by Bryce Marley-Jarrett
During Japlanning's most recent trip through Japan, while enjoying Tokyo's Odaiba island we hit up the Tokyo Trick Art Museum, located in the Decks shopping complex. Keep reading to see what this unique museum has to offer, and whether we recommend you take a trip out to experience it yourself.
Odaiba is a wondrous place in Tokyo Bay. Made up of man made islands, it's a futuristic playground filled with tourist attractions, modern buildings with quirky designs and is one of Tokyo's areas with tourist attractions nestled around every corner. One could easily spend a day or more exploring all the museums, amusement parks, company showcases, and elaborate shopping malls.
One of the main complexes is the Decks Entertainment Complex, a hybrid mix of shopping, dining and attractions. Here you will find Sega's indoor theme park Joyopolis, the Lego Discovery Centre (quasi indoor theme park/expo as a prelude to their full fledged theme park opening in Nagoya in 2019), the world famous Madam Tussauds Wax Museum also has its Japanese location here.
However on this trip we checked out one of the more unique places we knew we wouldn't find back home, the Tokyo Trick Art Museum.
Located on the 4th floor of the Decks complex, the museum has illusions on the walls leading you in, and you are greeted with a smile and escorted to pay your admission fee. Admission is 900¥ for adults and 600¥ for children. Right from the start, we are impressed at basically a museum that is less than $10 to enter, is already a bargain (as we have found out on our countless trips to Japan, you will rarely find a museum that costs more than 1000¥ to enter!).
Once you enter you start your journey by wandering through the different expo halls, don't be expecting massive traditional museum halls however, everything is compact here and designed to have you experience each piece of artwork, interact with it and take photos and move on to the next.
The Museum is broken into four rooms that have a single theme throughout each hall.
- Edo Period - This is the first and largest hall of the museum, all art is themed to the historic Edo period of Japan. You will look like you're walking down ancient lane-ways in Tokyo, passing geshias and even attacking ninjas!
- Haunted House - by passing through a trap door of sorts, you fall into the haunted house area of the museum, in here you can interact with all the morbid and supernatural artwork, from looking trapped in a cursed lantern, to balancing on a plank above the depths of hell!
- Masterpiece / Zoo - The next section is called masterpiece, however we saw it more as a zoo section, as all the the artwork you interacted with was animal themed, from balancing on the jaws of a shark to having a camel "steal" your hat, it was a much more bright and playful room after the dark haunted house.
- Brain Training - The final hall / room, and the smallest, was a mix of traditional optical illusions: with the mysterious floating head trick, and being stuck in a giant glass, these are the ones you would find in many trick art galleries or tourist attractions.
Naturally, it all led into a small, quaint gift shop before exiting, selling fun illusions and postcards and the sort.
This one is a mixed bag. We really loved the museum, it was fun, interactive and not too crowded, perhaps because we visited on a weekday, not in school holidays.
All the artwork was fun, and had bilingual information on how to post and where to take a picture from to make the illusion work. Sure, at the time, you look at what you're doing and think this looks stupid, however the pictures work and look great (and this is really why you're visiting this type of attraction), however how odd it might all feel, this place is a blast with a group of friends.
Watching each other trying to balance awkwardly on a flat ground in a ridiculous pose to get that perfect shot is hilarious! And the whole experience was just filled with non stop laughter.
One thing to note is this: Don't visit alone! Simply, it's the kind of place that is fun with friends, and all the artwork requires at least one person to take the picture of you in the art! This place isn't really "selfie" friendly.
Japlanning would recommend a visit if you are already in Odaiba and hitting up a few attractions, or want a quick break for all the shopping. It isn't worth a trip out to Odaiba just for the trick art museum, however a great and memorable stop amongst a day out experiencing all that the island has to offer.