Japanese Lucky Bags: Fukubukuro(2019)

“Life sometimes need a little bit of mystery to get through another ordinary day.”

 

For my next blog post I went to Harajuku’s buzzing Takeshita street to experience a century old custom called Fukubukuro or Japanese lucky bags. I went to Japan late in January so lucky bags are almost sold out and only a few stores have some of them left but the good news is since it’s the last week of January, most of the Fukubukuro bags are sold for much cheaper prices than they originally were.

 WHAT DOES FUKUBUKURO MEAN?

From the kanji 福袋, ”fuku” meaning “luck” and ”fukuro” meaning “bag”; it’s generally a New Year tradition where shops fill goody bags with assorted items for 50% off or more from the original price.

For example: You may buy a Fukubukuro bag for ¥1000 yen and get something worth ¥3000 yen inside. It truly is exciting and sparks your imagination therefore making it a big hit in the market. 

Another reason why this custom survived this long is because of its mystery factor. The buyer usually wouldn’t know what’s inside the bag until he or she opens it, he or she only knows that it’s all earrings, accessories, gadgets or clothes but there’s no way to know specifically what’s inside. If you’re lucky your bag may be filled with all good items, if you’re unlucky it may be filled with items you wouldn’t want to use, thus in Fukubukuro events it isnt uncommon for people to swap items so make sure to smile and make friends with people on your line. 

 TWO KINDS OF FUKUBUKURO

 Offline Fukubukuro

This kind of Fukubukuro is the one you buy at the store itself, on New Year’s day, January 1 & 2, the stores would be filled with people lining up to buy their lucky bags so be sure to arrive early. Luckily for me, I bought mine towards the end of January so there was no line and I could pick which one I thought would be lucky for me. I bought 2 sets of Fukubukuro from Paris Kids in Takeshita street and here’s what I got:

The Earrings Bag

I was able to buy this lucky bag for 324 yen and the items inside were worth 3000 yen or more. What a steal! 

The items inside were 5 dangling earrings of different sizes and designs. Take a look at them here:

 
The Accessories Bag
I was able to buy this one for 350 yen, yet the items inside which comprised of a henna tattoo set, bangles, necklace, bracelet, choker, srcunchie and hairclips were worth 3,500 yen! 
 
 
 
 
 Online Fukubukuro
 
I bought my online Fukubukuro from an online store named Village Vanguard which is a general merchandise store. I bought two sets of Fukubukuro here as well, one was for 5000 yen and the other one which is called the “Lucky Lucky Bag” was for 3000 yen and here’s what I got:
 
 The Lucky Lucky Bag
 
This 3,000 yen lucky bag is a kind of HIT OR MISS game, if you are lucky you may get an item which is worth tens of thousands of yen so I took my chance but unfortunately I ran out of luck I guess.
The bag comprised of cellphone stickers, a sushi roll set towel, a T-shirt, a Star wars collectible item, cellphone case and tote bag.
 
 
 
The 5000 Yen Lucky Bag
This 5000 yen bag is the one which people who likes to play safe would love! You  may take a peek of the items inside this bag so you may choose whether you’d want to buy or not. 
It’s comprised of a Cat-designed bag from Anello, a blanket with cat designs and a pair of socks with… you guessed it ~ cat designs because I am a self-confessed cat mom and cat-lover. 
 
I am looking forward to next years’ <3
zeenfinity
Trivia

  • Fukubukuro was invented by Ginza Matsuya Department Store in the late Meiji period.
  • Ala Moana Center in Honolulu adopted this tradition in 2004. 
  • The term “fukuro” was changed to “bukuro,” which is a phenomenon in the Japanese language known as rendaku.

 

NOTICE
If you have anything to add for the improvement this post or would like us to correct or revise some information in this article feel free to contact us at: zeenfinity@gmail.com

DISCLAIMER
Rude comments and hate-speech will be deleted from the post in order to create a safe and judgement free zone for all of my readers, let’s spread positivity instead

 

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