Friday, January 9, 2015

The Lucky Bags

After the New Year's Eve with no sleep, I spent the entirety of New Year's day in my pajamas. After a nap, Matt was ready to go out again to run errands. I decided I would rather stay in my pajamas and apartment, but I asked him to be on the lookout for fukubukuro, or "lucky bags," as he went shopping. I had read about the tradition of lucky bags on a popular blog written by a Texan girl living with her Japanese husband in Tokyo:福袋/.

In Japan it is considered very bad luck to retain unwanted merchandise from the previous year, so Japanese stores use lucky bags to liquidate their old stock in order to start fresh in the new year. All of the bags from a store are a set price, and the total of the individual items in the bag are usually double or triple the bag price. Lucky bags earned their name from the fact that they are sealed closed, so the customer hopes he or she will be lucky and purchase items that they wanted. Matt mentioned that when he was shopping many Japanese women brought nail clippers so that they could cut the plastic tie that kept the zipper in place and peek into the bags. I did not realize that most bags would be $50 to $100, which is too much for us to spend on a mystery! However, Matt brought me back a bag that was only $30 and filled with fluffy loungewear. That one lucky bag was so fun, so the next day we both went to the mall in search of more!

My first lucky bag!
For $30: house slippers, a matching mini-cape, nail clippers, a neck warmer, and a hot water bottle holder.

Frozen is HUGE here. This lucky bag shows exactly what you are getting: pajamas, scrunchie and a cape!

I found an accessory store with lucky bags for only $10. It reminded me of Claire's stores back home.

My loot. Pros: a jeweled headband and yellow necklace. Cons: a belly button ring and studded bracelet.

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