Japanese Lucky Bags

January 18, 2011 · 9 comments

To celebrate new years. In Japan, stores offer lucky bags. Lucky bags are sealed bags with merchandise from the store for sale at a discounted price. Usually the minimum you get is 3-4x the value of the bag inside. So if the bag costs 1000Y, then you will likely get 3-4000Y of stuff inside. If it costs 10000Y, then you can expect 30-40000Y of products inside, often more!

Little stores do this as well as big department stores. Originally they really were random, but now clothing stores mark the clothing sizes on the outside (still be worth checking to see if you are small medium or large by trying something on in the shop. By UK sizes I am medium but in Japan I am verging on X Large).

I bought 3 lucky bags, first from a chocolatier:

Chocolate lucky bag

Sealed bag - 1000Y

Inside Japanese chocolate lucky bag

Contents revealed!

I also picked up this box on my trip home from Tokyo on a bus at a service station. Yes even service stations do lucky bags!

Service station lucky bag

Probably the nicest decorated box I saw


Inside service station box

Inside that box was mostly snacks, and some strange card thing, this cost me 500Y. Lastly I got a lucky  bag from some store called ‘Gamerz’ which I can barely explain what they sell, but it is manga based stuff from what I can work out.

Lucky bag in Japan

What's inside?

Gamerz Japan lucky bag

This one was PACKED with stuff

This 2000Y bag had nothing in that I recognise and mostly school girl pictures. But was packed from a large calendar textile poster (although only to April this year not December) to a metal button/badge (yep). All the items had the price tags on, which all added up to over 14000Y, that’s over 7x the value of what I paid! Admittedly I wouldn’t have bought this stuff otherwise, but still I can see the appeal, especially in a culture where things are usually so highly priced. I’ve listed the items below to give you an idea on the prices and what you can get.

700Y – Mascot keyring

525Y – Fan

6300Y – Material calendar poster

200y – Badge/medal

630Y – Metal keyring

525Y – Clear plastic poster thing

630Y – Plastic files x2

500Y – Two bits of printed paper in a cardboard package

315Y – Clear sheet with print on

3150Y – Book which seems to progressively get pornographic

1575y – Long posters x7

Have you bought a lucky bag in Japan or elsewhere? What did you get in it?

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

alex January 19, 2011 at 5:13 AM

The kanji says “I love Hentai” bro


AdventureRob January 19, 2011 at 6:42 AM

Haha, that would be funny if it did


Jill - Jack and Jill Travel The World January 21, 2011 at 1:44 AM

No, I’ve never bought a lucky bag… but what a fun idea. I can see myself getting into the whole surprise thing. Especially with a bag from a chocolate shop, can’t go wrong there…
Jill – Jack and Jill Travel The World´s latest blogpost – The Quest For The Most Expensive Coffee In The World


AdventureRob January 23, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Yeah I was done for the day then walked past the chocolate shop with the lucky bags outside. I sighed. Knew I had no choice, and pointed and smiled at the bag handing over my money :-)


Michelle January 25, 2011 at 4:26 PM

That looks really cool. What a great idea! I’d definitely go buy some of those chocolate bags
Michelle´s latest blogpost – How do Travelers Cope with Real Life


AdventureRob January 26, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Thanks :-) I think there should be lucky bags all year round. Especially in Japan when to get rid of old stock they put the price UP rather than down like every other country I know.


haru.k January 14, 2012 at 11:41 PM

I want lucky bags!! :-p


AdventureRob January 15, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Go buy one then :P


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