2018 fukubukuro (and what I bought at LeCreuset instead of a Lucky Box)

Over the years I’ve had limited success with fukubukuro (lucky bags) and generally try to avoid the crazy lines that accompany New Year’s bargain season here in Japan.

This year I tried the online application system for a Starbucks fukubukuro and failed to get a ticket, so I thought about reserving one of the Lucky Boxes that LeCreuset was offering instead. In the past I’ve ended up with clothes that don’t suit me or accessories I didn’t use, which made me hesitant to invest in a more expensive set without being sure of the contents. The staff at my local shop said they’d have leftovers and extra sets for the department store sale beginning on the 3rd and I decided to check that out instead.

We got to LeCreuset pretty early and were impressed with all the boxes; the contents were really practical and would be a great deal for someone looking to get their first pot. I had assumed they would be filled with tiny dish sets and the little 16cm dutch ovens, but everything was really useable and about half price for the items in the box – coming out to an even better deal than most things at the family sales!

The ¥20,000 boxes came with 20cm dutch ovens and different styles of dishes, plus a silicone spatula:
*At the time of writing, ¥20,000 Lucky Boxes are still available in the LeCreuset Japan online store*

The ¥10,000 box was a matching kettle, teapot and two 350ml mugs:

The ¥30,000 box had a nice, deep non-stick fry pan, a 22cm dutch oven, a silicone pot rest and 3 mini round cocotte in coordinating colors:
*At the time of writing, ¥30,000 Lucky Boxes are still available in the LeCreuset Japan online store*

The ¥50,000 box is another great deal! The dutch ovens are in neutral colors and include a round 24cm pot and what looked like the shorter “Japonais” style in 18cm (I think it’s called a risotto pot in other markets), plus a cast iron skillet, insulated handle cover, silicone spatula and one of the 6-piece rainbow plate sets that I only see in the outlets or at family sales:

But it was the ¥15,000 box (shown above) that weighed on my mind. I love the grey bowls and thought the classic 18cm dutch oven with spatula could be worth stashing as a great gift. I decided to walk away to check a few other shops and when I came back it was already sold out.

Prior to seeing the contents of the Lucky Boxes, I had already decided that I’d probably buy myself a 22cm Japonais dutch oven since it’s down to a good price in the current sale. (I also considered the flower-shaped pot, but mochi hates it so I held off for now.) We often use our LeCreuset tartin pan for food that transfers from stovetop to oven – especially frittatas and meat dishes – and try not to use olive oil on our GreenPan frying pans, but sometimes I want a little more depth for sauces or baking and have been wishing for this mid-way height for a while. I’m still a little sad to have missed the great Lucky Box deal, but as mochi says “space is money” in our tiny house and it’s not worth the discount to store something we don’t need.

Here’s how the shorter Japonais style compares with the classic round dutch ovens:

And our little collection of cookware:

Storing these in our teeny tiny kitchen takes some planning, but everything is pretty organized and we use each piece regularly.

Other than LeCreuset, I wondered through a few shops and found the lines overwhelming and/or the sales underwhelming, so the only other items I picked up were these baskets and a few small items from unico:

I can’t resist cute containers like this and mochi is excited about his folding coffee dripper – both were half price!

Since some of the kids’ toys trickle onto the floor of our living room, I love having baskets and containers that are nice to look at and blend (a little) better into a shared space for the whole family. It’s important to us that it doesn’t feel completely like a play room, which is why we’ve avoided a lot of plastic storage or bright colors. I’m forever changing things around, but like the mix of textures we have going right now:

So that’s what I bought instead of a mystery bag today, but I know some people are masters at finding killer deals on adorable items. If you got a fukubukuro this year, let me know what was in it and if you’re loving it or not – it’s never too early for me to start planning for next year!

明けましておめでとうございます | Happiest of New Years to you!
kuri xx

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