Review: Japan Crate

A box of authentic Japanese snacks sent to your door every month – what’s not to love? That’s what Japan Crate is all about. The website says: “Japan Crate offers the unique experience of Japan through monthly crates filled with candy”.

The service is based on a subscription box system, which hasn’t really taken off yet in Australia – giving it not only a sense of novelty, but also exciting anticipation in getting your next crate. You can also unsubscribe anytime, even after just a month. This is what I did, too – I was curious but didn’t want a long-term commitment, and the cancellation process was simple and easy.

The boxes are sent from Tokyo, Japan – but worry not, the international shipping is free! However, it can indeed take a while, and there is no tracking number. In the FAQ, the team said: “We did not want to raise the price of our crates or lower the quality/quantity of items and for this reason we will no longer be including tracking numbers for our shipments. We have found that nearly all crates are delivered in a timely manner without tracking.” I think it was fair enough, and indeed my package arrived safely over two weeks after the shipping schedule.

So, what about the content of the crate itself?

There are three options for the crate size: Mini (5 items, half pound, $US12 per month), Original (10 items, 1.5 pounds, $US20 per month), and Premium (15 items, 2.5 pounds, $US30 per month). I got the Premium crate, which included a DIY kit and a bonus item. The DIY kit for this month is Shin-Chan Puripuri Pudding, which can be cooked in a microwave, and the bonus item is a moldable sushi toy.

In terms of the snacks themselves, I wish there had been more variety. Three of the snacks are rice crackers and four of them are candies – all different brands, of course, but a more diverse range of snacks would be more interesting. Many of the snacks are pretty small, too – but I imagine it would be hard to pack 2.5 pounds in 15 big, full-sized items. It indeed is exciting to get authentic Japanese snacks that are hard to find elsewhere, but the price might be a bit steep if you want to try a wide variety of them.

All in all, should you try the subscription? Yes, mainly due to the novelty factor and the built-up anticipation of getting a new, unique “present” for yourself every month. But maybe opt for the month-to-month plan that you can cancel anytime instead of the 12 month prepay term.

+:

  • Authentic Japanese snacks that are difficult to find in Australia
  • Free shipping
  • Novel and exciting subscription experience

-:

  • A bit expensive
  • Limited variety
  • Small sizes

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

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