Starbucks fukudama
Photo: Starbucks Japan

Only the Starbucks in Gion, Kyoto sell these Japanese lucky charms for new year

These traditional fukudama lucky balls each contains a charm or amulet, and are only sold at Starbucks in Gion, Kyoto

Kaila Imada
Written by
Kaila Imada

From New Year’s Eve bell-ringing to annual shrine and temple visits, there are many Japanese New Year traditions that have survived to this day. In Kyoto, there’s the particularly special custom of fukudama, which are lucky balls similar to capsule toys, but with a lucky charm or amulet inside. They're given to geisha and young children on New Year's Eve around Kyoto's Gion neighbourhood

To help keep this tradition alive, Starbucks outlets in Kyoto’s Gion district are selling their own fukudama for this coming New Year's holiday. There are six different lucky charms that you can pick up at the following Starbucks locations: Kyoto Gion Hotel, Keihan Gion Shijo Station and Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Chaya.

The designs include a rabbit for the coming zodiac Year of the Rabbit, a komainu (lion dog) and a crawling baby. These will be available at all three Starbucks Gion locations.

Additionally, there are three different maneki neko (beckoning cat) designs that are exclusive to each of the three Starbucks locations. You can find the Calico maneki neko at the Kyoto Gion Hotel branch, the black maneki neko at the Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Chaya location, and the white maneki neko at the Keihan Gion Shijo Station store. 

The fukudama cost ¥2,530 each and also double as a bell. They’re available for purchase only at Starbucks Gion outlets until Friday February 3 2023.

For more information, visit the website

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