Back in 2019, I had one of the most amazing opportunities to celebrate New Years Eve in Japan! To ring in the new year, Michael and I had made an amazing spread of japanese new year’s foods and we even went to visit the Zozoji temple at midnight to see the big countdown to 2020. We went out the next day and saw so many enticing fukubukuro bags but we ended up not buying any, but we made it up for it in 2023!
Fukubukuro bags (or “lucky” bags) is a popular new years custom in Japan where stores sell mystery grab bags full of tons of product at a significant discount i.e. you pay $90 for a bag of unknown goods that are supposed to be worth $200+! All different kinds of stores in Japan do them — from clothing stores, to grocery stores, to even specialty stores like Studio Ghibli and Pokemon. And since these bags are usually sold only on January 1st and are limited quantity, people wake up super early and line up at their favorite stores for their chance to snag a fukubukuro!
For my sister’s annual Halloween get together, Michael and I dressed up as Rin and Kamaji from one of our favorite movies, Spirited Away. We actually ended up winning a giveaway where we won a $100 gift card to Mitsuwa! Since it was basically free money, I thought it would be a fun idea to gamble the gift cards and buy $100 in fukubukuro bags!!
We got all 3 fukubukuro bags that Mitsuwa was offering (a kid’s bag, a beauty bag, and a general bag) — and since they rang up as $101, we only had to pay $1!!! Here are the contents of the bags.
Kid’s Fukubukuro Bag ($15)
They had a version for kids and what a great idea — it’s like a second Christmas for just $15! As you can see, this bag was entirely candy and treats and so we loved it 🙂 I’ve already had most of these treats since I spent much of my childhood (and tbh much of my adulthood too) in asian grocery stores lol, but this is also great for someone who wants to try a bunch of new japanese snacks. My favorite was the Popin’ Cookin’ box!
Women’s Beauty Fukubukuro Bag ($40)
For just $40, we got a BUNCH of cosmetic products valued over $200! I am so excited to try all of these goodies such as shampoos and hair treatments, face masks and skincare, bath and spa items, and even packs of eyelashes! What’s not to love — I am looking forward to pampering myself~ This is a GREAT gift for the ladies in your life!
General Fukubukuro Bag ($40)
The main fukubukuro bag they had I believe was supposed to be a households bag. I actually like to use japanese cleaning products (since Japan is the cleanest!) so I was happy to receive those, but I was surprised to see that it also contained beauty items (like the women’s bag) and that it did NOT contain any food items! I thought I would at least get some dry japanese pantry items. As such, I think Michael was a little disappointed in the main bag. Since both the general and women’s fukubukuro costed $40 each, if I had to choose one I would recommend the beauty bag since I think its contents were better value and usefulness for me personally. The funniest thing we got was HEARTBURN indigestion medicine hahahaha and and a random drain cover xD
BONUS: Stationary / Anime Fukubukuro Bag ($35)
And Michael couldn’t help himself…we also got a $35 fukubukuro bag from Maido (a store inside Mitsuwa) which is like a stationary, gifts, and anime type of bookstore! Michael was so happy to get a gudentama tote bag and a new notebook and pens. I think he was hoping for an anime plushie, but that’s the thing about fukubukuro bags — you never know what you’re going to get and maybe a plushie was hiding inside one of the other bags!
So much fun and I would 100% do it again! It’s such a thrill to hunt for the stores that are hosting fukubukuros and to open up your bags. This is a new years tradition I will be doing every year!
I hope everyone had a great new years and let me know what you think about the bags we chose!
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