Saturday, November 28, 2015

Japan Crate Review, November 2015 + FREE Mini Crate and/or $3 Discount!

Perhaps the greatest service performed by subscription box companies is the introduction to aspects of other cultures that would not otherwise be available. That was certainly the case with South Korean beauty products which have exploded into the U.S. market over the past few years.  The same might be said of candy and snacks from Japan although Amazon has definitely played a role in elevating those items to the worldwide audience.

Japanese snacks are all over the place; by now, who hasn't at least heard of companies like Glico, Morinaga and Meiji?  If you haven't yet tried Pocky, well, you're just missing out on one of life's guilty little pleasures.  Even if you can't read anything on the package....if it comes from Japan, it will probably be fun, tasty and something you haven't tried before.  One sub box that is devoted solely to Japanese candies and snacks is Japan Crate

Japan Crate has three available sizes:  

Mini (4 to 6 items) - $12.00 per month
Original (8 to 10 items, includes one DIY kit) - $25.00 per month
Premium (12 to 14 items, includes drink, DIY kit and bonus item) - $30.00 per month  

Each of these can be purchased by the month or for progressive discounts for three, six or twelve month terms.  The boxes contain a crazy assortment of candy, snacks and DIY kits from Japan.  For the most part, these are candies that cannot be found in the U.S. 

My first Japan Crate arrived in a bright red box about two weeks after placing the order.  This is the Original size box.  

Inside is a riot of color, fun and wackiness.

There is even a full color mini magazine with all sorts of fun information, cartoons, DIY candy instructions and a two page diagram showing what items came in each size box. This is the most elaborate information brochure I've ever received in a subscription box.

Some of the items are not labeled in English but the booklet helps a lot.  First out is this very colorful "Fluffy Softmallow" which is four flavors of marshmallow in pastel colors twisted to form one long stick.  Any kid (or me) would love this!  (Sorry, my camera just didn't do it justice.)

I had to rely completely on the book for this package of Purple Sweet Potato Sticks from Glico.  These are wheat cracker sticks made with purple sweet potatoes which are a seasonal treat in Japan.  Hmmm...they look a lot like Pocky to me.

There are three packages of Black Thunder from Choco Bar Japan. The name is inspired by the Japanese god of thunder.  They are made of cookie pieces and rice puffs and covered in dark chocolate.  Nothing not to love there!

From what I've read, do it yourself candy and snack kits are completely silly, but a necessity in any authentic Japanese snack box.  This one is called the Funassyi Furi-Furi Shake DIY Kit.  (Funassyi is a popular Japanese mascot cartoon character.) When mixed with a cup of milk and an ice cube, you end up with a pear flavored milkshake.  The kit includes a cup with lid, sachet and straw.  

This colorful little box holds "Uranai-kko Bubble Gum" or soft bubble gum sticks.  More cuteness...each stick contains a fortune, translations of which can be found on Japan Crate's blog.

From Glico is a box of Hot Chili Salad Flavored Pretz, baked snack sticks.  Uh, Dorothy, we are definitely not in Kansas anymore!

More weirdness...Glico Man Caramel & Toy.  This is actually two boxes shrink wrapped together.  One contains individually wrapped heart-shaped caramels and in the other is a three piece rocket-shaped toy.  What these have to do with each other (or the victorious athlete on the red box for that matter) is a mystery to me but the toy is much better quality than what you might get in a box of Crackerjacks.

Meiji is an old Japanese candy brand and these meticulously packaged caramels are made to look like five different dice.  (The dots on the dice are on the sides.) Inside each one is a caramel.  Who thinks this stuff up?

Finally, there is a box of Pejoy Cookies & Cream Biscuit Sticks.  In my opinion, the best Japanese snacks are the various filled and dipped cookie-like sticks because they are so light, tasty and easy to eat.  It seems strange that this idea hasn't been copied by any U.S. candy manufacturer.

That's it for November's Japan Crate.  This was such a fun box to go through and share. I really enjoy the Japanese take on snacks which is clearly quite different than what we are accustomed to in the U.S.  Fortunately, these snacks are increasingly making their way onto Amazon where they can be purchased individually if you find something you really like.

I haven't been able to find any discount codes for Japan Crate but they have a nice Black Friday deal going on at the moment.  Get a free Mini Crate with code DAIFUKU when you purchase any subscription or gift.  Also, you can pick up a $3 discount code by signing up for their mailing list (scroll all the way down to the bottom if you don't get a pop-up).   

Thanks for reading,


P.S.  In case you're wondering how to say "bubblegum" in Japanese, it's "Fuusengamu". You're welcome!

Disclosure:  Views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly my own.  Product discussed in this post was purchased by Lone Star Shopper. Post does not contain referral or affiliate links. 

No comments: