The monthly boxes come in 3 sizes and I was sent the largest Premium box which contains 12-14 items including a DIY kit, drink and bonus item. The box was super cute with Fuji design and inside I found Cute Tororin Parfait DIY kit, Black Bean & Soy Sauce Scones, 3 Umaibo sticks, Pocky Demitasse, Hia Shuwa Cola, Fujiya lollipops, Naga-i Sawagumi Orange tape, Pachishuwa Dynamite Melon Soda, Banana Awa Moco Moco, Bad Kid Beer, Celio Lifeguard Drink and a Zelda gashapon figurine.
I was impressed with the mix of items with both sweet and savoury and drinks, plus there were lots of things I’ve not seen before despite 3 trips to Japan!
Let’s start with drinks! Melon Soda Fanta is my favourite drink ever, so I was so excited to try this one, but it turned out to be one of the weird jelly drinks that I am not a fan of. If you’re more of a jelly fan, this is pretty cool – you can either drink it straight or put it in the freezer for a slushie. The two packets I am saving to try with Panda-san soon – the Bad Kid Beer is actually creamy grape soda and the banana turns fizzy when mixed with water.
Lifeguard is a fizzy energy drink full of good stuff like vitamins, amino acids, honey and royal jelly. I had no idea what it would taste like, especially with the cool green colour and deranged racing bunny on the can. I’m still not sure, but it was really nice and I would buy it again.
I’m always happy to see Umaibo, which are giant corn snacks. These are all good flavours – cheese, salad and tonkotsu pork. The Scones are like Crunchy Cheetos (or NikNaks in the UK). I initially thought the Black Bean & Soy Sauce flavour was boring, but after a few handfuls it gets really tasty and now I wish I had more. I’ll be looking out for these when I visit Japan in the spring.
Candy time! The orange gummy strip was really good with a strong flavour but soft to chew. I would definitely buy it again. The bags of sweets are really big and will last you a long time for whenever you need a little treat.
One has 3 types of Cola sweets, which are all individually wrapped and taste just like cola bottles. Peko-chan is on the cute packaging for a big bag of fruit lollies with a mix of orange, apple, grape and strawberry.
The Pocky Demitasse were my favourite thing in the whole box. I opened them for this photo and then found myself eating them all as I photographed the other items. It’s only a small box but the biscuit sticks are chocolate flavour and the chocolate icing is double thickness – so good!
I’m very intrigued by the DIY parfait kit – it comes with its own cute plastic glass, strawberry sauce and decorations and I’ll be reviewing that separately soon.
The Premium box also contains a free gift which turned out to be a Zelda figurine so I was very happy. It was in a gashapon capsule and one that you get to build yourself. I got Link playing some panpipes and he fits in perfectly with my other Wind Waker figurines.
As with the Doki Doki crate, you also receive a full colour booklet with details of each item, instructions for making the candy kit and a comic. It’s great to get all these details and you can find out even more on the Japan Crate blog.
I would recommend this box if you want to try a big range of Japanese snacks and drinks. The Premium box (from $27.50 per month) would be best for clubbing together with friends since you get a few big sharing packs. The Original box (from $22.50 per month) looks good for one person – you get almost everything but the drinks.
Check out the Japan Crate site to order the February box, sign up for a subscription or just find out more.
PS. I’ll be parting with a few of these items to add to our giveaway prizes so make sure to vote in the SCK Awards to be entered.
(Premium crate was provided for review by Japan Crate but this is my honest review and the photos are my own)