Fukubukuro are grab bags

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Fukubukuro are grab bags for grown-ups.

The name means lucky (fuku) bag (bukuro) and it is just that. For a set amount of money, you select a sealed shopping bag full of merchandise. You get at least as much as you paid for and if you are lucky, you get more.

I decided to search for a fukubukuro for myself. Matsuzakaya, an old-fashioned department store, was my target shopping experience. Outside the store, three men beat an uneven rhythm on a giant taiko drum as they whipped the passersby into a frenzy and hawked the last three 10,000 yen fukubukuro. I wasn't quite ready to part with that much money ($100) so I slipped inside to look for more modest surprises.

I amassed a number of small household purchases, but no lucky bag. I left disappointed. At the train station, I had a change of heart and dashed back to Matsuzakaya for a jewelry grab bag.

I decided on a 5,000 yen bag of Monet jewelry. It was a good choice. My bag contained three necklaces, a pair of earring and a bracelet worth at least 20,000 according to the price tags. I'll wear all the necklaces. As for the bracelet and earrings, well, maybe I'll find a use for them.

Fukubukuro are fun. Perhaps next year I'll try for a luxury fukubukuro in the 1,000,000 yen range ($10,000). I could find myself with a new car or a vacation.

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