Do you know about the Upgarage lucky bag?


Every New Year’s, many stores in Japan are super crowded with people waiting in long lines to buy something called “Fukubukuro”.

Let’s find out what interesting things about them are with us!

1. What is Fukubukuro?

Fukubukuro is a combination of two words Fuku (福, meaning “luck, good fortune”) and Fukuro (袋, meaning “bag”).

At the start of each new year, people in Japan begin the annual hunt for Fukubukuro “the lucky bag” as the long-standing tradition and still, beloved until now as a great opportunity to try your luck with mystery bags that you don’t know what’s inside. These contain anything from clothes to food, depending on the store selling them and at ridiculously discounted prices. The contents are valued more than what people will be paying for them. For example, a lucky bag could cost 1,000 yen but the value of the items inside may be worth about 3,000 yen. They are limited in numbers, so first-come, first-serve, you’ll need to queue up there as soon as possible.

Picture from BBC

2. Since when did Fukubukuro come out?

There are many stories about the origin of Fukubukuro, one of which is from a bag called “Ebisu-bukuro” in the Edo period (1603-1868) that was sold at a kimono shop named “Echigoya” in Nihonbashi, the predecessor of the Mitsukoshi department store of today.  To get rid of excess stock, Echigoya put in the bags with fabrics that were left over for a year and sold them at the time of the winter sale, it became popular in the Edo period.

Bags are now no longer filled with random leftovers but are usually stacked with premium objects that would be significantly more expensive if bought separately.

3. When do Fukubukuro go on sale?

Every year, Fukubukuro is sold on the first 3 days of the year (January 1 to 3). However, some of the stores that sell a little earlier, starting from the end of December, while others sell until the end of January. It’s vital that not all stores are open on January 1, some are open on January 2 instead. Be sure to check the stores you are interested in, in advance.

What’s very interesting is that there are also places that sell Fukubukuro in the summer.

4. So lucky bags can be returned?

You basically buy Fukubukuro thinking you don’t know what’s inside. If the items inside are not what you think they are or are not needed by you, they will not be returned. This is like a game to try your luck at the beginning of the year. However, in cases like the product is the wrong size or broken, etc… it’s the fault of the store, it can be exchanged. You need to contact the store as soon as possible in the time frame. 

5. Where to buy lucky bags?

Fukubukuro is sold in many shops and departments. If you don’t want to go to the store and wait in line to buy the lucky bag, there is another option that is to order online but it depends on each store. For example, MacDonalds Japan requires to reserve a few weeks before the new year for lottery sales. 

6. Upgarage lucky bags:

Last but not least, what’s in Upgarage’s Fukubukuro bag?

Of course, things related to parts or accessories of cars and motorcycles. However, not all stores sell Fukubukuro. You need to check the information on the website or blog or even call the store directly for more details. Depending on the store, what’s inside will be different, there are bags for 1000 yen or bags for 3000 yen. This year, in one of our stores, there was a customer who said she bought a bag for 3000 yen which contained 10 items, the most expensive one was more than 4000 yen. It was a good deal, right?

However, this custom is only available in Japan and these lucky bags cannot be sent abroad. If you have the opportunity to go to Japan at the beginning of the year, let’s buy a lucky bag and enjoy the thrill of opening it! 

Thank you guys for taking the time out to read our blog!

Tell us interesting things about New Year in your country!

Comment below what title you are interested in!

See you in the next blog!

written by

Croooober EN