Apple’s ‘Lucky Bags’ sale starts January 2 in Japan

Apple Lucky Bags teaser

Everything is different in Asia than over here in the United States (or Europe, or most other parts of the world for that matter). Whereas we celebrate Christmas and Santa Claus and kick off the holiday shopping season with Black Friday mega discounts, there’s no such thing in Japan. Instead, they have Fukubukuro – aka Lucky Bags or Mystery Bags – a New Year’s Day custom where retailers entice buyers with grab bags containing unknown random contents.

These are usually sold with a significant discount, usually 50 percent or more off the items’ list price. Honoring the local custom, Apple on its Japanese retail page confirmed that a one-day Lucky Bags sale will take place in seven stores across the country on January 2…

The event will take place at the Sapporo, Sendai Ichibancho, Ginza, Shibuya, Nagoya, Shinsaibashi and Fukoka Tenjin stores, starting at 8am local time.

Lucky Bags will be available in limited quantities and will contain 33,000 yen (tax included), or approximately $390, worth of random products. Yeah,  it’s a pretty expensive grab bag of goodies from the Apple store.

Last year’s Lucky Bags included an 8GB iPod touch with a case, a stylish Porter bag, an Apple T-shirt, Izon’s remote wireless video camera, Incase headphones, Juice Pack Reserve v2 mobile battery and a set of nice magnetic buttons for your fridge.

Apple Lucky Bag (AppBank 001)
A grab bag of goodies from the Apple Store. Image via AppBank.

To make the sale more tempting, a few lucky souls found either a MacBook Air or an iPad 2 inside their gift bag.

Tech In Asia warns those on the lookout for the gift bags will have to get in line very early.

People typically begin lining up at the Apple store on the night before, so if you show up in the morning, and still manage to secure a bag — well, consider yourself lucky. I tried a couple of years ago, but walked away disappointed.

If the dragon-like teaser at the top is an indication, shoppers in China could expect an announcement soon.

Apple, of course, remains tight-lipped regarding contents of this year’s gift bags. Likely candidates include an iOS device – probably the latest iPod touch – plus a few nice accessories.

Surprise gifts that push the bag’s value way past the price tag could include a MacBook Air. I’d bet my shirt that this year a few lucky buyers will find an iPad mini in their bag.