Japan Crate Subscription Box Review + Coupon– February 2017
Japan Crate is a monthly subscription box that sends candy and snacks from Japan. The box aims to “recreate the excitement of exploring Japan through fun candy and everything kawaii,” and the assortment is handpicked straight from Japan.
There are 3 crate sizes to choose from: Mini ($12/month), Original ($25/month), and Premium ($30/month).
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
This review is of the Premium, $30 a month, crate.
The Subscription Box: Japan Crate
The Cost: $12 a month for the Mini crate, $25 a month for the Original crate, $30 a month for the Premium crate. Free shipping to the US. Save with 3, 6, and 12-month subscriptions
COUPON: Save $3 off your first Japan Crate Premium, Doki Doki Crate, Umai Crate, or Kira Kira Crate with code MSA3!
The Products: Candy and snacks from Japan!
Ships to: Internationally with exceptions found here.
Keep Track of all Your Subscriptions: Add Japan Crate to your subscription list or wishlist!
Each box comes with a “manga-zine” that details the included snacks along with information on Japanese food and culture.
These BBQ-flavored Cheetos are exclusive to Japan. They have the same size, shape, and even mascot (Chester Cheetah) as our U.S. counterparts. I’m pleasantly pleased with the sweet, smokey flavor of the barbecue powder, but I think I prefer cheesy Cheetos more.
This is a soft marshmallow entwined together like twisted string cheese! The flavor is exactly like what you expect– whipped, spongey, and sugary sweet– with one difference: this one doesn’t have the stiffer outer “skin” that befalls other marshmallows.
Garibori Spicy Garlic Ramen
This snack takes advantage of the deliciousness of dried instant ramen and turns it into a savory treat all on its own. I’ve had dried ramen snacks like this before. Trust me when I say that the crunchiness of the noodles is so addicting! I really like the garlic flavor but it is not spicy at all (and this is coming from someone who doesn’t handle spicy well).
Puku Puku Tai Strawberry
I’ve received this snack before and it’s one of my favorites! This a giant fish-shaped cookie. The shell is made from a light wafer while the inside contains airy, strawberry-flavored chocolate. It’s like a more portable, less messy alternative to strawberry mousse.
Here is a closeup of the inside. It may not look like a lot of food but it will definitely leave you satisfied.
Fue Fue Ramune Grape
These Grape Ramune soda candies have a powdery texture just like Sweetarts. The grape flavor really comes through. Each one has a cavity in the middle so that blowing through the hole creates a whistling sound. It’s actually a little obnoxious– I learned that first hand when my boyfriend put his hands to his ears.
The packet of candies also comes with a tiny toy. I got a tiny dinosaur, and I mean tiny as a fingernail!
Dango is a type of Japanese confection made from rice flour and often served on a skewer (hence the illustration on the packaging). This snack version comes with a dusting of sugar over each dango. The texture is soft, sticky, and chewy. They’re not very sweet on their own but the sugar crystals add to the taste. I would totally eat this again.
I tried this recently from the Kawaii & Beauty WOWBOX. These are crunchy rice crackers flavored like corn potage, a type of Japanese cream of corn soup. It taste is reminiscent of lightly sweet and salty buttered corn. I like that the flavor is robust but not too heavy, which makes it perfect for an afternoon snack.
Umai Bou: Chocolate
I received this snack in last month’s Japan Crate and loved it! It is a little odd that they sent the same snack twice in a row, but I’m happy to see it again. Umaibou means “delicious stick.” This is a corn snack with a puffy, airy interior and dipped in chocolate. The interior literally dissolves in your mouth! It’s a fun texture, but it doesn’t taste like much. Most of the flavor is derived from the sweet and creamy milk chocolate shell.
This is your run-of-the-mill lightly salted popcorn. If I sound disappointed, it’s because there is nothing special about the popcorn at all. True to its run-of-the-mill quality, I even get pieces of kernel stuck between my teeth. Oh well!
Curious George DIY Let’s Make Pudding
A Curious George themed DIY kit? Count me in! This DIY pudding kit makes one pudding cup in just a few steps. It is a pretty easy kit compared to other ones I have tried. Japan Crate didn’t provide English instructions in their manga-zine like they usually do, so I simply translated the Japanese instructions using my Google Translate app.
The kit comes with just three items– cup, spoon, and pudding mix. I just needed to provide milk. After adding milk and pudding powder to the cup, I mixed it around until the liquid became slightly goopy. The instructions say to chill pudding in the fridge for 30 minutes, but my pudding didn’t solidify fast enough. I chilled it for two hours for good measure.
This is the final product. The pudding has the same bouncy, jello-like texture as flan. It’s super creamy but not too sweet, which is just how I like it. What a huge success!
Pudding Flavor Jelly
This pudding flavored jelly looks and tastes just like the Curious George DIY pudding but in a more convenient packaging! The flavor is lightly sweet and deliciously creamy. I wish I could eat this every day…
These puffy crackers look like shrimp crackers but taste like Japanese curry. In fact, the flavor is similar to the Golden Curry curry mix that I like to use at home. As a lover of Japanese curry, I like the idea but the flavor isn’t as strong or satisfying as the real deal. I’m on the fence about this one.
This is a marshmallow with milk chocolate filling. Does it get any better than this? Traditionally, daifuku are made from small, round mochi and a sweet filling such as red bean paste. This fun, marshmallowy take on the traditional confection is lovely! I need more in my life.
Black Koala March: Cocoa & Milk
I buy Koala March cookies at the local Asian grocery but I’ve never tried this flavor before. The Cocoa & Milk flavor features a thin crunchy cookie exterior and white chocolate cream filling. White chocolate is my favorite so this is an automatic win.
Mix Fruit Juice
This fruit juice is supposed to taste like a “fresh-blended smoothie.” It contains orange, apple, pineapple, peach, and banana.
The consistency is more watery than juice smoothies like Odwalla or Naked Juice, but with similar fruit purée texture. It’s also a bit creamy like they added tart yogurt to the mix. My initial reaction was mediocre but the unique taste grew on me after several sips. It’s best served chilled.
This is a bonus item. These puffs have a thick takoyaki sauce flavor, which kind of tastes like a stronger, more sour soy sauce glaze. Some of the puffs are even shaped like a little octopus! I really like takoyaki but I’m not a huge fan of the sauce. Therefore, this snack isn’t a big hit with me.
Verdict: Japan Crate always takes me on a flavor adventure! There are 16 snacks total for a cost breakdown of about $1.88 per snack. There were a few oddballs this month, like the totally-not-special Popcorn and the repeat item, Umai Bou Chocolate. Despite that, overall curation and variety are still pretty darn impressive. Repeat items are rare. Also, to my pleasant surprise, there wasn’t any cola flavored things or gum this time!
What do you think of Japan Crate?