Crowds stampede stores for Japan's 'lucky bags'

Crowds stampede stores for Japan's 'lucky bags'

Some underpriced goodie bags contained coats, others, a Macbook Air
"This one better have what I want."

It’s "lucky" to be in Japan for New Year celebrations.

To kick off the start of the new business year, Japanese retailers have a custom of selling sealed goodie bags priced at a large discount.

The bags, called "fukubukuro" (meaning "lucky bag" or "mystery bag"), can contain items worth more than six times their retail price.

While most stores in Japan opened on Wednesday, January 2, the first business day of the new year, 2013 marked the first year that a department store opened on New Year’s Day.

According to the Japan Times, Tokyo's Sogo & Seibu Co. opened at 9:30 a.m., half an hour earlier than planned, taking pity on the 20,000 shoppers in line in front of the Ikebukuro flagship store. The store prepared 150,000 bags for the event. 

Japan's Apple stores also held a Lucky Bag sale, offering sealed bags for ¥33,000 (US$380).

Unofficial Apple blog TUAW reported that customers stayed in line for up to 16 hours, with some coming away with bags that contained a MacBook Air.

The luckier ones posted photos of their hauls on Twitter and tech blogs.

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Frances Cha is a Digital Producer at CNN Travel. 


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