NihonBox Subscription Review + Coupon – January 2018
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
COUPON: Use coupon code ILOVENIHONBOX to save $3 off your first NihonBox!
The Products: 7-10 items from the otaku and traditional Japanese culture
Ships to: Internationally
January 2018 NihonBox Review
Each NihonBox comes with an informational booklet.
The pamphlet then opens up to detail all the items that came in your box this month. Along with cute write-ups on the significance of each item, the pamphlet also describes the month’s theme.
January’s theme, understandably: the new year! The back of the pamphlet details Japanese symbols, terms, and long-held traditions that accompany the new year. (My favorite new year’s décor tidbit was about Kadomatsu, which means “doorstep pine.” It’s a stunning decoration of pine and bamboo that symbolizes eternity and longevity. It sounds so lovely!
Pikachu Plush Mocchi-Mocchi – Retail Value $16.57
This plush Pikachu toy is part of the Mocchi-Mocchi collection from Takara Tomy Arts in Japan. A smiling, soft ‘n squishy Pikachu sports the hat worn by Satoshi (Ash) in the latest Pokémon movie Kimi ni Kimeta (Pokemon the Movie: I Choose You!). So cute!
Super Mario Chocolate Bar – Retail Value $3.95
Tricky photo lighting, unfortunately, made this chocolate bar look darker than it is in real life. It’s actually a normal shade of milk-chocolate-brown, I assure you! This Super Mario chocolate bar encourages you to play with your food, literally. Nibble away at its gridded chocolate border and help Mario escape! It’s a fun twist on a tasty treat.
Gashapon Doraemon – Retail Value $9.99
Another fun one! This is one of four figurines in a series of gashapons from Doraemon manga by Shōgakukan. Each box includes either: Doraemon and the mouse (he hates mice, as mine demonstrates!), Doraemon with a Dorayaki (his favorite cake), Dorami-chan (Doraemon’s sister), or Mini-Dora (a miniature Doraemon). It comes wrapped and packed as a small ball, but open the ball up, and you’ll find all the parts needed to assemble your gashapon!
Fullmetal Alchemist Edward Elric Figurine – Found here for $30.99
Coinciding with the release of the 2017 live-action Fullmetal Alchemist movie, NihonBox has included this Edward Elric figurine. I was only able to find it online for the steep price of $30.99, which practically pays for the box itself! The plastic figurine is 16 centimeters high, and comes with a circular standing base.
Lucky Dog Omikuji – Buy a similar item for $7.16
At the start of each new year, it’s tradition in Japan to go to a temple to pick an Omikuji, which is a paper fortune that offers a prediction of the year to come. A brass Shiba Inu pup accompanies this bell-adorned Omikuji. (2018 is apparently the year of the dog!) The box’s pamphlet included an explanation of the ranking of each sacred symbol, in order from most to least lucky. From what I gathered via my fortune, it seems my year is going to start out very lucky, then simmer down to semi-lucky, and then…end up lucky again? Maybe? We’ll see! No matter what happens, I’ll hold this precious pup charm close.
Mount Fuji Mini Dish
Mount Fuji is another important part of New Year’s in Japan! It’s said that if one dreams of Mount Fuji during the first sleep of the year (the first dream of the year is known as Hatsuyume), then the coming year will be excellent and full of good luck. Thanks to this white, black, and red-trimmed bowl, I can keep Mount Fuji close and stunning Japanese dishware even closer. It’s truly a stunning piece. (Lucky Omikuji dog shown for scale!)
This is a variety box of different Karintō pastries, which are a traditional Japanese treat made from twisted wheat flour. Some of these pastries are decorated with a traditional square pattern called Ichimatsu Moyō, which is said to bring happiness in the career and romance department. (You can also find this pattern on the Tokyo Olympics’ 2020 logo!) These crunchy pastries are slightly sweet, slightly glazed, and a little oily with a strong fried flavor. I don’t think I could have snacked on more than one!
New Year’s Ema – a Nihon Box Original!
This is BEAUTIFUL. Emas are often found in Shinto sanctuaries in Japan. They’re painted wooden plaques on which you can write a in hopes it will come true during the new year. This painted board is so lovely, and combines a few of the box’s other elements—Mount Fuji + Shiba Inus + Omikuji symbols!—in stunning harmony.
Verdict: Receiving this box was a fascinating, optimistic learning experience that made me so excited for the rest of 2018! I’m so thankful NihonBox includes such a detailed informational pamphlet which each box. Learning about each item was such a joy, and I felt a real connection with people around the world ushering in a hopeful new year with me. For $39.00, I received eight high-ticket items, including multiple snacks and subscription-box exclusives. This is a fantastic box for anyone who loves Japanese culture and enjoys a curated mix of traditional products and pop culture treasures!
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 January to order February’s box. They ship between the 5th and the 9th of each month, but it can take up to 20 days to receive it.
Coupon: Use coupon code ILOVENIHONBOX to save $3 off your first NihonBox!
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 January’s NihonBox?