Fukubukuro (福袋) ; Japan’s New Years Lucky bag!

New Year In Japan is much more interesting than anything we do to celebrate in Germany; not only are there plenty of traditions to follow and learn about, but also a cheap shopping experience that is only found in Japan! Fukubukuro can be translated to Lucky bag in English but is made out of the Kanji for Fuku (福) which means good fortune or good luck, and fukuro (袋) which means “bag”. 

The name itself is connected to the Japanese saying that “there is fortune in leftovers” (残り物には福がある), which fits well with the fortune of buying a lucky bag with much-discounted items.  Most available bags range from a few thousand yen to ten thousand yen and are filled with all kinds of things! While the most common Lucky bags are either makeup or clothe filled, brands such as Starbucks, Daiso, and McDonald’s also sell Lucky Bags the day after New Years’ – sometimes even with a special product/merchandise that is only available in those bags. 

During my trip to Japan, i bought three different Lucky Bags – one with random accessories and toys inside (found in Harajuku!) and two from Makeup Brands that I liked. Because the Lucky bag price is so much cheaper than buying the product on its own its a really nice experience – though of course you might also be unlucky and receive items you don’t like! 

If you have the chance to visit Japan i definitely recommend going to your favorite store to check if they have Lucky Bags! Good luck and Happy New Year!

Ari Boettcher

Ari - Freelance Writer and Illustrator with an interest in Japan and Japanese culture.

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