you know, I just sort of realised I never quite finished talking about my Japan trip. Things kind of got caught up and was forgotten. It’s not like I deliberately did that, but in truth, so much has happened since my Japan trip.
Walking around the shops the last few days, I often thought of Japan… Mostly because I miss a particular drink from Japan, or food, or convenience of the konbini.. It’s really weird. It just sort of suddenly pop up in my head. People would sometimes wonder why – Australia has no lack of good food or Japanese cuisine. The truth is, though, all food in Japan tastes different from those in Australia. The tastes are, generally, much lighter. So, when I got hunting for a compatible yoghurt drink, for example, I often muse over how thick and heavy the drink tastes
One of the few things I really want to do, at some point in my life before I get too old (!!!!) is to eventually get around to Japan during the New Year’s celebrations. Nothing to do with the actual celebration, I just LOVE fukubukuros and a reason to buy them (of course, I could just buy heaps and then pan them off to my sister!).
Fukubukuros, also known as happy bags or lucky bags, are basically bags worth of products sold off at a massively discounted price. Retailers in Japan, at the end of the year, tries to clear all the stock by bundling all the items up in a bag. Usually, you have no idea what you are getting besides a rough gauge of what might be there (clothing stores = clothes; electronic stores = gadgets). In recent times though, this has changed some what. Some retailers reveal what’s mostly likely in the bag (sometimes, they still differ due to stock levels).
My very first fukubukuro was from Strapya a few years ago. It was a classic fukubukuro in that it was in a red paper bag that says “lucky bag” in japanese on the front (these days, depending on what store you can go to, sometimes the bag itself is part of the fukubukuro’s gifts). However, there’s only so much netsuke one can use in one’s lifetime, particularly since I have already shopped like mad in Japan for netsuke things before. Furthermore, there were few useful items in the strapya fukubukuro for me so sadly, it is possibly one of those fukubukuros you buy once every few years.
Aranzi Aronzo was a brand I discovered quite by accident. During one of my pilgrimage up to Sydney’s Kinokuniya, I discovered that they were having this exhibition of Aranzi Aronzo products. There were a couple of craft books that I bought from there, as well as a couple of containers and what not. Aranzi Aronzo’s products are filled with cute, whimsical yet simplistic characters. This year, I finally bought one of their uber fukubukuros.
When I got the parcel today, I was both excited and disappointed. They have listed the items inside the parcel on their site, and some people have already blogged about the clock being included in the fukubukuro, amongst many other things. I am sort of in need of a clock. However, not only did I not get the clock, the list that was included in the parcel revealed that not all of the items came with the parcel
Whatever came with the fukubukuro… was absolutely wonderful! I would so use all of them, except for the picnic mat! Here’s a picture of some of the things I have got
I am also very very thankful that they took notice of my note to them. Most of my friends know me by the nickname of Panda, rather than Anivyl. Thusly, I requested if I could have the Panda bag out of the “possibilities” – and they gave me the panda bag! yay! thanks Aranzi Aronzo
There were a few other things that I didn’t take a picture of or isn’t clear in the pictures – notepads, stamps, an apron, 2 onsen towels and the picnic mat itself. The missing item, that I wasn’t expecting but loved the idea now, is the usagi chopping board. This was a fairly expensive fukubukuro, but if I had bought each item individually, they would have costed me more. Also, I love them, so they are worth it