The wizarding world and real life blurs as we sit down for a magical meal with the actor who plays Jacob Kowalski.

Earlier this week, the world’s first Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts themed cafes opened in Japan, to commemorate the release of the second film in the Harry Potter prequel series, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

With one location each in Tokyo and Fukuoka, on the southern island of Kyushu, the new Wizarding World Cafe is filled with all sorts of exclusive Japan-only food, drinks, memorabilia and merchandise. And the seating area is adorned with newspapers designed by MinaLima, the same graphic design company that created the book covers and posters used as props in the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films.

So when we found out that we’d secured an exclusive interview with Dan Fogler, the actor who played Jacob Kowalski in Fantastic Beasts, we could think of no better place to sit down and chat with him than at the cafe in Tokyo.

▼ And when we arrived, staff immediately asked him to sign the wall-sized poster inside the cafe.

After we commented on the fact that he was the first cast member to sign the huge poster, he smiled and said “Wow, that’s cool! The other cast members will have to come. I’ll tell them all they have to come to the cafe!”

We have to admit, it was pretty surreal to be surrounded by official Wizarding World memorobilia while talking to one of its most famous characters in the flesh, no less in Tokyo of all places, but his kind, familiar smile and friendly personality immediately put us at ease.

And as he walked around the cafe, admiring the interiors and picking up items to look at in the retail area, we couldn’t help but like him even more.

“Which of these is your favourite?” We asked him, as he ran his eyes along the shelves of merchandise. “These”, he said as he immediately picked up a Baby Niffler plush toy and an exclusive Wizarding World original Niffler tin.

As our hearts melted for the third time since meeting him, we sat down with Fogler to enjoy a themed meal together. His presence didn’t go unnoticed in the cafe, though, as other diners around us had to pick their jaws up off the floor, with murmurs of “What the…?” and “Seriously – Jacob?” heard emanating from the other tables.

▼ Fogler took it all in his stride, smiling broadly and saying “hi” to the people who stared at him.

Fogler ordered the Gellert Grindelwald Charcuterie, the Newt Scamander Pancakes, and the Niffler Iced Cafe Latte. Each item on the menu comes with a magical element, and we were happy to see Fogler get into the spirit of the cafe as soon as his order came to the table. Following instructions by cafe staff to chant “abracadabra” over the smoke-filled charcuterie plate, Fogler’s magic skills appeared to be next level, as the lid was lifted and his meat platter appeared.

▼ At this point, all the Fantastic Beasts fans around us could hardly believe the rare spectacle they were witnessing.

Fogler was full of praise for each of the menu items, commenting on how cute they looked. When he saw the character pancakes, he said “It looks like Newt’s conquered the pancake!”

▼ Fogler also charmed us with his knowledge of Japanese, saying “oishii” (delicious) a number of times throughout the meal.

We fell in love with Fogler’s childlike enthusiasm for the cafe, and at one stage he even pointed to the Profiteroles on another table, saying “Wow, that’s so cool!” when he saw the lights and smoke billowing out from it.

As our meal came to a close, we had just enough time to talk to him about the movie, which Fogler says he seen four times.

“I’m truly so happy to have appeared in this film. Once I saw it when it was completed, I was really impressed by the scenes I hadn’t appeared in, and so many things happen in the first 30 minutes – Dumbledore appears and there’s Grindelwald’s Escape as well. After I watched it, I thought ‘I have to see it again’. I plan to watch it another six times and I hope other people will watch it again and again too. And if you come to the cafe, try the three items I ordered as well!”

And with that, Fogler made his exit, shaking the hands of fans as he left. He was a really great guy and we wish we could’ve hung out with him all day. We’d like to extend a big thank you to the staff who accommodated our visit, and hopefully we’ll get to dine with more Wizarding World cast members there too!

Cafe Information

Wizarding World Cafe Tokyo / 魔法ワールドCAFE 東京
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Nishi Shinjuku 1-1-3, Odakyu Shinjuku Mylord 5F
東京都新宿区西新宿1-1-3 小田急新宿ミロード5F
Hours: 11:00 a.m.-9:00p.m. (9 Nov 2018 – 31 January 2019) 60-minute limit per seating
Website (Japanese)

Wizarding World Cafe Fukuoka / 魔法ワールドCAFE 福岡
Address: Fukuoka-ken, Fukuoka-shi, Hataka-ku, Sumiyoshi 1-2-22 Canal City 5F
福岡県福岡市博多区住吉1-2-22 キャナルシティ博多5F
Hours: 10:00a.m.-9:00p.m. (9 Nov 2018 – 31 January 2019) 60-minute limit per seating
Website (Japanese)

Photos © SoraNews24  
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