Filled with awesome Ghibli character goods, Donguri Kyowakoku has some of the best lucky bags in all of Japan.

At the start of every year, Japanese retailers sell fukubukuro lucky bags filled with mystery items that usually add up to more than the price you pay for the bag. Sometimes these fukubukuro can be hit-and-miss, but one that never fails to disappoint is the lucky bag from Studio Ghibli merchandise retail chain, Donguri Kyowakoku.

In past years, these bags were sold on New Year’s Day on a first-come-first-served basis, creating queues out the front door of branches well before opening time. However, now that the government is asking people to avoid crowds during the pandemic, Donguri Kyowakoku sold their bags via an advance registration system this year, with customers picking up their bags from 28 December.

We got in quick with our reservation to avoid missing out on these sought-after lucky bags, which have been known to sell out within minutes. So it was a happy day yesterday when we got to pick our bag up from the store and take it home to discover what was inside.

▼ Check out the haul below, which cost just 4,000 yen (US$38.57)!

Once again, the Donguri Kyowakoku lucky bag didn’t disappoint, with eight items in total and appearances from some of our favourite characters from the studio’s most well-known films.

The bag contained the following items:

A Kiki’s Delivery Service Cushion Cover, featuring magical black cat Jiji sitting on a windowsill

A Kiki’s Delivery Service Jiji Towel

A Kiki’s Delivery Service Jiji Aluminium Lunch Box

▼ A My Neighbour Totoro tumbler

▼ A My Neighbour Totoro Four Seasons Photo Frame

▼ A My Neighbour Totoro wooden coaster

▼ A My Neighbour Totoro Kurutoga Mechanical Pencil

And a Mary and the Witch’s Flower Handkerchief, which was a nice surprise addition, given that the film comes from Studio Ponoc. The Ghibli connection is strong here, though, as Studio Ponoc was founded by Yoshiaki Nishimura, a former Ghibli employee and producer of Ghibli’s When Marnie Was There.

After going through our haul, we couldn’t believe we’d netted all this gorgeous anime merch for just 4,000 yen! In fact, the Jiji cushion cover was such good quality we reckon it made up the cost of the bag alone, and given that the store’s aluminium lunch boxes usually retail for 2,000 yen and the mechanical pencil costs 880 yen, everything in the bag was great value, and worth much more than the price we paid for it.

It’s a great way to cap off a great year of Ghibli releases from the popular retail chain, who brought us everything from Spirited Away’s mysterious bathhouse spirits to plushies that turn into eco-friendly shopping bags.

Now we can’t wait for another year of Ghibli releases on the horizon, which means we’d better start saving our yen with this coin-gobbling No Face from Spirited Away!

Photos © SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]