonating Life in the Acorn Forest“. It uses Teamlab’s trademark fluorescent color changing shapes, ovoid, on the forest floor to create art in nature. From the website:
“The Kadokawa Culture Museum calls the collection of oaks and other deciduous broadleaf trees of Musashino the Musashino Woods. These Musashino Woods transition through the greens of spring and summer, display beautiful autumnal leaves from fall until early winter, and are home to ripe acorns in autumn.
Deciduous broadleaf forests were widespread in Japan during the Jomon Period. These forests were home to acorn-bearing trees, and acorns were a major food source for the Jomon people. During the Jomon Period, many people existed alongside the acorn forests, living easily with this abundant food source.
teamLab’s Digitized Nature art project uses non-material digital technology to transform nature into art without having a physical impact on it. teamLab: Resonating Life in the Acorn Forest will transform the acorn forests of Musashino into an interactive art space which changes due to the presence of people.”
Source: TeamLab official English website.
The acorns / ovum are interactive – they react to touch and motion. When you touch or roll one it omits a sound that “resonates” with the surrounding acorns. Creating a ripple effect of sound reverberating in the forest. The lights around also change in reaction to the one you touch. During the height of the pandemic they were giving out gloves to touch the ovoid, but as of August 2022 they are no longer provided.
The second part of the installations in the Musashino Woods at the Higashi Tokorozawa Park is the Resonating Trees. Or for its full name: Autonomous Resonating Life – Liquified Light Color, Sunrise and Sunset . As the ovoid change color, so do the trees. The lighting creates a dramatic effect in the woods. If you are visiting in summer though, I recommend you wear long trousers and / or bring mosquito repellant. As it is a natural wood, there are mosquitoes galore!
The park is open from Wednesdays to Mondays, and two Tuesdays a month. It is closed on the first, third and when applicable, fifth Tuesday of the month. It is also closed when there is heavy rain and / or strong winds. From September 23rd 2023 the Higashi Tokorozawa TeamLab will only open on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. There was a time when they used to close the park due to bad weather, but they don’t seem to be doing that in 2023. They used to announce on their Twitter account if the installations would be closed at night, but there Twitter isn’t that active anymore!
Initially when this Teamlab opened, there were two sessions a day. A daytime session and a night session. However, since 2021 there is only one session – the night time session. It starts at 4 pm and is open until 9 pm. Moreover, while they used to open almost every day, only closing on Tuesdays a month, since the end of September 2023, they only open on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.
Acorn Forest Cost
It costs 1200 yen for an adult, 800 yen for a junior high school student and 600 yen for an elementary aged student. Children younger than six years old can enter for free. If you book online you can receive a 100 yen discount. Also, residents of Tokorozawa get a 200 yen discount. Please check the official website for the most up to date discount and ticket price information.
One day family plan
There is so much to do in Tokorozawa. Even before Sakura Town opened the area had a lot of attractions. It is probably best known for the Seibu Leisure park which has an amusement park, snow kingdom, sporting facilities, pools and an indoor ski resort. The latter is only open from October to the end of Winter.
In Sakura town there is plenty to do and see and dozens of seasonal events. Within Kadokawa Musashino Museum, a culture museum in the town, they have various events in their gallery and event space. You can also find the anime museum in the Kadokawa museum. There was an EJ Anime hotel within the town too, but unfortunately it closed permanently on May 31st 2023.
Nearby attractions that would make a good stop include the House of Kurosuke, home to a life size Totoro. However, it is no longer a walk in attraction, no longer free and moreover you can no longer share photos of it on social media. But the Totoro forests are still free to visit and a nice place for a hike. Also, the gorgeous Tokorozawa Aviation Memorial park and the aviation museum on its grounds are also open and relatively close to the Acorn Forest. Its a really lovely park for families with a great playground.
Teamlab Acorn Forest Information
|Address:||Musashino Woods, Higashi Tokorozawa park, 3 Chome-9 Higashitokorozawawada, Tokorozawa, Saitama 359-0023|
|Phone:||The park phone number is +81429989196, which is managed by Tokorozawa City Hall. There is no phone number available for TeamLab in the park.|
|Hours:||From 4 pm to 9 pm, last entry at 8.30 pm.|
Closed on Tuesdays. They no longer seem to close on bad weather days, but do always check the official website for the most up to date information.
|Cost:||From 500 yen. Outlined in detail in the main text above.|
Access by public transport from Higashi Tokorozawa Station. Parking is available at Tokorozawa Sakura Town, but it is charged. There is a maximum charge of 800 yen for the day.