Literally translated as a “Lucky Bag” or “Fortune Bag”, the Fukubukuro is Japan’s version of the gift pack, or those food baskets given around the world at Christmastime and the New Year. Of course, as with all things Japanese, this time the humble gift pack or fruit basket has been taken to new heights, in true Japanese-style – bigger, better and well, just better. And, theres also an element of surprise, as the contents of the lucky bag are unknown.
Usually out for the New Year, the Fukubukuro is wonderfully varied and comes in all levels of price. You can pick up one for your beloved dog or splash out on one of the “luxury” Fukubukuros. As most shops have it (as a marketing and sales ploy in time for the January ), all you have to decide on is the theme. The price range is usually uniform, but what’s fun is that could get lucky and buy a Fukubukuro for ¥10,000, only to find that the goods inside your bag is worth more than ¥100,000!!!
Here are some of last year’s faves to give you an idea:
Mitsukoshi – the famous Japanese institution is a veritable haven for some of the best Fukubukuros in the market. Yes, they’re on the pricey side, but oh so much fun! The quantities are limited for these quality (and admittedly quirky) bags, so expect some chaos when the shop put these on display:
“My Celeb” bag (¥52,500) Includes a night in a hotel and a ride in a Rolls Royce.
“Cha!” bags (¥10,500)- Includes Japanese tea delivered to your home once a month all year.
Dog-care bags (¥21,000)- Includes cake to be delivered on your pooch’s birthday, tickets for a canine beauty salon and a visit to a doggie hot spring resort.
Francfranc – Slick, modern and stylish, the Fukubukuros here cost a mere ¥3,150, and give you a great selection of goods from the interior design chain.
Muji – Cheap, cheerful and minimalist, Muji is the place to get like Fukubukuros ranging from just ¥2,000 for a variety of bags ranging from clothing to toys and accessories.