I am a huge fan of fukubukuro and have been getting them for about a decade now. Before I had a kid, I liked to get fukubukuro from clothing stores like moussy and mila owen. I also got a really great deal on an air conditioner from a fukubukuro at 50% off and used it for many years.
When I was pregnant, I became obsessed with LUPICIA non-caffeine tea and made sure to get their fukubukuro every year so that I could get a variety of tea at half-off.
So of course when I had a child, I knew I wanted to get fukubukuro for her.
So What Exactly Are Fukubukuro?
Fukubukuro (福袋) means lucky (福, fuku) bag (袋, bukuro) and as the same suggests, these are bags you can buy from stores in Japan during New Year’s that are filled with goodies and are supposed to be a bargain (hence “lucky”). These are kind of like mystery bags since what is exactly inside tends to be a surprise, although nowadays some stores share the contents (which I prefer).
In the past, fukubukuro were meant to be a way for stores in Japan to thank their customers at the beginning of the year for having supported them the previous year and to hope they will continue to show their support, so the contents were a great deal and sometimes businesses (willingly) lost money because of it.
However, my husband and I have found that throughout the years, fukubukuro have become less of a great deal and more of a way for businesses to get rid of products they haven’t been able to sell (if they don’t share the contents beforehand). Some stores also make special items specifically for their fukubukuro, like Gelato Pique (a popular store that sells PJs and lounging clothes), but sometimes this means the quality isn’t quite the same as usual.
This doesn’t mean that there aren’t still great fukubukuro out there, though! So to save you the time of trying to figure out which fukubukuro to get for your kid (or even yourself), I’ve compiled a list of what I consider great deals.
Where and When to Get Fukubukuro in Japan
As mentioned earlier, fukubukuro are sold by stores in Japan during New Year’s. The best places to go are malls like Lalaport or AEON because there are tons of stores selling bags at the same time. However, keep in mind that it will be crowded and some people tend to start lining up outside of stores before they open on the first day the bags are sold!
Fukubukuro are traditionally sold on January 1st although recently you can start buying them as early as October if you are reserving it online. This especially goes for popular fukubukuro that sell out quickly.
Best Fukubukuro (Lucky Bags) for Kids in Japan
The fukubukuro from this Japanese donut chain is one of the most popular out there, especially for those with kids. It contains a gift card, which basically pays for itself, and a bunch of adorable freebies, which lately are Pokemon-themed.
There are three different fukubukuro you can get and the contents change according to price. For instance, the 2400 yen fukubukuro contains a gift card that allows you to buy 20 donuts, a reusable Pokemon bag, a Pokemon calendar, a Pokemon memo pad, and a Pokemon pouch. I got these two years in a row because I lived close to a Mister Donuts branch but now that I don’t, I’m not planning on getting one this year.
These are sold from December 25th, 2023 in stores and the gift card expires at the end of May 2024.
Aeon has a ton of different fukubukuro ranging from food to clothing, and I find that most are quite a good deal, especially ones for kids.
I like that you can see what’s inside so it’s easy to tell what’s worth the price or not. Using the money my daughter got from her grandparents for Christmas, I got her an Aqua Beads one and everything was basically half-off the price in stores and on Amazon Japan.
I also bought her a Pretty Cure stationary set and a Pokemon bento set for 1000 yen each.
I thought the Jurassic Park dinosaur set was a good deal as well but refrained from getting it for her because she has too many toys.
They also have character PJs and undies for sale but I think the price is almost the same Nishimatsuya (perhaps a little more, even!).
These Fukubukuro are sold in AEON stores from December 25th.
(If you have a pet, you can also get fukubukuro for them from their pet store, PETEMO! I used to get fukubukuro for my rabbit from there but he’s old now and can’t finish everything, so I’ve stopped.)
Shimamura is known for its low prices and, unsurprisingly, its fukubukuro are also great deals. They have a lot of fukubukuro featuring clothes of popular characters such as Anpanman and Pretty Cure.
These are sold in-store only.
Another popular and affordable children’s clothing store, Birthday has fukubukuro featuring characters from shows like Inai Inai Baa!, Paw Patrol, and Disney Baby.
These are sold in-store only.
Another popular store for babies and young children, they offer various fukubukuro including adorable clothing for newborns featuring the New Year’s zodiac animal.
They also have clothing for toddlers and toys. We bought a Meru chan fukubukuro for our daughter in early 2023 that contained a doll, bassinet, food, and some other items, and gave it to her on her birthday in July. She was so happy (and so was our wallet)!
Okay, so I was hesitant to put this here because… it’s been awful for the last two years. And I imagine 2024’s might not be great either but who knows.
The bag costs 5000 yen and contains 15000 yen worth of toys but what I’ve noticed is that many toys are no longer popular and cheaper on Amazon Japan. But if you’re curious, check it out!
You can buy this fukubukuro in stores or online.
This electronics store has some of the best deals when it comes to fukubukuro containing toys such as Barbie, Anpanman, and Mario.
We bought a bag of Barbie toys for our daughter last year and gave it to her on her birthday! At over half-off, it was such a good deal.
These can only be bought in-store.
This is a huge store that sells practically everything, from groceries to appliances, clothes to makeup, and toys! Their fukubukuro can be really great deals (they have Vivienne Westwood and other brand bag ones that sell out immediately) as well as fukubukuro for kids containing popular toys or clothes.
Be warned, though, people start lining up first thing in the morning on January 1st to get these and it’s chaos inside.
These bags can only be bought in-store.
Ghibli Store (Donguri republic)
Maybe these are more suited for adults but if your child is a fan, then they might like this one.
The contents are all official Ghibli products and are a great deal when considering the price. However, since you don’t know what’s inside, you might end up with something you don’t like, but it’s also easy to tell on Mercari if needed.
These fukubukuro are reservation-only and are sold in November so make sure to check their Twitter account. These are very popular so people start lining up on the day before the store opens, and it usually sells out right away. Note that you also don’t receive the bag until January, so you have to go again and pick it up.
— ジブリがいっぱい どんぐり共和国【公式】 (@ghibli_dongurep) November 1, 2023
This is another fukubukuro I got two times but decided against a third (for now). You can choose among different Sanrio characters such as Hello Kitty or My Melody and will receive a stuffed animal of that character holding a small figure of that year’s zodiac animal. There are also a ton of other goodies inside and I think it’s a pretty good deal.
It looks like this year you can see what’s inside as well.
This fukubukuro is sold in stores or online.
This is something I got for my daughter twice because I think it’s a pretty good value for what you get.
Miki House is a fancy clothing brand for kids in Japan and something popular to gift people when they have kids. This doesn’t stop parents from buying Miki House clothing, though, and the lucky bag is one of the best ways not to break the bank.
They have several types of fukubukuro but I prefer the cheapest one at 22,000 yen, which usually contains 4 items. Last year my daughter got jeans, a jumper, a shirt, and a dress. It’s a little expensive but the clothes are good quality and I sell them on Mercari after my kid grows out of them.
You can buy these fukubukuro in stores or online.
At its price point and featuring Mezzo Piano products, including a jacket, this is a very popular fukubukuro. It comes in two colors and styles, and the cuter one always sells out immediately. I have yet to get one!
You can buy these in stores or online.
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This is a more affordable but still nice children’s clothing store in Japan, and their fukubukuro is no exception. It’s great for the price and comes in two kinds, one for boys and one for girls.
This year’s is sold out online but you might be able to find it in stores.
(Also, Narumiya Online has a ton of other clothing brands that have fukubukuro, and some are still available so you might want to check it out!)
If you’re a fan of COMME CA ISM, then you might be interested in their lucky bag that contains a jacket, a jumper, and pants.
This can be bought in stores or online.
Pokemon fans might like this fukubukuro that contains two long-sleeved shirts, a hoodie, pants, and a bag.
This is sold online.
Are there any fukubukuro you feel should be added to the list? Let me know in the comments!