Style & Design | Japan Pulse

Feelin' lucky? The highs and lows of 'fukubukuro'

by Emily Balistrieri

Staff Writer

Whether you count fukubukuro “lucky bags” as a thank-you to shoppers, a scheme to unload less popular merchandise at the end of the year or just a way to kick off the New Year’s sales, buying a mystery pile of stuff worth [hopefully far] more than the price tag is a tempting offer to many. Plus, who knows, you might just be one of the really lucky ones:

Translation: My Apple Store lucky bag! Thanks to being the fourth person in line about 24 hours ahead of time, I got a MacBook Air! It was a blizzard in Sapporo, so it was really rough to wait outside all that time, but I had fun! Anyhow, now I’m gonna rest! lol

Let’s see what other Twitter users’ lucky bag experiences were like…

https://twitter.com/o_Se_rA_o/status/419457264072671232

My best friend said she bought a certain brand’s lucky bag and a mop was inside. I had her bring it over today and omg I laughed so hard lololol […]

https://twitter.com/1214Tf/status/418691276096020481

I bought a natural gems lucky bag thinking a phone strap or something would be inside and it was an uncut amethyst lol

http://twitter.com/miotyaso/status/418196776663805952

The MisuDo [Mister Donut] lucky bag is a super good deal!

For ¥1,050 you get ten donuts plus a blanket, a calendar and a little bag.

https://twitter.com/oluchanluvyuu/status/419110126570594304

I found a Polaroid lucky bag and when I opened it, all this stuff was inside! The wolf cover is just too cute!

I’ll put it on and take a selfie later!

https://twitter.com/ayayabba/status/418716795302735872

When I opened my accessory lucky bag (¥1,500) from Urban Research, this much stuff was inside! My cousin and I laughed so hard lololol

One person got a luckier bag than they imagined:

I got a backpack as a present! It was expensive so I have to take good care of it. When I opened it, something was inside! lolol I was so surprised! lolol I didn’t realize it was a lucky bag lol

Some people did not feel quite as lucky:

I was looking forward to this lucky bag…
But when I opened it, I was just kinda like, “Oh…”
Every year I fail at lucky bags lol

Omg lol. I opened my lucky bag and this thing came out! lolol

@pepep0i: I opened my lucky bag and clothes exactly like the ones I bought a few weeks ago were in it. Urgh.

https://twitter.com/REVERSI_akat/status/419482040564600832

When I opened it, there was a varsity jacket inside!

The left is from the lucky bag, on the right is what I had already. Chaos! lol

@_kasiwagi: I opened my lucky bag and it was clothes that I would usually think, “Ah, too cute! I can’t buy this!” So yeah, that’s what happened. I guess… I have no choice but to wear them?

@krclock0: When I opened my lucky bag, a dress like a witch would wear came out! My parents seem embarrassed for me, what should I do?!

Got a kick out of my CAP lucky bag. I don’t want any of these lol

(He admitted that Donald Duck was cute, but precisely too cute for him to wear.)

Maybe it’s better to keep things simple?

@gyouzaumami: Oh, I forgot I bought a drink lucky bag from the supermarket! When I opened it there were: six Kirin beers, Milo (cocoa), corn potage, six 350ml bottles of CC Lemon.

Negative thinking won’t get you anywhere in the lucky bag challenge.

@tomohikoo: I’ve never bought a lucky bag. It seems like I’d open it and a paper that says, “You lose” would be inside. Well, there probably aren’t any like that, but…

Some offered lucky bag wisdom:

@mushhh_01: Once you open a lucky bag, it’s no good. Enjoying that excitement before you open it is what a lucky bag is all about.

And what can you do if you’re sick of being disappointed by unlucky lucky bags?

@RE:UdON: I made my own lucky bag and when I opened it, it was all great stuff.

(Photo: KYODO – Shoppers inspect lucky bags at the Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi department store on the morning of Jan. 2.)