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Freedom Japanese Market Box Subscription Review – July 2014

Freedom Japanese Market Box Subscription Review - July

The Freedom Japanese Market Box is a monthly subscription that delivers over a pound of unique Japanese candies and snacks in each box. They offer free shipping worldwide, and if their online shop doesn’t have a snack you’re looking for, they’ll find it for you and help get it to you.

Freedom Japanese Market Box kindly sent us this box to review.

Freedom Japanese Market Box Subscription Review - July 2014 Items

The Box: Freedom Japanese Market Box

The Cost: $25/month

The Products: 7-12 Japanese treats each month

Ships to: Worldwide – with free shipping everywhere!

Freedom Japanese Market Box Subscription Review - July 2014 Sheet

Each box also contains information about each snack – of the handful of Japanese snack boxes I’ve tried, this info card has been the most helpful! The labeled photos and easily-understood bit of information about each treat made everything seem less like a surprise grab-bag of Japanese snacks than others have (not to mention it saved me loads of time trying to figure out what each thing is for this review!).

Freedom Japanese Market Box Subscription Review - July 2014 Candy

Umaka! Champon – Seafood flavored ramen puffs

Pachi-Chew – Chewy grape candies mixed with grape pop rocks

Umaibo! Rusk – Ruck (a twice-baked sugar biscuit)-flavored crispy tube

I’m so thankful for the descriptions of the snacks in this box! In each of the handful of Japanese/Asian snack boxes I’ve tried, I think there’s been something in crispy-tube form and something seafood-flavored in each one! I think they must be popular trends in the East.

Freedom Japanese Market Box Subscription Review - July 2014 Cake

Hello Kitty Strawberry Marshmallows

Super Soft Cake – a tiramisu-flavored cake with cream filling

Kit Kats – one was Matcha-flavored and the other was strawberry cheesecake-flavored

We actually ate all of these! I could eat marshmallows all day, and these are no exception – they were round, strawberry-flavored marshmallow balls and super fun to eat. The Soft Cake didn’t actually taste as much like tiramisu as I hoped (yet another one of my favorite desserts – can you tell I have a sweet tooth?), but it was a nice idea.

Freedom Japanese Market Box Subscription Review - July 2014 Snacks

Neruneru-Nerune – a DIY kit from a company called Kracie

Hi-Chew Festival Edition – cotton candy-flavored chewable candy with bits of crunchy cotton candy inside

Morokoshi Watoro – Corn ring crisps

Freedom Japanese Market Box Subscription Review - July 2014 Corn

Kokobis – Crispy, coconut-flavored biscuits

Tohato Caramel Corn 

This caramel corn is really similar in texture to cheese puffs, but caramel-flavored. Definitely interesting, though not exactly my taste!

Verdict: Freedom Japanese Market has impressed me. The information card is far superior and more informative than others I’ve seen in similar boxes, and I felt like the curation included a good variety of things. There were trendy things, classic (to them, I understand) things, new versions of candy I recognized, outrageous things, and things that didn’t seem so strange to try. Even though I won’t eat every treat, I know a lot more about each one so I can either swap them or informatively pass them along to someone else! As far as the value goes, I really can’t estimate the cost of these snacks easily, due to the language barrier (all the labels are in Japanese), but I do love that they include free shipping world-wide.

What do you think of this box? Have you ever heard of, or tried, any of these snacks?

Written by Haley Faye

Haley Faye

Haley Faye first discovered the wonderful world of subscription boxes in 2012 and began writing for MSA in 2014. Over the years, she has found many subscriptions to love. Now a mom of three, her favorite boxes are ones that dress her kids, help her get organized, feed her family, send her snacks, and offer educational fun for her children.

Posted in Food & Drink Subscription Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews| 26 comments

Comments (26)

  1. I have to agree with the others and say that this box is seriously overpriced!! Shame..

  2. My almost 13 year old loves this kind of stuff. She’ll pick some up when we travel to NYC or Canada. (We are in Buffalo, NY). Even though I know the price is high, she may get a kick out of receiving it in the mail. I can’t find enough around here to make up a gift for her.

    • Thanks Carin. This is actually the reason we started this service. Many of our friends and family — and gradually, more distant acquaintances — kept asking us to send Japanese snack and candy care packages. The existing services don’t send very much, and don’t include information about the contents or allergies. We know that buying domestic candies is less expensive, but rest assured we are not getting rich doing this:) We just want to share with the world some of the fun snacks we get to enjoy every day! Please let us know if you are interested in more information about our service.

  3. As someone from Japan, I LOLed and rolled my eyes at this box! XD Most of these snacks are what Japanese call “dagashi” (literally, trivial sweets) – cheap candies of low quality, fun and affordable for kids. They may feed your nostalgia for kitsch but the entire set is worth no more than $5. Many of these are also easily available in US in Chinatown. (In fact I somehow assume this company is not Japanese-run.)

    If I have $25 to spend for Japanese treats, I would go to Saks and get a box of Yoku Moku cookies… yes French style but they’re so good…

    • Zefiro – thanks so much for your helpful input!

    • I’m glad you commented because I thought this looked awesome until I read what you said. Good info!

    • I had my suspicions, thanks for confirming them. I have to stay away from such things because I can’t read the ingredients. But, I see a lot of very similar items in the checkout aisle at the Korean grocery store where I buy produce (they also have lots of Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, and Indian merchandise).

      • My pleasure to be of help! Many of these actually do not taste so bad for the price ($0.10-1 range) but they should be priced appropriately, imo.

        Besides, I thought it hilarious ’cause the general trend in subscription boxes is more and more geared towards health-conscious, natural/organic-oriented concepts, and this box just embodies the opposite 😀

    • Wow! Where to start? Well, first let me say thank you for taking the time to add a comment. I only wish we would have known about this post sooner so we could have addressed these comments while they were still fresh in everyone’s minds.

      You are correct that the total cost of the contents in this box is less than $25. However, this is one of the unfortunate aspects of selling international goods. I also “LoL and roll my eyes” when I see the $75 turkeys they sell each Thanksgiving here in Japan (they are shipped in from the US). We can certainly assure you that the vast majority of the markup is not going to our bottom line.
      Note: Having said that, we are not an NPO (just like all the other boxes featured on this website), and someday in the future when our subscription service is in the black, all profits will go to the college funds of the two cute munchkins pictured in the post:)

      Now, moving on to the availability of these products. We are constantly looking for feedback and advice on the items we choose for our subscription boxes. We realize that some of our club members live in large cities close to Japanese markets that sell similar products. I guess I could go into how many of these products have spent a significant portion of their (best by) lives in a container ship, and that many of the items sold in these shops are made in other countries specifically for the US market, but I will let people do that research for themselves. We will always listen to our club members, and the general public about what we should add to our boxes, so our members can consistently receive snacks they are unable to buy at the local store. We sincerely want our subscribers to be amazed each month when they open their subscription box, and will work hard to continue winning their business.

      Finally, I wanted to clear up any concerns about our business location. Your assumptions about us being a Japanese run company are partially correct. My name is Kenneth Havens, I was born in the US, but I am now a permanent resident of Japan and live in Ibaraki prefecture (for the last 17 years) with my wife, Sanae (born and raised in Japan) and our three-year-old twins. Our business is based in Japan, and all of our boxes are shipped from our office in Naka city.

      Once again, thank you for submitting your comments. I am a bit saddened that we didn’t have the opportunity to respond last week. As the first Japanese snack subscription box on this review site, members don’t have anything to compare us to, and put things in perspective. If anyone reading this post in the future has additional questions, please do not hesitate contacting us. Have a great day.

  4. These look fun but 25 dollars is lot for what’s included. Agree its probably 10 for goods, 10 for postage so not really a bargain. Having said that, if you can’t get any of these in your country (I’m in Scotland so not many Japanese stores!) then its probably easier than buying them on ebay etc…

    • Thanks Alison. We are always looking for new snacks that can’t be found abroad. Several of our club members have mentioned that the price of our subscription boxes seem much more reasonable when considering the travel and parking expense getting to the international store. Please let us know if there are any specific Japanese snacks cannot be found in Scotland. We want subscribers from many countries to enjoy something new!

  5. Yeah… there is NO way that’s worth anywhere close to $25. I think $5 is pushing it, honestly. I guess if you really, really liked those kinds of candies and lived somewhere there was no access to them you might be willing to pay that kind of premium. We have several Daiso (100 yen) stores here in SoCal. Everything is $1.50. I buy those bags of caramel corn there. All the others are available in big bags with 10-20 candies in the bag.

    If this box is popular it seriously makes me want to go to Big Lots or Dollar Store and make up American candy boxes to sell to people in Japan!

    • Thanks for the comment, Lia. I would love to check out the items at your local Japanese store so we can avoid sending similar snacks in future boxes. You are correct that many of our subscribers are not lucky enough to live close to an international market. We do our best to send them a fresh (our snacks will never see the inside of a container ship) assortment of fun Japanese snacks every month.

      Regarding your new business idea, we wish you the best of luck! I could see many Japanese people being interested in a subscription service like that:) Have a great day!

  6. Thanks so much for reviewing this box, Haley! I love Japanese snacks and am always on the hunt for the next thing that comes in matcha flavor or the next unique kitkat flavor. I do feel this box is a bit steep for $25. Each snack is worth $1-3. I am able to find some of these snacks in NYC Asian supermarkets. I did enjoy touring their website and seeing that there is another opportunity to buy Japanese goods!

    • Thanks Ming. Please let us know which items you can readily find in NYC Asian supermarkets. We ship to several countries, and each of them have a different assortment of Japanese snacks. Our goal is to introduce the most unique and hard-to-find items in our subscription box each month to people around the world. Thanks again.

  7. Neruneru-nerune is so fun to make!

    • The best part about Neru Neru Nerune is that even a three-year-old can make them. Literally, my three-year-old daughter can put together one of these kits by herself! We will try to add a different one of these DIY kits to each of our boxes each month!

  8. now I really want cotton candy hi-chew, and I have no idea where to find it!!!

    • Robin – Haha, I don’t know if you’re on the swap site, but that’s definitely one I’ll probably list! =]

    • Hello Robin. This is one of the items in last month’s box that is getting harder to find, even in Japan. We will try to find similar items for future boxes. Have a great day!

  9. Most of these are the cheapest snacks meant for children’s school lunches. They’re usually sold in multipacks for ¥100 (about $1). It’s a neat assortment, but worth maybe $5. It’s the equivalent of buying bags of Halloween candy and then sending one of each thing, like one mini Hershey bar, one Twizzler, one roll of Smarties, etc. The last Japanese snack box you reviews was a better value.

    • ^^This^^ I second this absolutely! I used to buy these kinds of snacks for the kids when I lived in Okinawa and they were almost always in multipacks. The single serve kinds could sometimes be found at petrol stations but for the most part are cheap kids’ snacks. I got used to the strange-to-me combos after a few years but can remember being appalled the first time I saw fermented soybeans (natto) ladled on top of ice cream cones. Blech! To each their own! This box is a lot like Q box in that the items are indeed from the country of origin (Q box being from Korea of course), though the included items are very cheap, low end products. If you’re looking for good dollar value only, these aren’t the subs for you, especially since you can buy all online. But, if you enjoy a surprise, random sampling they can be fun.

      • The box contents here might, might be worth $10 US. And that’s a stretch. So the “free” shipping isn’t so free.

      • Thanks for you comment Erin. The international shipping rates vary widely for these boxes. We have seen some very good “deals” quoted on blogs for similar subscription boxes that fail to mention that shipping will essentially double the price. We decided to include everything into one price, so people wouldn’t have any surprises in the checkout process. Once again, thank you for your comment.

  10. Haha – as a Chinese American, I can affirm that the seafood/shrimp flavored snacks are wildly popular in East Asian. I am so amused by this box!

    • Thanks Lily. When my family first saw the package, we really didn’t know what to think. However, after trying one, I couldn’t put the bag down! These are so good! Thanks for your comment.

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