Japan · Life in Japan · Random

Japan vs My Wallet: Round III – Fukubukuro

Going to start off this post by first wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

I hope 2015 turns out to be a fantastic year for you. Secondly, if you ever find yourself in Japan over New Years, do yourself a favour and get a fukubukuro.

What’s a fukubukuro? Well for one, it’s a word that takes an awful long time just to type out, but aside from that, it can be loosely translated to ‘lucky bags’. And for the sake of me having to avoid typing out fukubukuro every time, I will now refer to them as lucky bags.

So in the first week or so of the new year, stores around Japan put together mystery lucky bags containing various items from their store and sell them at a discounted price. The most popular lucky bags are those from places like the Apple Store, where you can score yourself an iPad mini 3 for half the price you would usually pay.

Though down here in little ol’ Onomichi, you won’t find any Apple Stores nearby. However, what you will find is my (fast-becoming) favourite shop selling the lucky bags. The shop is called Aroma Bloom and this is where I have been buying all the cute and fluffy things of winter. I didn’t even know they were doing the lucky bags until I walked past them yesterday (it turns out almost every store, including places like Starbucks and Tully’s Coffee, do lucky bags).

With perhaps a 10 second hesitation (meaning: ‘do I have enough money in my cat wallet to afford a bag?’ Answer: ‘Heck yes!’), I purchased the massive, and somewhat heavy, lucky bag. As soon as I got back to my apartment I tore open the bag to find a hoard of treasures:

My lucky bag contained:

  • an electric ‘wooden’ air freshener, rose scented
  • grapefruit and jasmine aromatherapy diffuser
  • a grapefruit and jasmine scented candle
  • a very pretty glass and wire designed aromatherapy burner, with orange essence included
  • an electric nail buffer/polisher
  • a large polka-dot fluffy blanket (more blankets for me!)
  • a pair of ‘happy’ socks
  • and a bottle of ‘No.2 Placenta’ body serum – the only thing which I will not go near with a 10-foot pole due to the fact that I can pretty much guess what it contains… any takers?

So, you are looking at about ¥15000 (R1500) worth of items right there, and I only paid ¥5000 (R500). That in itself might seem a bit pricey, but this is what lucky bags in Japan are all about – paying a good sum of money and receiving a lucky bag of gifts that way exceed that amount purchased. I know that the electronic stores usually have lucky bags that start at about ¥20000 (R2000).

In light of that fact, I think this is a definite win for my wallet. I have always wanted to buy a fukubukuro, and I am quite happy and satisfied with what I got. Plus, it was kind of fun buying a lucky bag (at my age), heh heh, usually these things are for kids, but in Japan, it’s for all ages! 🙂

And to round off my first post of 2015…

Official Onomichi Cat Count: 29



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