It’s some no-frills food and fun.

Every time the end of the year comes around, all kinds of businesses bring out their lucky bags, also known as “fukubukuro.” It’s become a competitive event with places such as Starbucks and Yoshinoya offering lifestyle items beyond their usual fare of food and drink to ensure customer satisfaction. Sometimes, though, it seems that the true spirit of getting lucky with an unknown assortment of goods crammed into a sack gets lost in the midst of it all.

An example can be found in Osho, one of Japan’s most popular Chinese restaurant chains. Their lucky bag for 2024 is a star-studded affair, teaming up with Sanrio’s hottest star of the year Hangyodan. It has a real premium vibe to it with the addition of limited edition Sanrio merch.

Image: PR Times

But this isn’t the only lucky bag Osaka Ohsho is putting out this year. There’s also the Food Loss Reduction Eco Lucky Bag, whose unimpressive name prepares you for its equally unimpressive cardboard box packaging.

But after purchasing one for 3,980 yen (US$28), our reporter Yuichiro Wasai discovered that we shouldn’t let appearances deceive us. Upon opening his lucky bag box, Yuichiro was greeted with a bunch of frozen foods. Naturally, there was Osaka Ohsho’s top-ranking gyoza in there.

And it was joined by a pack of shumai dumplings.

Yuichiro was also surprised to find not just any bag of fried rice, but Curry Fried Rice!

These items were joined by some chicken nanban and some japchae, which is a Korean stir-fry using translucent noodles made of starch and vegetables.

▼ Japchae

There was also a pack of stir-fried rice vermicelli, which are very similar to the noodles in japchae, but obviously made of rice. The odd thing about these two packs of noodles is that they don’t even mention Osaka Ohsho anywhere on the label. Rather, they appear to have been made by a brand called Kenmin.

▼ Rice vermicelli

Unlike gyoza and shumai, Yuichiro doesn’t normally eat these kinds of noodle dishes and wasn’t sure what to make of them, but when he cooked them up for his family he was surprised at the rave reviews from everyone. It truly was a lucky bag for him.

Since this is a “food loss reduction” item, the contents can vary quite a bit depending on what kinds of food Osaka Ohsho needs to reduce the loss of at that time. And with the addition of other brands’ items, you can never really be sure of what you’ll get.

▼ As long as there’s some of that gyoza there, you can’t lose.

In addition to a real element of luck in these lucky bags, there’s also a nice feeling of helping to combat food waste. And while it doesn’t come with any fancy collaborations, there’s a lot to enjoy and discover in these unassuming brown boxes.

Photos ©SoraNews24 (Unless otherwise noted)
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]