‘Tis the season for fukubukuro!
Japanese for “lucky bag.” It’s a Japanese New Year tradition when merchants sell grab bags of their products (usually secret!)
I’ve been watching YouTube reveal videos for years, but I’m actually in Japan this New Year and I’m so ready to ring in 2018 with one (or more!) of my own bags! Even better, I’m going to be in Osaka around the New Year, which means that I have an excellent selection of shops to choose from, and I’m definitely going to scout out which ones I want the most and be prepared!
It’s also not uncommon to buy these and re-sell the goods inside for a profit (especially to people outside of Japan, and especially from shops that make custom fukubukuro instead of using their leftover products), but I will be shopping all for me!!! Mwhahahahaaaaa…
Anyways, literally any shop can sell fukubukuro, even stores you wouldn’t normally expect to have products (like McDonalds, they have one!) or stores that are super high-end (like Armani or Apple, no really!).
Some popular fukubukuro from previous years:
- Starbucks: though it’s been commented that the quality has decreased over time and it’s not really worth the purchase price anymore.
- Pokemon Center: consistently amazing and usually has a ton of plushes!
- Liz Lisa: very, very pricey but I absolutely love the clothing style. Thankfully these are not blind bags—they have NY-specific products and they announce them in advance. This was one that I was really going to invest in this year—until it was announced that it’s another My Melody collaboration. I’m not a fan of My Melody, and I don’t want the suitcase or the dress to be stamped with her, so I’m passing on this one.
- UFO Catchers
- Village Vanguard: famously terrible and appropriately cheap!
Some popular fukubukuro opening videos from 2017:
- Pokemon Center: Sharla in Japan
- WEGO and Cecil Mcbee (clothing): Kim Dao
- Liz Lisa (clothing): Emiii Chan <– she also runs the Liz Lisa fashion fanblog!
- Moussy (clothing): Taylor R <– this was a particularly bad year for this shop’s bags
- Starbucks: Mimei
- 3 Coins and Tutuanna (cheap bags): Lisa Sometimes
- Village Vanguard: Mimei <– again, sorry, she’s got some great videos!
- Beautylish (online makeup): Grav6yardgirl <– she’s not in Japan, however
What I think I’m going to get:
I’m giving myself a budget of 10,000¥ and it’ll be a belated Christmas present to myself (lol, along with ten thousand other things I’m “gifting” myself, budget what budget?). I probably won’t get all of these, but I’m going to keep my eye out for the hype on these ones, I think!
- A clothing bag
- A make-up bag
- A character bag: maybe the Pokemon center bag? It’s 4,000¥. If I can find a Yuri on Ice bag, though, I’m jumping on that because even if I don’t love the stuff I have sooo many friends that I could happily re-gift the products to!
- A crap/cheap bag: Dare I get a Village Vanguard bag? Maybe… maybe not. I’m leaning towards Don Quixote or Daiso, though, which are two general cheap shops (Daiso is a 100¥ shop) that I already frequent.
- A home goods/electronics bag: Yodobashi or Bic Camera, probably. These are two big electronic shops in Japan, so I think the variety would be interesting but the price point would be lower than somewhere like Apple. Last year’s IKEA bag was really good, though, so I’m going to keep that one in mind as well…
- A food bag: Mister Donuts! 2,000¥ Apparently it always comes with a 20 donuts punch card plus the themed goodies (hopefully it’s a good theme this year). I love Misdo, so this would definitely be a good investment! (I mean, not to my waistline, obviously!)
Reminder to myself: I don’t know where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing in March, so I really need to avoid buying too much of the random-crap bags!
Read some more:
- 7 Tips for the Fukubukuro Hunting Season
- How to get the best New Year lucky bags in Japan
- General history and advice
Note to self:
Can I photograph and submit a 2018 Fukubukuro Round Up article for Rocket24? Because that would be cool.