The Tokai to Kamiokande (T2K) experiment is the first of the next generation of long baseline neutrino oscillation experiments. Its aim is to measure θ13 and improve the measurements on θ23 and Δm223. A highly pure neutrino beam is directed from the new accelerator center JPARC in Japan to SuperKamiokande. In addition to this far detector a second detector, the near detector (ND280), is constructed 280 m away from the target. The purpose of this detector is to measure the neutrino flux prior to its oscillation and to measure the poorly known neutrino interaction properties around 1 GeV. A central component of ND280 are three TPCs with Micro Pattern Gas Detector (MPGD) readout. In this article the purpose of the T2K experiment is explained and the R&D efforts for the main components of the TPC are presented. © 2007 IOP Publishing Ltd.