Fukubukuro sales in Japan kick off on New Year’s Day. We’ve already published a massive report on the 2012 Lucky Bag shopping fun in Harajuku. Now it’s time to turn our sights toward Shibuya. Whereas LaForet Harajuku opens on the first day of the year, Shibuya’s main shopping shrine Shibuya 109 doesn’t kick off its fukubukuro sale until January 2nd. Presumably, this is to give the hardest core Tokyo fashion shoppers the opportunity to hit both of the major New Year’s sales without the use of cloning or a transporter. Whatever the reason for the one-day delay, we love it because it gives us the chance to cover the two most exciting shopping events of the New Year for our best friends around the world (that’s you!).
If you aren’t yet familiar with the concept of Japanese fukubukuro/lucky bags, please check out our recent Harajuku report for a full explanation.
The fukubukuro sales at Shibuya 109 are similar to those at LaForet Harajuku – but with an added twist! Once girls are done racing through Shibuya 109 and loading up on lucky bags, they head outside to open all of them. Why don’t shoppers wait until they get home to check the contents of their mystery bags? Because on January 2nd of each year, the entire front of Shibuya 109 is transformed into a huge trading area where hundreds of girls swap unwanted fukubukuro items with each other so that everyone can find something they really want!
Imagine you end up with a lucky bag full of striped shirts, but you’re not really into stripes. You can join the crowd in front of Shibuya 109, waving those striped shirts above your head and shouting in the hope that someone with solid colored shirts (or anything else of interest) will see them and want to trade. To the casual observer, the scene outside of Shibuya 109 may look like madness, but it’s a longstanding tradition and something that many young Japanese women look forward to each year.
In addition to Shibuya 109, we took photos at various other shops and areas around Shibuya including Shibuya 109-2 (for men), Center Street, Spain Zaka, Parco Shibuya, and Grimoire Almadel. We also took street snaps of Japanese girls and their New Year’s shopping haul so that you could see who’s actually doing the buying and what brands they’re buying. This year, we also made a short video featuring the opening of LaForet Harajuku and Shibuya 109! Enjoy the fukubukuro photos and video and Happy New Year!
LaForet Harajuku & Shibuya 109 Fukubukuro Video
Shibuya 109 & Shibuya Fukubukuro Pictures
Click any of the Shibuya fukubukuro pictures to enlarge them.
If you enjoyed this report, don’t miss the additional 150 pictures we posted of fukubukuro in Harajuku!