Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Magic Bar Review: Nishioka

I went to Fukuoka for a project meeting in March 2013 and I found time to visit the magic bar Nishioka there. Nishioka is (probably) the oldest magic bar in Japan. It has been over 40 years since they opened, I was told.


The bar is mainly one very long bar counter. It seats over 20 people I think. The interior looks like it has not been changed since when they opened 40 years or more ago, which gives it a very nice atmosphere.


When I got there, which was fairly early in the evening (around eight or so) there were no other guests there. There were three magicians, and they each came to my part of the counter and performed magic for 10 to 20 minutes for me. As they were doing so, other guests started coming, and when the last magician was finished at my place the bar was full. I was allowed to stay around and watched the magicians performing for the group of people sitting next to me too. For most guests, as soon as the last magician finished the "mama" of the place showed up with the bill, and people came and left pretty quickly.


The magic they performed at Nishioka was very nice. They did a lot of very famous classical tricks, that are classics because they are great tricks. Some of the things they are famous for are the cups and balls (8 lemons showed up in total) and watch steal (pickpocket magic). The group of girls sitting next to me saw the same girl having her watch stolen several times (every magician wanted to take a watch for some trick, and since she had the only watch...).


The son of the owner of Nishioka complained that I did not give him fair warning when exactly I took a photo of him, so he did not have time to adjust his face...
... so I took one more photo and he was very happy with that. No noticeable change at all, though, haha.
I also had one of my 10,000 yen bills signed and then made to disappear, and it later appeared inside a box of matches that had possibly been on the table the whole time. There was also a production of 50 or so sponge balls, which was very funny. The group of girls next to me also got a huge sponge penis (which the magician did not produce for me). I also saw rope magic (professor's nightmare), coin magic, card magic, strange iPhone apps, ring and string magic, a three shell game, the China rings, magic with safety pins, and the invisible deck. All in all, they showed me a lot of magic, in a very high tempo.


Location: In the entertainment district Nakasu, easy to get to by subway.
Type of magic: Close up.
Quality of magic: Good.
Cost: 5,500 yen, including one drink.
Interior: Old, nice.
Staff: Funny.
Overall impression: Lots of classics of magic. Recommended.


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