JourneeBox “The Kyoto Box” Subscription Review
JourneeBox delivers a quarterly lifestyle experience that features designer-produced, sustainably-made fashion, home, body, and culinary goods. The JourneeBox direct-to-consumer business model — meaning they design and produce all of their goods — keeps costs and environmental impact down. This model guarantees subscribers quality, vetted products made from sustainable materials that are ethically made.
For $59.99 per quarter, you receive 6+ sustainably-made or fair-trade items with customizable products focusing on accessories, apparel, home, and beauty goods.
COUPON: Use code FIRSTBOX! to save $10 off your first box!
My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).
Opening The Box
The box itself is so beautiful. I love the simple cover and the tie closure. As a trinket person who has more little things than I know what to do with, I always save my JourneeBox boxes for storing small, special stuff that I collect.
The Kyoto booklet opens with a note from Kevia, sharing her personal experience exploring Kyoto, Japan. Throughout, we’re provided with some history and context about each of the items she selected.
After last quarter’s digital booklet for the Zero Waste Box, I wasn’t sure whether to expect a physical booklet again this time around. On one hand, the paper booklet is nice to flip through for context as I explore what’s in my box. It also contributes to the box-opening experience to not have a computer involved. On the other hand, last quarter’s PDF info booklet was a minor adjustment that went a long way for waste reduction. I think in the long term I’d prefer the digital route!
Here’s What’s Inside
Updated on 8/29/21 to correct an error about which item is for annual subscribers, add a mention of the Furoshiki workshop offered, make note of platter colorways, and add cost values.
Matcha Tea Duo — Listed Value $60
The first thing I pulled out of my box is this duo of matcha packets. Matcha seems to have really exploded in popularity in the US in recent years (by way of matcha tea lattes most of all, it seems), and while the color is life-giving in its natural beauty, the flavor was an acquired taste for me. It’s earthy and faintly sweet, with a touch of bitterness. Even after giving it a fair shot by way of teas, lattes, and even using powder to make homemade matcha-cream Oreos, it’s just not my first choice when treating myself. I’m intrigued, though, by the two different types of matcha we were sent: Ryo and Ukifume, and curious to taste test them to see if I can discern the difference or if I have a preference. Perhaps I’ll put them in a smoothie this time around.
Koi Oven Mitt & Pot Holder Set — Listed Value $40
This item is a gift for annual subscribers only.
I’m in love with this potholder and oven mitt set! A few years ago I would’ve thought oven mitts would’ve been a one-and-done thing you buy and then you have ’em forever. Since then I’ve learned that not only do they get dirty from occasionally touching food when in use, but their heat protectiveness also fades over time and after being put through the washing machine. Buying new potholders was low on my to-do list, but JourneeBox hooked me up with a pair I’m pumped to have. The design is so bold and unique and I’m all about it.
Kyo Platter — Listed Value $40
I was enchanted by the Kyo platter when I saw it among the Kyoto Box spoilers, I just love handmade pottery and live for its uniqueness and imperfections. Now that I have this 9″ by 5″ dish in my hands, though, I don’t see it fitting in with my collection of handmade mugs and things as well as I expected. While the form is really cool with its wavy oblong shape and four short legs to stand on, the blue accent color around the rim seems airbrushed. Something about that touch sort of cheapens the look for me. Perhaps when filled with things that would be less noticeable, but rather than forcing this dish to work in my home I’m going to pass it along.
I’d like to add a note that this dish may arrive in one of three possible colorways, including an ember-like orange and red dish with black edges and a deep blue dish with speckled grey edges.
Furoshiki Kit — Listed Values $25 for Cloth, $18 for Handles, and $35 for Workshop
Furoshiki is a traditional Japanese cloth meant for wrapping presents or using as a tote bag. I’ve seen many images online of Furoshiki-style gift wrapping and I adore the zero-waste approach. In this quarter’s JourneeBox we’re sent one of three colors of printed cloth, plus two wooden handles to use as an alternative to tying the bag. Note that the directions inside the cloth’s sleeve are for wrapping it without the wooden handles.
Here I sort of winged it by sliding each of the four corners into the handles’ holes, then tying each side together. When you hug the wooden handles together in one hand it’s quite natural to carry. It’s also nice that the cloth then opens up as a surface to eat your lunch on, if that’s what you choose to pack inside of it, so you have a built-in little picnic placemat.
But you don’t have to wing it like I did! Included in the box is a link to sign up for a live Furoshiki workshop run by Musubi, one of the most famous makers of Furoshiki in Japan. The workshop would be
Daifuku Mochi — Listed Value $8
Mochi is a Japanese treat made from rice flour. I’ve seen it in ice cream form and casserole form, and now here it is looking like a candy of sorts. We were sent two: a white one and a grey-ish one, and they’re simultaneously firm and squishy between my fingers. They don’t have much of a scent, and they’re extremely gummy (almost tacky) to bite into. I am not a very adventurous eater, nor do I like gummy candies, so these weren’t for me. But for most this edible offering would probably be really fun to try!
Papaya Seaweed Scrub — Listed Value $25
I don’t have a very specific skincare routine, so I always love being sent different types of cleansers and scrubs to try. This papaya seaweed scrub is heavenly. Its scent is indeed papaya-y, with earthy hints, and its consistency is smooth and gel-like with gentle exfoliation throughout. I loved how this scrub felt on my face, giving me the deep clean that exfoliation offers, but leaving me with a really replenished feeling and smooth skin. The scent also lingers, which is a wonderful experience.
Fan Earrings from Kevia Kyoto Collection — Listed Value $35
This is the choice item for this quarter. Both quarterly & annual subscribers can choose which jewelry piece they’d like to receive.
This quarter’s choice item was between cherry blossom earrings and a necklace, or fan-shaped earrings and a necklace with a faux pearl accent. I usually go for bolder jewelry over delicate pieces, so I gave the fans a go. They’re meant as a nod to the folding fans used throughout Japanese history.
I’m not typically a pearl-wearer, but I thought they were tasteful on this pair. If I could change anything it would’ve been to make them even bigger! Otherwise, they’re lovely.
Value – Was This Box Worth It?
The Cost: $59.99
COUPON: Use code FIRSTBOX! to save $10 off your first box!
Value Breakdown: JourneeBox
does not offer retail pricing for its items because each item is proprietary has a total retail value of $286 this quarter, which exceeds the promise of a $250+ value [updated 8/29/21]! This box costs $59.99 + free shipping, which means that each of the 7 items in the box (considering the pot holder & oven mitt as 1 set and the jewelry as 1 set) has an average cost of $8.57. Note that the pot holder & oven mitt set is for annual subscribers only, which was included in my calculation. That value is a steal for some items, but not so much for others—for example, a somewhat comparable pair of earrings sells on Kevia’s site for $50, which nearly covers the cost of the box, whereas $8.57 for a couple of small candy-like mochi isn’t such a great price. I think that overall the value is there for annual subscribers, but that quarterly subscribers might be left wanting more.
The Kyoto theme of this JourneeBox was delightful and something different from what I’ve ever experienced in a quarterly lifestyle subscription. I thought Kevia did a nice job of showcasing a variety of products inspired by Japanese culture without appropriating. That tastefulness wins big points for me! My favorite items this quarter were the oven mitt + pot holder duo, as well as the face scrub. I wasn’t as taken by the mochi, matcha, or the platter, but I do think they contributed to a nice spread altogether. I always enjoy JourneeBox and look forward to seeing what’s in store the next quarter!
Keep track of your subscriptions by adding this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
Other Things You Should Know
When is this box available? This box is seasonal, shipping out 4 times a year. The next box will be available in December.
Can I still get this box if I sign up today? Yes, but it will likely sell out soon.
What did you think of the Summer 2021 Kyoto JourneeBox? Click below to write a review!
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