I am nomad. Hear me roar.


Tuesday, 11 January 2011


A traditional New Year in Japan is celebrated in a very similar manner in which Christmas is celebrated in many western cultures. It's all about family, almost the whole population returns to their home town to spend time with their loved ones. For those who are that way inclined it is also a religious holiday, with many making the pilgrimage on New Years Day to their local shrine, to literally ring in the new year by making the shrine bells chime.

This year by dancing the night away in Kyoto, I had what would be considered a very traditional Australian New Year, not a Japanese one. There was one aspect of Japanese New Year still open to me, a fukubukuro.

A fukubukuro is a type of lucky dip bag that almost all the shops offer over the New Years period. They range in price between stores, and can be anywhere between what would equate to $10 to around $300, depending on the store and the size of the bag. The bags are sealed and opaque, so you have little to no idea of what you will end up with when you purchase it, but there in lies the fun.

Now, for my little foray into the world of fukubukuro, I enlisted a friend of mine, Miss Manga Masque, to show me around her favourite shopping haunts. We had two objectives in mind, firstly to experience the above mentioned fukubukuro, and secondly to find me a souvenir in the form of a Harajuku-esque maid outfit.

Miss Masque and I spend an impressive 6 hours shopping, and came away with a myriad of items from Ame-mura and Namba, including a 1050 yen fukubukuro each from an accessories shop which spouted a flood of wares that would normally retail for 3 or 4 times what we paid, and a fabulous floral plum yukata style maid dress for me.

Mission accomplished.

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