It’s been ages since we reviewed any subscription boxes but we’ve got a couple coming up. First is a new look at Japan Crate, a monthly box of Japanese candy and snacks. Our last Japan Crate was from December 2015 so let’s see what’s changed.
I was sent the May 2019 Premium Box with 18 items including a drink and DIY candy kit. They were all full size items with limited edition flavours and character tie-ins.
You also get a full colour 6 page booklet with detailed descriptions of all the contents, how to use the candy kit and some Japan tips. You can even turn the box inside out for a different design.
I won’t write about every item but here are some of the most interesting – in a good or bad way! I also roped in some family members for additional opinions.
Jalapeno & Onion Pringles
While I definitely have a sweet tooth, I’m usually more intrigued by the savoury snacks in subscription boxes. Japan gets all the best Pringles flavours (like pizza and ramen!) and I would definitely buy these again. They have a not-too-strong onion flavour with a nice spicy kick from the jalapeno.
Strong Garlic Butter and Pizza-La Italian Chips
I can’t say the same for the garlic chips – they are very VERY garlicky. I couldn’t eat more than a couple and really wished I’d been able to fit this into my luggage for my family trip to see their faces after trying one!
The pizza chips are a tie-in with a Japanese pizza company. The flavour isn’t anything special though – just tomato and Italian herbs – but I ate the whole bag.
Fettuccine White Peach Gummy
I was amused to see this as I brought a pack back from Japan and hadn’t tried it yet. Turns out I should have got more as I really like this. They have a strong sweet peach flavour with a little bit of sourness and the size is just perfect for snacking.
Bake Matcha and Chocolate Umaibo
The Bake Matcha is green tea flavoured white chocolate with a toasted coating that won’t melt and comes in adorable packaging with Hello Kitty out for a hike. I tried these on my family and they all really loved it. I thought the matcha flavour was very strong but none of them guessed what it was. If you love matcha, you should try these.
I was looking forward to trying the chocolate Umaibo but it was a bit strange. The wafer balls are really thin and felt a bit too soggy next to the thick chocolate cream inside. I think a chocolate flavoured Umaibo (they’re like a big cheese puff) or a chocolate-covered one would work much better.
Koala March Custard Cream Pudding
The definite winner for cutest item! The Lotte koala is off on his travels here and I’m always impressed by how many different designs there are – there were only a couple of repeats in the whole box. I wouldn’t have guessed the flavour but it’s very creamy and sweet. Definitely worth hunting up a box for a change from the usual flavours.
Koeda Purple Potato
I thought this would be a fun one to try on my family and they were all amazed to discover it was sweet potato. The purple variety is sweeter than our usual orange ones and you often find it in candy and ice creams in Japan. Everyone liked these too – the flavour is hard to describe but it’s chocolate with crispy bits.
Jeleet’s Coffee Jelly
Why are there always jelly drinks in my review boxes? I tried one once and never again. However, everyone I force these on ends up really liking it so I’m probably in the minority. My dad gave this a go and was surprised to like the texture, though he wasn’t overly keen on the coffee flavour. We looked this up after and it’s actually based on a British dessert – coffee-flavoured jelly in condensed milk. I have never come across that!
There were lots of smaller items too including gum, lollies and gummies, plus a bonus item, which was a little Pokemon chocolate egg. I haven’t tried any of these yet – and I am never eating that adorable little post office van! I haven’t made the candy kit either as it’s kinako mochi – 2 things I’m not that keen on. I’ll share some pics on Instagram if we make it later.
Overall, I thought this was a really great box with lots of things I’d never tried and would buy again. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for the Pringles and peach gummies – and will have to remember to pick up more Bake Matcha for my family next time I’m in Japan. The only negative thing is that all the best items were only in the Premium size box – if I’d been sent one of the smaller boxes, my review would have been much less enthusiastic. I would recommend saving up for the bigger box.
Pricing & Information
Japan Crate‘s Premium box costs $35 per month for 18-20 full-size candy and snacks plus a drink and monthly bonus item. There’s also a Mini box at $12 and the Original box at $25. All boxes include free shipping worldwide and there are further discounts if you subscribe for a block of 3, 6 or 12 months. You can subscribe now or view the contests of past crates to see more of what you might get.
If you don’t fancy snacks, there’s more fun subcription boxes from the same company: Doki Doki (kawaii & lifestyle), Umai (noodles), Kira Kira (beauty) and Gacha Gacha (capsule toys). Which one would like best?
(Box was provided by Japan Crate for review but all words and photographs are my own.)
Marceline is the co-founder and editor of Super Cute Kawaii and author of The Super Cute Book of Kawaii. She also designs cute character goods as Asking For Trouble. Having visited Japan five times, Marceline is enormously inspired by all things Japanese and especially loves bunnies, space and any kind of food object with a happy face.