Do you consider yourself a person with luck on your side? If you do, then that’s great! There are many things in Japan where you can test that luck. Sadly, this article won’t be about your luck in playing the pachinko game though. From the first of the new year to about a week long, when you find long lines at stores during that time of the year, only one thing comes to mind – shopping!
Red tags here and there, slash prices and discounts. You’ll see them everywhere but of course any country has that! However, in Japan there is one thing that people do line up for that is somehow related to sales, Fukubukuro.
Fukubukuro (福袋) is a combination of two Japanese words, Fuku + F(B)ukuro literally translated as Lucky Bags in English. Fukubukuros are a custom in Japan that is being conducted by a majority of stores which is comprised of clothing stores, food shops, electronic stores, shoe outlets and many more. For just a fraction of the original retail price of the items, you get yourself a number of randomly put items in a bag. But the twist with fukubukuros is that you don’t know what items you will get!
I’m sure you’re wondering how the fukubukuro system works. What if I don’t get the items I like? Can I return them? For starters, you can’t return the fukubukuro that you’ve bought from the store. But don’t fret! Instead, you can trade the items you don’t like with people who are also in the same situation as you are. This is probably the only time I have ever seen clothes being exchanged just like that. Just look for people waving clothes and ask them if they want to trade, if you both meet a mutual agreement then you’re good to go.
From the most affordable brands to luxury names, fukubukuros are bought by the enthusiasts. Apple for one is also in the fukubukuro sale and the items you can get includes Apple accessories, IPad’s and IPod’s and for the lucky people, a Macbook Air for roughly around ¥35,000.
What makes fukubukuros fun is that you don’t have any idea what you’ll get which makes it exciting to open. If you’re planning to come to Japan during the new year, why not try your luck out! Who knows what items you could get!