Regardless, we were definitely happy with it!

The New Year is coming, and that means it’s time to spend our hard-earned cash on lucky bags, or fukubukuro, which are bags and boxes containing mystery items from our favorite retailers and restaurants! For our Japanese-language reporter and beef bowl fan Seiji Nakazawa, that means getting the lucky box from fast-casual restaurant Yoshinoya.

Seiji’s been buying Yoshinoya lucky boxes for quite some time, so he pretty much knows what’s going to be inside them every year. Though he’s happy to finally have the 2024 lucky box, he didn’t expect it to be much different from previous ones, so imagine his delight when he discovered this year’s contained a pleasant surprise!

Seiji had selected the Dragon Set, which sells for 4,840 yen (US$33.23). At the time Seiji wrote about his box, there were three different kinds, each named after animals of the Zodiac. Seiji chose the Dragon Set because it was advertised to contain a rice bowl with an original, Yoshinoya-inspired design. After all, the most exciting thing about lucky bags is the prospect of getting novelty goods.

When Seiji opened up the box, frozen packs of Yoshinoya meals, which are regularly included in Yoshinoya lucky boxes, awaited him in a pile at the top. Inside were six packs (two each of Grilled Chicken Bowl, Pork Bowl, and Beef Bowl–each without the rice, of course), which he considered the perfect amount for one person.

Underneath those was another box, on which “Arita ware” was written, signifying that the box contained porcelain goods made in the town of Arita in Kyushu.

The words didn’t lie, as inside was a porcelain bowl with an original design.

It was smaller than regular rice bowls. Almost comically so.

Certainly compared to last years (shown on the left), it looked like a kid-size bowl.

Some people, especially those getting a Yoshinoya Lucky Box for the first time, might be disappointed to receive a bowl so small, but from the perspective of someone who loves lucky bags like Seiji, having two different bowls is actually a huge bonus. Two different sizes offer many different uses, so he has absolutely no complaints about his bowl being extra small this year.

The total of the box’s contents were as follows:

● 1 porcelain rice bowl
● 1 collectible mini
● 2 packs of Beef Bowl
● 2 packs of Pork Bowl
● 2 packs of Grilled Chicken Bowl

The collectible mini and the meal packs are all standard inclusions in the Yoshinoya Lucky Box, so those were familiar items to Seiji, but even so, there was something slightly different about this year’s box: the bowl and the meals came together in one box.

Last year, if you wanted to get the limited-edition bowl, you had to choose between getting either additional merchandise or frozen meal packs. Seiji had chosen to get the merchandise, and precisely because all he got last year were collectibles, he found himself appreciating this box all the more for its variety.

▼ What came in last year’s box

Yoshinoya’s lucky box also differs from the one from its beef bowl chain rival Matsuya, which was packed only with food, by including a bowl and collectibles together with its signature food. This was a definite bonus for Seiji. He’ll definitely be buying another box next year!

Images © SoraNews24
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