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Japan Crate Premium Box Review March 2023

Japan Crate
4.7 overall rating
224 Ratings | 204 Reviews

Japan Crate is a Japanese snack subscription box that sends you snacks, candies, and beverages. Each box comes with 15 to 20 full-size sweets and snacks that are tricky or impossible to find outside Japan.

This review is for the Japan Crate Premium Box, starting at $49.95 monthly.

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.)

First Impressions

This month's Japan Crate box theme was: Lost in Japan! 🏯

The box takes you through a scavenger hunt, sort of, to experience what it's like to be lost in Japan. Each snack has a story/prompt to give you an idea of what's happening. After the whole experience, you get a price that's supposed to work as a memory of when you got lost in Japan.

One cool thing, though, is that this new Japan Crate 2.0 box comes with a scratchcard that can win you a trip to Japan, a VR headset to at least experience Japan from your house, or other mystery surprises!

What's Inside: Japan Crate February 2023 Box

Hyoroku Mochi


Here's where your journey starts. A mysterious samurai hands you this mochi, and after trying it, you teleport…All jokes aside, this isn't the first time we have had this mochi. The December 2022 Japan Crate box also included it. It has a very light green tea taste, but the wrapper is virtually impossible to take off, so 9 times out of 10, you'll also eat some plastic wrap.

Anchovy Bonito Shutou Chips


You teleported to the Tsikojo Fish Market in Tokyo – the smell of these chips alone will teleport you there. They're a very fishy, 100% anchovy chip. It's not for everyone. My husband loved these! I wasn't a big fan of the chips.

Crunky Chocolate With Nuts


After visiting the market, you find yourself on a late-night bus and find a chocolate box. OMG, this chocolate is highly addictive. When I was a kid, I used to ADORE a chocolate bar filled with rice crispers, this has that same texture, but instead of rice, you get crunched hazelnuts. I couldn't put it down and ate the whole thing at once.

Chocolate Ball Pillow


Apparently, you fell asleep on the bus on a small chocolate ball-wrapped pillow. This is a tiny chocolate ball, crunchy on the outside and soft and pillowy inside.

Milky Picola Sticks


When you wake up, you realize the bus took you to Mt. Fuji, and you meet a girl called Peko-chan who says her g-daddy made a famous candy. That's the Milky Picola sticks. They're a 100% milk-flavored puff stick. I can see these as a pairing for decadent chocolate ice cream.

Petite Maeda Crackers


You grab these crackers for the train ride back to the city. These are your average crackers, nothing special. I was kind of sad to see only two tiny crackers in this package.

Traditional Heart Chocolate


Back in the city, you find a giant, radioactive lizard attacking the city. You save the city by handing the lizard this heart-shaped chocolate candy. Frankly, it would also calm me down if you gave me this cute chocolate.

Shimichoko Stick


While you control the giant lizard, the city is pretty much in flames. Someone hands you this magic stick to thank you for your help, and you find a group of abandoned go-karts to keep moving. Not sure if this chocolate-flavored puff stick will save the world, but it will satisfy any chocolate craving.

Koalas March


From there, you visit the Ueno Zoo and notice all the koalas escaped. You try to catch them and go back to your quests. We've also had the Koalas March snacks (which I absolutely love) in January and December!

Big Marshmellow


Apparently, you're exhausted at this point and hop in a taxi. The driver shares this giant marshmallow with you. Nothing special about it. It just tastes like a traditional marshmallow.

Choco Flakes


The taxi drops you off in a random part of town, and you start following a trail of chocolate flakes. These chocolate puffs aren't what they seem. They're delicious, put-together chocolate-covered flakes with some nuts and amazingness in there. New favorite snack!

Fugashi Square Puff


The trail leads you to a Japanese temple where you will find your fortune. This is apparently a traditional snack. It has a brown sugar flavor and a super crisp puff pastry texture. Great for those moments when you're craving something sweet but not too sweet.

Scary Story Chewing Gum


You kept walking until you found the famous Aoyama Cemetery. This gum is very interesting, and you'll definitely need to pull out your Google Translator for this story!

Camembert and Gorgonzola Snack


Something scared you in the cemetery, and you ran away. The smell of cheese brings you to a snack shop. I cannot tell you how sad I was to find only ONE cracker inside this small bag. The disappointment! It tastes great, and I wish I had a medium-sized bag (at least) to fully enjoy it.

DYDO Milkshake


You're drained by then you find this perfect pick-me-up beverage. I have no idea how much sugar this milkshake has, but it WILL wake you up. It's very (very) sweet and has almost a vanilla-milk flavor to it.

Gundam Aerial Rich Cheese Snack


I was so excited to see these chips again. We had them back in October. They're the ultimate puffy cheese chip. Sadly, mine were mostly dust. The story continues, and now you're at the world's largest Unicorn Gundam Statue.

Gachapon (Capsule Toy)


After a super long adventure, it's time to receive your treasure! The samurai you met at the beginning of your journey takes you to their favorite gachapon machine. Mine is a fish on its crate – a memory from my time at the fish market.

DIY: Puyoyon Jellyfish Aquarium Jelly


Your journey doesn't end there. The samurai takes you to a midnight matsuri festival with strange snacks and prizes. Usually, all DIY projects are challenging, but this one was impossible for me. I don't know how you're supposed to make these look like jellyfish. I do hope that future instructions are better explained.

My Verdict

The story behind the box alone makes it worth it to me. Plus, the fact that someone out there won a trip to Japan or a VR headset makes it even more worth it. However, out of the 18 snacks, 4 were mini versions, which was a disappointment, especially for the crackers and cheese puffs.

Nonetheless, the box was exciting and brought back some fan favorites, which I appreciate. And you also got a keepsake toy. Overall, it was a fun box, and I hope they keep using this storytelling format for new boxes.

To Wrap Up

Can I still get this box if I sign up today? Yes! Crates are shipped on a rolling schedule with three shipment dates every month.

Value Breakdown: This box costs $49.95 monthly (including free shipping), and I received 18 items. That breaks down to a value of $2.77 per item.

Check out all of our Japan Crate reviews!

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Japan Crate is a monthly candy and snack subscription box! The company’s HQ is based in Tokyo, where they handpick unique candy, snacks, drinks, DIY kits, and more. Each box contains between 5-20 full-size candies and snacks that are difficult or impossible to find outside of Japan for as low as ... read more.

Geraldine Orentas
Geraldine Orentas

I'm Miami-based copywriter and content creator, deeply passionate about skincare and wellness. Through my Instagram platform, I candidly share my acne healing journey, provide genuine brand reviews, and let you in on my vibrant life in the city. In the midst of running a creative marketing agency, I'm constantly experimenting with sunscreens and new healthy recipes, occasionally indulging in a hearty meal. When the screens go off, it's time for adventures with my trusty German Shepherd, Cora.

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I *love* Crunky bars. I also highly recommend the Crunky flavored Pepero (Korean version of Pocky)

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Julie B

Oh I was going to write the same thing another commenter did, that the samurai candy is wrapped with an edible film, it’s not plastic.
Nice selection of treats, but they do seem like tiny sizes.

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Mary L.

Great review! But disappointing that so many of the items look to be basically bite-sized.

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It’s not plastic that you are peeling off to eat on the mochi.😉

Hyōrokumochi (兵六餅) is a candy which is made and sold by Seika Foods in Kagoshima. Similar to a rice cake, it is made of maltose starch syrup, nori, powdered green tea, soybean flour, and white bean paste. It is shaped into a small cube and wrapped in a thin film of edible starch. Hyōrokumochi can be bought at stores throughout Kyushu.

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