NihonBox is a Japan-based monthly box filled with the best and original goodies from JAPAN! Each box includes 7-10 items from the otaku and traditional Japanese culture like Japan-exclusive figures, plush toys, collectibles, food, as well as Japanese lifestyle accessories!
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: NihonBox
The Cost: $33.49 a month + $5.50 shipping
ACTIVE DEAL: $3 off your first box!
The Products: 7-10 items from the otaku and traditional Japanese culture
Ships to: Internationally
December 2017 NihonBox Review
Each NihonBox comes with a booklet.
There's a short synopsis of what this month is all about: Christmas!
The back talks about Christmas in Japan.
The pamphlet then opens up to detail all of the items that came in your box this month.
A tenugui is a Japanese towel used for all sorts of things from decoration, to hand towels, to drying dishes. This one is exclusive for NihonBox and everything came wrapped in it (another use!) this month. It's 35 x 14 inches and features all sorts of Japenese characters, including NihonBox's cat mascot, Pikachu, and others. It's the perfect stand-in for a tree if you have a small apartment or room.
Totoro Hand Towel (in a house)
OMGosh I loooove this fancy little hand towel! Totoro is my fave and this towel is super soft and well-crafted with kelly green, pale blue, pink, and yellow threading. Totoro and his leaf umbrella are embroidered in the bottom right corner, grinning and showing his big teeth. It's a standard washcloth size at 10 inches square and features pink and yellow piping all around the edge. If I were to pass this on to someone else (which I totally WOULD NOT), it comes in the cutest box that looks like a little house with Totoro peering out of the window!
Gudetama Key Chain/Charm
I wonder how Gudetama feels about Christmas? They are already very forlorn, to begin with, and I know the holidays can really bring on the blues for some of us. Here, Gudetama seems as into the holiday spirit as possible for a miserable egg by wearing a Santa hat and holding a gift for... someone. Per usual, you can see their little butt from the back which I find to be just delightful. I recently learned that Gudetama is also gender neutral. I had no idea!
Christmas Treats in a Santa Bag/Hand Puppet (Clockwise from top)
Caramel Corn: Ah! I've had this before and it isn't like the caramel corn we know here in the US. These are little curled puffs that are flavored like caramel corn. I don't recall liking them the last time I got them in a box, but this time I really do! It tastes so much like caramel corn but in a totally different texture.
Ramune Pokemon: Ramune is a popular soda in Japan and originally was its own flavor, but has since been made in many different flavors. This particular candy has the chalky consistency of smarties, but is grape flavored and strangely actually tastes like a gummy. Does that make any sense?
Choco Daifuku: I've never had a chocolate-filled marshmallow before, but there's always a first time for everything. The marshmallow is super soft and has a dry chocolate center so it's like a s'more without the graham cracker.
Fugashi: This one is the most unique so far. It's a super light puffed treat that has been ever so lightly coated in a brown sugar shell. Super sweet!!
Konpeito: This pink packaging is so darned cute! Inside there are little pink, white, yellow, and orange sugar candies almost shaped like stars that are very similar to the rock candy I would eat off of a stick as a kid. The candies have a non-descript fruity/sugar flavor.
Christmas Umaka: Oooh- these are the same puffed curls like the "caramel corn" but have sort of a ranch/savory flavor to them. YUM!
Chocolate Christmas Umaibo: I was just lamenting how I hate the (usually savory) puffed corn tube called umaibo, but this one is COATED IN CHOCOLATE. This is so darned delicious and my favorite treat thus far.
Tetra: Mmmm these are also super duper tasty! They're little puffed wheat pieces (kind of like kashi cereal) that have been coated in chocolate! Om nom nom.
Pokemon Pikachu Terrarium
Terrariums were and are still pretty popular as far as I know which makes this Pokemon terrarium on-trend. I was lucky to get Pika Pika even though I would have been even more excited about Snorlax, my favorite. This plastic terrarium set comes in five total pieces that you can take apart and rebuild yourself. The largest piece is green grass with dirt and rocks below, then you have a small tree stump with a limb growing out of it, plus Pikachu to sit on top. The whole thing is then placed into a clear Pokeball so you can gaze upon it. My only qualm is that I wish Pika had something to keep him stuck to the tree stump. Once you close up the Pokeball it's easy to knock him over while inside.
I don't know too much about anime, but this fella is from One Piece which I have heard some whispers about via other subscription boxes. Like a lot of anime, it began as a manga in the 90s and gained more popularity ever since. A short expert from their Wiki page says:
The story follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy, a boy whose body gained the properties of rubber after unintentionally eating a Devil Fruit. With his crew of pirates, named the Straw Hat Pirates, Luffy explores the Grand Line in search of the world's ultimate treasure known as "One Piece" in order to become the next Pirate King.
This plush is of one of the characters named Trafalgar Law and represents him as a child from a special episode that aired in Japan. I like that his hat looks like a mushroom even though I doubt it's intended to.
Ooh- and unmarked box like last month. I think I know what this could be...
Porcelain Shiba Inu Statue
Since 2018 is the year of the dog, I've been seeing more Shiba stuff in Japanese sub boxes lately and I am not complaining. The famous Japanese breed is so cute! This small figure sits about four inches high and comes with its own pillow to sit on, background, and sign. It has such a calm, sweet face as it patiently sits to greet you. Unfortunately, the booklet doesn't mention what the sign, background, or his handkerchief says, but let me know if you can translate!
Lastly, we have a blue squid in the form of a loofa sponge from a Nintendo game called Splatoon. When I pulled it out, I thought I recognized it from an old game, but Splatoon is not familiar to me at all. I checked in with my friend Kelly who knows all things Nintendo and she immediately knew that this was an "Inkling" that eventually can turn into human form once they get older. She explained the game as a "color turf war" where you battle it out for your team. That explains the blue color of this one, which you can pop in your shower to keep yourself clean!
Verdict: NihonBox sent me various Japanese items related to many different beloved characters, games, and anime. I don't always know what the character is from, but it's pretty fun to research and learn something new. Hands down, my favorite is the Totoro towel as he's my favorite and the towel itself is quite useful. I'll definitely be passing on the Inkling to Kelly and the snacks are already eaten! For $39.00 I received seven items, plus a bag of holiday snacks. This is a great box for anyone who loves Japanese culture and especially likes some traditional products mixed in with their pop culture!
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Unfortunately, no. The cutoff is the last day of the previous month to receive the current month. For instance, you have until the end of December to order January's box. They ship between the 5th and the 9th of each month, but it can take up to 20 days to receive it.
ACTIVE DEAL: $3 off your first box!
Value Breakdown: The box, plus shipping, costs approximately $39.00 and I received eight items which make each one cost about $4.88.
Keep Track of all Your Subscriptions: Add NihonBox to your subscription list or wishlist!
What do you think of December's NihonBox?