Japan Crate Subscription Box Review – October 2015
Japan Crate is a monthly subscription that sends full-sized Japanese candy and DIY food kits straight from Tokyo.
Japan Crate sent us this Premium Crate for review purposes. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: Japan Crate
The Cost: $12 per month for the mini crate (4-6 candies); $25 per month for the original crate (8-12 candies and DIY Kits); $30 per month for the premium crate (10-14 candies and DIY Kits).
The Products: Full-sized Japanese candy and DIY food kits.
Ships to: Worldwide. (US shipping is free. Shipping elsewhere is $10.)
Japan Crate contains a booklet that lists the items in the box.
The booklet also provides instructions for the DIY kit and spotlights certain items in the box. It reads back to front and right to left like manga.
It also reveals the month’s “Sugoi Crate,” a large box full of giant Japanese candy and electronics that one lucky subscriber receives instead of their usual crate. Sugoi Crates are valued at over $500, and subscribers are automatically entered to win.
These chips taste like buttery, cheesy Cheetos! I really like the rich flavor and the crunchy texture. I’ve sampled quite a few Japanese chips that are similar in texture to crunchy Cheetos, so I’m guessing they’re a popular snack in Japan. So far, I’ve been really impressed with the variety of flavors I’ve tried.
Tohato Caramel Corn (.81 oz.)
If the Rich Cheese Scones are reminiscent of crunchy Cheetos, Tohato Caramel Corn chips are more like cheese puffs. Instead of being flavored with savory cheese, though, these are sweetened with caramel.
Sour Fruit Gummies (2.82 oz.)
I love sour gummies, so I couldn’t wait to sample these. They’re less sour than many popular American sour candies (like Sour Patch Kids), and the consistency is a little bit tougher and less soft. You really have to bite down on them! The chicklet-sized pieces come in a variety of flavors, and I really like them all.
Mysterious Soda Balls (1.51 oz.)
These soda balls have a chewy texture that I find to be really similar to that of gumballs. I ended up really enjoying them, but it took a minute for my brain to accept that it was okay to swallow! Mysterious Soda Balls come in a variety of flavors: pink lemonade, cider, grape, melon, lemon squash, and calpis (a Japanese Soft Drink with a flavor similar to vanilla yogurt).
Strawberry Soft Candy (1.51 oz.)
Subscribers received this item in either strawberry or rum raison flavor. I’m certainly curious about the rum raisin, but I’m very happy I ended up with the strawberry. These sweet, chewy candies are one of my favorite items in this month’s box!
Grape Gummy Ribbon (1.16 oz.)
With Japan Crate, I find that there’s usually at least one item that’s radically different from the candy I’m used to seeing on American shelves. Grape Gummy Ribbon definitely falls into that category! Each piece of ribbon is gummy and soft. (Japan Crate compares the consistency to that of Play-Doh.) I took a cue from the image on the front of the bag and peeled off small, noodle-like strands. It took a couple of bites to adjust to the texture, but I ended up really enjoying this candy! The grape flavor is yummy, and I think it’s really fun to eat.
Poifull Soda Beans (53 g.)
Poiful Soda Beans are very similar in size and shape to traditional American jelly beans, but the texture of the inside is softer and gummier (maybe less sticky?) than the ones I’m used to. I really loved this candy, and I enjoyed the variety of soda flavors.
Vitamin C Lemon Drops (1.51 oz.)
Japan Crate included these lemon drops as an example of a “healthy” Japanese Candy. Funnily, they taste just like throat lozenges. It doesn’t feel right to eat them like candy, so I think I’ll keep them in the medicine cabinet and save them for this winter’s scratchy throat season.
Gyutan Umaibo Sticks (3 sticks)
Thanks to subscription boxes, I’ve sampled many different treats in a wide range of odd and unusual flavors. Sometimes, I start to think I’ve seen it all! These Gyutan Umaibo Sticks are a solid reminder that there are still surprising flavors out there to discover. What is Gyutan, you might be wondering? It’s a Japanese dish of grilled cow tongue. Luckily, the flavor is more accessible than it sounds. The puffed corn sticks remind me of cheese puffs, and the Gyutan flavor is salty and tastes a little like chicken bouillon.
Bireleys Orange (12.34 oz)
Interestingly, Bireley’s Orange originated in California back in the 1920’s. It was later discontinued, but drink manufacturer Asahi began manufacturing it for the Japanese market. It’s now available exclusively in Japan! It’s not carbonated, and it tastes a little bit like Sunny Delight.
Chocolate Mini Pancakes
These mini pancakes are a modern twist on the classic Japanese Dorayaki, a red-bean filled snack. Instead of red bean paste, though, these pancakes are filled with chocolate.
Food Dog Gashapon (BONUS!)
Japan Crate always includes a special bonus item for Premium Crate subscribers. This month, they’ve included a Food Dog Gashapon. Here’s a close up of mine:
There are several different variations. Each one features a different dog breed in a different kind of food.
Chitto Soda DIY
This DIY kit allows you to create your own ramune-flavored mochi.
I followed the instructions provided by Japan Crate (they include English instructions for their DIY kits in the month’s booklet) and mixed the various packets with water to create the mochi.
The DIY instructions were easy to follow, and I ended up with jelly-like mochi with a ramune-flavored glaze. Like many of the Japanese DIY candy kits I’ve tried, this was more “interesting…” than “yum!” Still, I had a lot of fun assembling the kit and sampling the soda-flavored mochi.
Verdict: Every month, I look forward to Japan Crate. The boxes are always packed full of goodies, and I love discovering new fun and delicious Japanese treats. I never do a price breakdown for this box because it’s tricky to find all of the items available for sale online, but I definitely think the price is fair. The boxes are always packed full of treats! I love sampling new Japanese goodies every month, and I especially enjoy trying the drinks and assembling the DIY kits.
What do you think about this month’s Japan Crate?