At the end of each year, everyone is busy at work and home preparing for a prosperous year. However, many Japanese people still need to remember to find good fortunes by visiting shops to buy themselves exclusively lucky bags – fukubukuro!
These lucky bags always contain many exciting items! Therefore, let’s take a closer look at their meanings and origins and discover the best fukubukuro this year!
In the word “fukubukuro,” “fuku” means good luck, and “bukuro” means bag, so putting them together gives us a lucky pack! Fukubukuro is available at various stores during the New Year ranging from boutiques to coffee shops. They contain a variety of random items, and most of them are at least 50% off their original price!
The items filled in the bag often have a specific theme depending on the store. Either way, buying Japanese fukubukuro has become one of many Japanese annual traditional customs. This tradition is because Japanese people believe there is always luck in leftovers!
Also, they are confident that purchasing remnants from the last periods will bring them good fortunes. Moreover, most people also find these lucky bags attractive because of the low price and many items inside. Thus, they’re becoming more and more popular in Japan!
For sellers, selling fukubukuro reduces their inventory backlog to make room for new items coming up in the new year!
Want to try your luck with some fantastic Japanese snacks this year? Check out TokyoTreat! TokyoTreat sends all kinds of fun Japanese treats right to your door!
There are many anecdotes about the first fukubukuro, yet none mention that these bags were released specifically for the New Year. According to one tale, Tokyo was the birthplace of the first fukubukuro during the Edo era (1603-1867)!
The merchants of a kimono store in Echigoya came up with the idea to create mystery bags with various kimono materials at discounted prices. Then, these lucky bags were so popular that many merchants of the entire town started imitating them and, subsequently, the rest of the nation!
However, another story claimed that the first fukubukuro originated in the Ginza Matsuya department store sometime in the late Meiji period (about 1912) as an effort to increase sales!
Mos Burger, one of Japan’s famous fast food brands, also launched lucky bags to welcome the new year. The limited edition fukubukuro for 2023 had a theme of Cinnamoroll, a favorite Sanrio character!
These unique bags come with four Cinnamoroll goods and seven vouchers (worth 500 yen each) to eat at the Mos Burger chain. The price of one pack is equal to the cost of seven meal vouchers, so customers who buy lucky bags can enjoy their meals at Mos Burger and get many lovely items like mini mirrors or soft blankets!
If you are a fan of coffee, you should take advantage of lucky bags from Kaldi Coffee Farm. The 2023 fukubukuro collection comes in three types: Popular Coffee Fukubukuro, Luxury Coffee Fukubukuro, and Popular Drip Coffee Set.
Although the content inside each type is different, these lucky bags contain delicious and high-quality coffees such as Blue Mountain Blend, Mocha Matari, and Zodiac Coffee Kenya Kiandu City Roast. This fukubukuro is a fantastic opportunity to get some good deals on coffee!
One of Japan’s best fukubukuro of 2023 comes from another famous food brand, Mister Donut!
There are three tiers of fukubukuro this year for the price: 2400-yen ($18) bags, 3600-yen ($28) bags, and 5900-yen ($45) bags. Like Mos Burger, customers who purchase this donut brand’s lucky bags will receive a lot of donut coupons and a variety of cute Pokemon goodies such as tote bags, schedule books, memo pads, and bath towels!
If you like Black Friday in the West, you’ll definitely enjoy fukubukuro in Japan on New Year’s! There are so many opportunities to get exclusive, fantastic items for an affordable price! What kind of fukubukuro would you buy if you had a chance? Let us know in the comments below!
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