Friday, November 18, 2011

Magic bar review: Magic Bar Joker ・ マジックバージョーカー

My friend U-san, the master, me, and the young magician.
In April 2011 I went to the magic bar "Joker" with a magician friend from Sapporo. We entered right at the opening time, and we were the only customers at that early hour. The bar is quite small, with mainly a small counter that we sat at. Joker is the most expensive magic bar I have been to so far, with 7000 yen for one hour (Half Moon, that I wrote about before (and coincidentally lies 23 seconds walk away from Joker), costs 8000 yen but for a longer show). It includes unlimited drinks, and more or less unlimited snacks like peanuts, chocolate, etc. The snacks included strawberries, and were quite impressive.


Snacks included in the price (free refills!) and a fork that ended up looking weird.
First, a young magician did a fairly long performance for us. He was very good and also very funny. My friends 1000 yen bill ended up inside a green pepper fruit for instance. He also produced lots of strange things like rubber corn out of our armpits. The funniest thing was when he produced lots of things out of a coin purse that was just the metal frame (so it would seem to contain nothing), and a small very fancy looking bottle appeared. We marveled at this beautiful bottle, probably containing Champagne. He said: "Actually, it is a bottle of body soap which just looks like an expensive bottle of Champagne". Which was true. While we marveled at the genius of designing a bottle of shower gel to look like expensive Champagne, another bottle also appeared out of the purse frame without us noticing it. That first bottle was quite possibly the funniest thing I have seen produced by magic. 


Not only was the magician quite skilled (though he flashed from time to time during the coin magic), he was also very funny to talk to. He did lots of coin and card magic and bent a fork. I also liked a trick where a cut open card box (very 2D) turned into a 3D card box actually containing a full deck of cards. Probably very angle sensitive, but still funny. 


Other things we received: an unopened PET-bottle with my signature, a card signed by my friend cut out from a lemon, the owners business card, a photo taken when we did not notice.
Then the master/owner of the bar also did a fairly long performance for us. He did an unbelievable number of tricks that could all be closing tricks in any magic bar. My friends 50 yen coin ended up in a glass bottle after being signed (switching a signed coin was impressive) despite being too large to insert; a crushed and empty can of Coca Cola was returned to unopened and full status by magic; a signed card ended up in an unopened PET-bottle, another signed card ended up inside a lemon; and more. He was good, though sometimes you could see for instance his break when doing the ambitious card with an omni-deck. The trick I liked most was when he showed a photo of a bunch of fruits, put the photo into a book/album, and when he reopened the book, lots of fruits fell out. Including a grapefruit that would be impossible to fit inside a closed book, to say the least, haha.


We also received a photo taken of us when we were watching magic, that we did not notice when they took. All in all, we got to see a lot of high level magic, and a lot of it was not only high level but also very entertaining. While it was expensive, it was probably worth the money.


My friends 1000 yen bill ended up inside a green pepper and thus smelling strange so he got a new one, which was folded like a shirt (also a word play joke in Japanese, were bill is "satsu" and shirt is "shatsu").
Location: good, near Shinbashi and Ginza stations, where there are many magic bars (only a 23 second walk from the magic bar Half Moon, according to Google maps)
Type of magic: close up
Quality of magic: generally very high, lots of very high level magic done in a short time
Cost: 7000 yen (for 60 minutes)
Interior: small, but clean and nice
Staff: nice. Apart from the two magicians there was also a female bartender. Especially the young magician was nice and funny.
Overall impression: the most expensive magic bar so far, but a lot of high level magic. Maybe too many closing level strength effects done right after each other, which lessens the impact of the individual effects.

場所:いい、新橋や銀座の近く。他のマジックバーが回りに沢山あるところ(ハーフムーンが歩いて23秒だそうだ(Google Mapsによれば、細かいなぁ))


  1. Hi Jonas, I like your magic page. How do I see more about your comp sci work? I do some artificial intelligence patent work and am interested in what's up in Sapporo. Please check out my site at
    Ron Harris

    1. I have a list of my own papers at my old Web site:

      But if you want to know what is going on in Sapporo you should probably start with checking out the university listings of what their researchers are doing. There are several universities in Sapporo, but the biggest one is Hokkaido University,