Blogs

Take a look at the special goods only available to special lottery winners.

As we herald in a new year in Japan, it’s time to herald in a new set of fukubukuro (literally “lucky bags”), which is what discounted product bundles sold by companies at this time of year are called.

For a lot of people, the absolute champion of lucky bags belongs to Starbucks. This year, like previous years, the bags were sold by advance lottery, and securing one is no easy task — out of the 16 reporters who applied for one in our office, only two were successful.

Our reporter Masanuki Sunakoma was one of our two lucky lottery winners, who was given the privilege of purchasing a bag for 7,500 yen (US$65.16). He had to wait until New Year’s Day for his bundle to arrive, though, and when it did, he found it came in a Starbucks-branded cardboard box.

Opening a fukubukuro like this on New Year’s Day in Japan is just as exciting as opening a present on Christmas Day, because what’s inside is a mystery. The only thing Starbucks revealed about the bag was that it contained drink vouchers and goods like mugs and stainless steel tumblers, all valued at more than the price you pay for the bundle.

The first thing he saw when he opened the box was not one, but two Starbucks tote bags!

…continue reading