Japanese department stores to tailor mystery bags to foreigners

Japanese department stores to tailor mystery bags to foreigners
Lucky bags are a New Year's tradition in Japan.

TOKYO - Tokyo department stores will sell "lucky bags" prepared especially for foreign shoppers during their New Year's sales, the latest in broader moves to capture demand from the growing number of visitors to Japan.

Lucky bags, called "fukubukuro" in Japanese, are a New Year's tradition here and contain a random selection of merchandise at a discount.

Sogo & Seibu will offer 20 types of lucky bags for foreigners at its main store, in Ikebukuro, on Jan 1. They will be sold at a section near duty-free counters. The store will also offer Japanese souvenirs in a dedicated section.

Bags containing stoles, umbrellas and other items will be priced at 5,000 yen (S$55). Ones with high-end towels will go for 10,000 yen, while bags including a suitcase will range between 10,000 yen and 50,000 yen.

Isetan Mitsukoshi will sell lucky bags of Japanese food at a Ginza district store, a popular spot for foreigners, on Jan. 3. Each will contain 13 items, including rice, sake and Japanese sweets, with English-language descriptions. They will be priced at 4,320 yen.

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