Blog · Japan Life

New Year and Lucky Bags

New years day, a holiday where everything is usually closed for business…but…

In Japan, I was completely mistaken.  Back on December 26th, I was looking forward to boxing day deals.  To my surprise, no deals were to be had and everyone went to work normally.  Boxing day doesn’t exist in Japan.  Even Christmas Day isn’t a national holiday.  So what gives?  Where are the sales at?

On New Year Day, my friend asked me if I wanted to go to a big department store with him.  Thinking that everything should be closed, to my disbelief, there was a very long line right outside the department store. The store hasn’t even opened yet and people are lining up.  Not being phased much because comiket was literally a million times worse than this, I thought to myself, heck why not.

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On January 1st in Japan, almost all places sell “福袋” (Fukubukuro) which translates to “Lucky Bag” or “Mystery Bag”.  These bags are sold even by famous restaurant chains like KFC and Starbucks.  There is literally a bag for everything and anything you’d want.  Whether it’d be clothes, shoes, appliances, game software, pet goods, snacks, food, etc.  People went crazy over these bags.  Some of them were unique like this one.

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for 540 yen, you can stuff as many of these snacks into one bag.  The masses trying to get as many into one bag was a very entertaining sight.

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I myself, grabbed a bag of assorted rice crackers and a bag from Gindako, a Takoyaki chain for 1000 yen each.

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Gindako came with 2 free Takoyaki Coupons (1300 in Value), a 2017 calendar, and a pack of bamboo mushroom mix to cook with rice.  While the rice crackers had quite a variety so I can slowly enjoy the crunching away for a few months.

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