Take a look at the presents in store for beef bowl lovers in Japan at New Year.

In Japan, fukubukuro lucky bags have long been part of the joy of New Year’s, as they contain a bundle of random items worth more than the price you pay for the bag, making them feel like surprise gifts.

In recent years, the tradition has evolved somewhat, so some lucky bags are sold well ahead of New Year’s, and in the case of beef bowl chain Yoshinoya, there’s no bag involved at all. Instead, Yoshinoya sells its fukubukuro in boxes, and our reporter Seiji Nakazawa ordered one of them online, receiving it a few days later.

▼ A lucky box inside a standard box.

This wasn’t Seiji’s first rodeo when it comes to Yoshinoya fukubukuro, as he’d previously ordered one for himself last year. Back then, his box contained a number of retort meal pouches, which just need to be dropped into boiling water to prepare, so he was half-expecting to see them again this year.

▼ Last year’s Yoshinoya fukubukuro haul

Seiji found that the ready-made pouches came in handy at the end of last year, when he couldn’t be bothered to venture out into the cold to eat at an actual Yoshinoya branch.

▼ One of the meals he made last year.

There are a number of different Yoshinoya fukubukuro available, and Seiji opted for the 7,700 yen (US$55.95) box, which was the same price he paid last year.

As he lifted the lid on the box, he was looking forward to seeing a bunch of retort pouches, but this year, there was a different collection of presents waiting for him inside.

As you can see, Seiji was now the owner of seven round plastic balls. Readers of our site might recognise these balls as the gacha capsules that contain miniature Yoshinoya beef bowls and set meals, which were first released in 2021.

The miniatures inside each capsule are fun to put together, and the attention to detail is just as fantastic as when we first compared them to real-world sized beef bowls.

That wasn’t the end of the lucky contents, though — there was another mystery gift awaiting Seiji at the bottom of the box…

Judging by the size and shape of the vessel, Seiji had a hunch this would be a Yoshinoya bowl, but he had no idea what it would like until he took it out of its packaging.

▼ Wow, what a glorious bowl!

▼ Check out the glistening, golden kanji characters spelling out the word “Yoshinoya”!

This bowl was exactly what Seiji had been hoping for, so he held it aloft and did a little happy dance to express his delight at receiving it. Back in 2020, Seiji had lined up for a lucky bag at the Yoshinoya at Tama Plaza Terrace store in Kanagawa Prefecture, only to receive a vessel inside that looked like this.

It was a misshapen but stylish piece of porcelain, complete with the Yoshinoya logo, and while it was nice to look at, it wasn’t ideal for Seiji, who found it hard to hold.

So he’d been secretly holding out for a round rice bowl, not only for practical reasons, but for the fact that it makes for a more authentic Yoshinoya-at-home experience.

▼ Especially with branded chopsticks in the set as well.

So all up, Seiji received seven capsule toys, valued at 500 yen each, along with a pair of chopsticks, valued at 1,870 yen, and a Yoshinoya bowl, which can usually only be purchased as part of a set with retort pouches, from 5,225 yen.

Seiji was happy with his haul, especially as these fukubukuro are only sold in limited quantities. While it would’ve been nice to have something edible included in the box, he won’t complain, especially as he has some canned Yoshinoya beef bowls still kicking about in his pantry!

Reference: Yoshinoya
Photos ©SoraNews24

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