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 review is for the Premium, $30 a month, crate.
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.)
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 U.S. Save with 3, 6, and 12-month subscriptions
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.
March's theme is Spring Picnic.
Country Ma'am Chocolate Chip Cookies
These are mini chocolate chip cookies with a lot of flavor. There are 10 chocolate-stuffed chocolate cookies and 10 chocolate-stuffed vanilla cookies for a total of 20 individually wrapped cookies!
The inside is stuffed with chocolate chips, which makes them soft and gooey and really addicting. I like how moist the cookies taste overall.
These corn puffs have Japanese mayonnaise flavoring. According to the booklet, Japanese mayo is made from apple or rice vinegar and egg yolks, while American mayo is made from distilled vinegar and whole eggs. These puffs don't really taste like mayo, though. I get more of a umami-like vinegar taste. They're not my favorite.
This is a thin panda-shaped butter cookie. It's the perfect amount of crunch without being too crumbly. I've had Japanese melon bread before but not melon cookies. The flavor is very unique-- there is just a hint of cantaloupe infused into the buttery texture. I would love trying more flavors of these in the future.
Diamond Ring Pop
This is the Japanese version of the classic ring pop, and it tastes the same as American ring pops to me. Mine is orange flavored, and the taste reminds me of Jolly Ranchers. The ring itself barely fits my finger, and if I had my way I would just eat it as normal hard candy!
Bon O Bon: Creamy Cream
This is a milk chocolate bon-bon with a peanut butter center and crispy wafer shell. It is divine! The delicate wafer shell houses a rich, creamy peanut butter filling that's very sweet but not too overwhelmingly so. I am in love.
Cheetos Kyushu Soy Sauce
This is a limited edition flavor of Cheetos that features sweet soy sauce from the Japanese island of Kyushu. If you dig in thinking it's going to taste like regular soy sauce, you're in for a disappointment. These thick, crunchy Cheetos taste simultaneously sweet and salty, which is reminiscent of the sweet soy sauce glazes used on senbei crackers. It's a unique pairing, especially for American taste buds, but I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
Umaibo: Shrimp Mayonnaise
According to Japan Crate, shrimp mayonnaise is a popular filling for Japanese sandwiches and origiri. Having eaten days and days' worth of convenience store foods during my visit to Japan, I vaguely recognize the mayonnaise flavor in this Umaibo. It's a little sweet, a little salty, with a big shrimp aftertaste. The rice puff makes a nice vessel to soak up the flavoring but I kind of wish there was more substance.
These are fried senbei (rice cracker) snacks with a sweet soy sauce glaze. The Kyushu Soy Sauce Cheetos taste similar, but these have more crunch to them. I am a long time fan of senbei and the Bonchiage is just my style. Love!
Japan's #1 Longest Chocolate
I chuckled at the name. This is literally a chocolate covered rice puff with a hollow center. It's absolutely delicious, but it is nothing I haven't seen from Japan Crate before. Due to its airy texture, this snack isn't very filling. I kind of wish it had a denser rice puff or maybe a thicker layer of chocolate on top.
Yaoyasan Soft Candy DIY
Some DIY kits are fun but not tasty. Some are tasty but not too exciting. I'm happy to report that this DIY kit offers both! I have received this before and it's one of my favorite DIY kits. Everything you need is included in the packet to make tasty fruit- and vegetable-shaped candy and display them in your very own storefront.
The kit comes with three taffy-like candies that you can mix and mold like Play-Doh. I mixed the pink and yellow candies together to form the orange color for the pumpkin. They taste like Starburst candies but with a grainier texture. Overall, I would totally make this kit again.
This is a hard candy that fizzes like grape soda. I'm not the biggest fan of grape flavored candy, so this one only tastes ok. That said, I really like the fizzy effect! The flavor is not as intense as candies like Warheads, but it offers a kick of acidity that tastes great in moderation.
This is a soft marshmallow with strawberry cream filling, shaped to look like a type of mochi called daifuku. I tried the chocolate version of this in last month's Japan Crate and was obsessed with the combination. I love this strawberry one as well. The filling has a little bit of tartness mixed into the sweet cream. Together with the marshmallow shell, this makes for one delicious snack!
Pai No Mi: Uji Matcha
Pai No Mi are bite-sized pies made from flaky pastry and shaped into hexagons.
I love that the puff pastry layers are so light and flaky without falling apart. The matcha cream is amazing too. I think it can be even sweeter, but it is enough to add flavor and depth to an otherwise flavorless shell.
Calpis White Peach Drink
Calpis is a popular milk-based beverage that comes in a variety of flavors. This one tastes like white peach. I always compare Calpis drinks to original flavor frozen yogurt because they both possess the same irresistible creamy tartness. I love how the cream and white peach flavors blend so well together. This brand is sold at my local Asian grocer so I will definitely grab some more flavors on my next shopping trip.
This is the bonus snack. Sobameshi is an actual dish made from stir-fried noodles and rice. This snack tries to recreate that combination with savory fried ramen bits and puffed rice. This is the only snack from the box that I dislike. I just don't like how they juxtapose the two textures. I would have enjoyed it more if it was only ramen or only puffed rice.
Verdict: Japan Crate is always an adventure, and this month was a pretty great one. My favorite snack is definitely the Country Ma'am cookie bag. It's both the tastiest and biggest item in the box. There is 15 snacks total for a cost breakdown of $2 apiece. I think this is an acceptable price considering I would not be able to find most of these snacks where I live. However, a good portion of these items are small or single-bite snacks (i.e. Bon O Bon, Awadama Grape, Ichigo Daifuku). Maybe next month's box will have more Country Ma'am sizes rather than Awadama Grape sizes.
What do you think of Japan Crate?