These days we are belly deep in GCSEs, as Teen 2 is manfully ploughing his way through more exams than either of us want to think about. All I can really do is distract him with food and sympathy and crazy talk. So we were both excited when we were offered the chance to try out Japan Crate.
What is Japan Crate ?
Japan Crate is a monthly subscription box of Japanese sweets and other products. The crates start at $28, which includes free worldwide delivery. As well as candy-specific boxes, there are beauty products, cute things and even ramen noodle boxes.
We were sent one of the Premium Japan Crates, which retails at $35. This contains 18 to 20 items per month, including a drink and a non-candy item.
Ah yes, the drink. Cheese tea! Very trendy in Japan, apparently. We’re still too scared to open it. Tastes like mascarpone, apparently. Cheese tea, what a time to be alive.
It all comes in a sturdy cardboard box, so nothing get squashed, not even the crisps. There’s a mini magazine which explains the theme behind the box and explains what each of the items is in detail.
Every month has a different theme, and our box was themed around Fruits Basket, a popular Japanese manga series. The bonus item was a set of three exclusive Fruits Basket badges. But we were here for the candy – like this peppermint fish – so cool indeed.
There were 18 other individual items, highlights include
- Warugaki Beer candy – because why should kids have to miss out on beer?
- Aobe Gum – tastes like lemonade, dyes your tongue blue, every kid’s dream
- King’s Melon Bread – fit for royalty
- Brown Chocolate Ginza Rusk – chocolatey toast. Too good for kids. Let them drink beer.
Some of the sweets were a bit more recognisable in origin: jelly beans, apple candy and wasabi flavour crisps.
Taste wise, we enjoyed everything we tried, apart from the wasabi crisps. Even the white chocolate and matcha tea crunchy cookies were good (much better than they looked, which was like mold).
All in all I think Japan Crate is a great gift for a teen or tween, or (obviously) someone who likes Japanese candy. Actually, I think it’s perfect for teenagers. It’s unusual, pretty cool and definitely a talking point. Want to get your teenager talking to you? Just let them loose on the beer candy with a blue tongue.
Japan Crates range from $28 to $35 per month, worldwide shipping included. They can be bought as a one off or as a monthly subscription. You can find out more from the website here.
JAPAN CRATE UPDATE – FEBRUARY 2020
The people behind Japan Crate have now launched a new online store where you can buy individual Japanese snacks, sweets and toys. It’s called Sugoi Mart and is well worth an explore to find lots of cool products not usually available outside Japan. We especially enjoyed these dark chocolate Kit Kats which come in an innovative kind of paper packaging that can be used for origami. Yum!