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Japan Crate Subscription Box Review – October 2015

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Japan Crate Subscription Box Review October 2015 - Box

Japan Crate is a monthly subscription that sends full-sized Japanese candy and DIY food kits straight from Tokyo.

Japan Crate Subscription Box Review October 2015 - Inside

Japan Crate sent us this Premium Crate for review purposes. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

Japan Crate Subscription Box Review October 2015 - Contents

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 Subscription Box Review October 2015 - Booklet

Japan Crate contains a booklet that lists the items in the box.

Japan Crate Subscription Box Review October 2015 - ItemList

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.

Japan Crate Subscription Box Review October 2015 - Sugoi

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.

Japan Crate Subscription Box Review October 2015 - Caramel

Rich Cheese Scones

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.

Japan Crate Subscription Box Review October 2015 - Sours

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).

Japan Crate Subscription Box Review October 2015 - Grape

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.

Japan Crate Subscription Box Review October 2015 - LoveFull

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.

Japan Crate Subscription Box Review October 2015 - Bireleys

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.

Japan Crate Subscription Box Review October 2015 - Pancakes

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:

Japan Crate Subscription Box Review October 2015 - FoodDog

There are several different variations. Each one features a different dog breed in a different kind of food.

Japan Crate Subscription Box Review October 2015 - DIY

Chitto Soda DIY

This DIY kit allows you to create your own ramune-flavored mochi.

Japan Crate Subscription Box Review October 2015 - DIY2

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.

Japan Crate Subscription Box Review October 2015 - DIY3

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?

Written by Lindsey Morse

Lindsey Morse

Lindsey is a professional baker by day and a subscription box junkie by night. She first subscribed to Birchbox in 2013 and her addiction grew when she signed up for Graze, PopSugar, and Knoshy. Her favorite part about being a subscription box addict is discovering new products- especially gourmet goodies, beauty products, and kitchen tools!
All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.


  1. Anna, you didn’t miss anything with the rum raisin flavor. Not good bordering on gross. This was my least favorite box of my 6 month sub. The drink went to waste (impressive feat considering 4 kids including teenagers who literally will eat and drink anything) after everyone sampled it. The cow tongue sticks aren’t happening but only because my kids have tried the real thing when we lived in Japan for a few years. I think these snacks gave them some kind of post traumatic stress reaction, lol. I don’t know, this month felt like a lot of filler with 3 small gummy candies and cough drops (that definitely taste like cough drops). The bonus toy? Frankly it was disturbing. I don’t get the joke or see the cute factor, and that’s after living in 3 Asian countries for years. Thank God it isn’t a Korean box! My kids have enjoyed this sub but I think we’ll take a break now. I’m curious to see if they ever include 2 DIYs again like they originally advertised for the deluxe box. I haven’t seen any since 5 or 6 months ago and that was the main reason we got the deluxe version.

    • Sorry Lindsey! In my defense my daughter is Anna and I was talking to her and trying (badly) to multitask 😉

    • My reaction to everything in this month’s box was pretty much the same as yours.

  2. I subbed to this box thinking that it came from Japan. WRONG! It comes from Petaluma, CA. I can find every single one of these items at many Asian markets all around Cupertino. The retail value of this box is actually around $15 if I just hop over to a local Asian grocery store. That said, I did appreciate the translation and explanation of the items but the value versus cost just isn’t there for me. First and last box this month.

    • I have a Japanese “dollar” store (actually $1.50) close to home and they carry a TON of Japanese candy so this wouldn’t be of value to me. I suppose for someone without access though it might be nice.

      I’m always leery of trying the food items at the store because the ingredients aren’t usually in English and I don’t read Japanese! I worry about getting something like that cow tongue thing…LOL.

  3. I think I’m going to hang onto Universal Yums for one more month, since next month is most likely Korea. After that, I think I’m going to cancel and switch on over to Japan Crate. These seem to be more appealing.

  4. After reading a few reviews I finally decided to subscribe. Every Christmas we like to put Japanese treats in each others stockings (huge video gaming and anime family so we bow down to all things Japanese). I figured I could get some cool treats for my hubby and kids with this subscription.

  5. Some fun and interesting candy but that “food dog” is somewhat disturbing.

    • I agree about the food dog.

  6. Wow, great review! It was a lot of fun to read because of all the new and unusual items and your reaction to each one. I love exploring and trying new foods so I may get this one myself. The mochi looked like something out of a Sci Fi film by the way….

  7. Is it just me or is the food dog kinda super creepy?

    • Creepy is a good description, yes!

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