Skip to Content

Welcoming in the Japanese New Year with Surprise Bags

Living in Japan, we get to do things that are much harder to experience if you are just coming to the country on vacation. However, we can tell you what to look for and how to do it, so you can experience it as well. One of the really cool New Year’s traditions is to go shopping…with a twist! The twist? Every store, from the local grocery store to the high end fashion boutique makes special bags with a gift of their products inside.

They can go for really cheap, say 500 yen upwards of hundreds of thousands yen. These are bags full of goodies, some of which are clearly marked as to their contents and others that are a complete surprise.  We chose to buy a surprise one from a grocery store.  Check out our video below to see what we got!

Welcoming in the Japanese New Year with Monkeys and Surprise Bags

How to the Japanese Shop for New Year?

 

Additional Reading:
Mochi, Mochi, Mochi – Another New Year’s Tradition
How to Hanami – Cherry Blossoms in Japan
Christmas Dinner in Japan at KFC
Cultural Exchanges and Making Life-long Friends

Toni | 2 Aussie Travellers

Thursday 21st of January 2016

Lovely photo of the Nagano snow monkeys brings back many happy memories of our visit. I'm a monkey on the zodiac so I really hoped to get back this winter but it's not to be unfortunately.

Corinne Vail

Thursday 21st of January 2016

Toni, That's too bad! Happy golden year!

Packing my Suitcase

Saturday 16th of January 2016

haha lovely!! Very cool video :D I have to confess I'm not a fan of being on the video, but I enjoy watchings others :D Happy New Year and thank you for linking up with #MondayEscapes

Corinne Vail

Sunday 17th of January 2016

Thanks! We certainly had fun making it.

Mama Herself

Friday 15th of January 2016

Interestingly (to me), in Russia they also nod to the Chinese horoscope at New Year by having a lot of themes decorations and such based on whatever is coming up next, so I am already well aware it is the year of the monkey next. Love the idea of celebrating this a at monkey park. Also love the idea of surprise shopping bags - like stockings from santa for grown ups!

Corinne Vail

Saturday 16th of January 2016

Mama, I love all the traditions. They are really a lot of fun!

Nancie

Friday 15th of January 2016

Happy New Year! Loved your video. That is a great tradition. Loved all of your reactions to the bean paste (something I hate!) Thanks for linking up. #TPThursday

Corinne Vail

Friday 15th of January 2016

Nancie, No problem. Now that I'm not traveling during the week it's easier.

Sophie @ Sophie's World

Thursday 14th of January 2016

I'm always home for new year's - traditions, traditions... time to try something new next year, I think. Ringing in the new year in Japan sounds fantastic.

Corinne Vail

Thursday 14th of January 2016

Sophie, You should! It was a blast!