April 2023’s Japan Crate theme is cherry blossoms. It’s ‘sakura season’ and they’re in full bloom. While we can see them here in the UK too sometimes, it’s very much a part of the culture of Japan, with some beautiful sights to see. Having a picnic while viewing the cherry blossoms would be a nice way to use some of the snacks from this very pink crate.
If you’ve not seen our previous posts about Japan Crate, they’re a popular subscription box service by Sugoi Mart that send out a box with 18-20 Japanese snacks every month. They do boxes with other themes too, like gacha, noodles, stationary, and cute items. We’ve taken a look at several of their boxes if you’d like to take a look.
Rock and Mercury
Following the rather tasty Gundam Aerial Rich Cheddar Cheese Snack in March 2023’s Crate, this month included the Gundam the Witch from Mercury Tomato Snack version. The flavor certainly fits the character well, since she grows tomatoes. I was a little concerned when I saw them. I haven’t liked tomato-flavored crisps that I’ve tried before, but it tastes nothing like them, though they are hard to describe. Each piece is made up of four layers with some separation, so they’re nice and light.
The Butter and Rock Salt Chips were a surprise too. Butter and salt sound like an odd combination. Opening it up, my first impression was that it smells like a butter-heavy cake. These fairly thick potato chips were an unusual, but pleasant-tasting mix of salty chips with a sweet aftertaste.
The Food Groups
A standard but well-known inclusion was the ‘Pocky Strawberry Sprinkle’. I’ve had Pocky plenty of times before, but the sprinkle version seems stronger than the ones I’ve bought previously. Never heard of Pocky? Go watch Please Teacher! They’re a biscuit stick with a flavored coating, strawberry in this case, and Mizuho’s favorite snack.
The Fish Chew Snack was perhaps not suited to me. They’re little thin sticks, only about 1mm thick with a somewhat salty taste of fish. I found them tough and chewy and had to rip bits off to eat them. Even if I didn’t enjoy the taste, it’s interesting to try.
What can I say about the Strawberry Cream Roll Cake? It’s thin, soft, and not too sweet. Otherwise, it’s pretty much a standard roll cake. Considering that I’d happily eat one a day, that’s not a bad thing.
The ‘Strawberry Wheat Chocolate’ from Furuta are essentially wheat puffs, similar to some cereals. But they’re covered in sweet strawberry chocolate coating instead.
White Chocolate Soaked Mini Asparagus sounds pretty weird. Luckily these long biscuits definitely don’t taste like a vegetable. They smell great and are quite sweet with that white chocolate taste.
As for less sweet options, the ‘Snack Sticks with 11 Vegetables’ are breadsticks with a mild herb taste. They’re a nice snack to pick at, but disappear far too quickly!
Bits and Pieces
Starting on a slight negative, I didn’t try the Bisco Strawberry Mini Pack. It arrived split open. To be fair, this is the first time in about one hundred snacks from Japan Crate I’ve received and customs opened the box up too, so it could’ve been damaged there. It’s a pity. These biscuits with strawberry filled smelled lovely.
More positively, the New Whistle Candy was nice. It’s chalky and breaks apart easily, with a fruity sweet taste. Much like the gum featured previously, it actually works well as a whistle! My cat was giving me a shocked look
The pack of Mini Peach Hard Candy contains some little hard candies. They’re peach ramune-flavored, with some slight sweetness. I always like these ramune-flavored sweets.
While small as the name implies, the Petit Donut Biscuit looks nice. It tastes like a regular plain biscuit, so not much to say here.
The Grape Soda Gummy tastes like most other grape sweets. It’s a pretty tough sugar-coated gummy. No complaints.
Similarly, there are no real surprises with the Fruit Donut Gummy. It’s perhaps a little less sweet than local competitors, which I prefer, and has a mild fruity flavor.
Finally for the smaller candies, the Strawberry Marble Gum are gumballs in a thin hard shell. They lasted surprisingly long!
Mushrooms and Not Quite Alcohol
I enjoyed using the Mushroom Shaped Chocolate DIY. It’s three different chocolate pens that need to be warmed up in hot water, then piped into molds. It comes with biscuit pieces to add for the mushroom ‘stalks’. It tasted great and was nice to mix the flavors of chocolates as I wanted. The shape turned out well too after 30 minutes in the fridge to set.
The ‘Sweet Fermented Rice Drink’ (Amazake) came in a small can and is ideally warmed up before drinking. Despite the name, I didn’t find it too sweet. It’s alcoholic, but less than 1%. Even if anime like Onimai: I’m Now Your Sister! show scenes of people getting drunk off it, that won’t really happen.
— NookGaming.com | JRPGs, Visual Novels and More💕 (@NookSite) April 29, 2023
Grow Your Own Cherry Blossom Tree
Perhaps the most interesting item included in Japan Crate is the ‘Magical Growing Sakura Tree’. It includes a stand and two pieces to build together, along with some growth liquid to pour into the base. A few hours later and you’ll have ‘cherry blossoms’ bloom. No actual magic included sadly; It’s not like the one from Da Capo!
It does include a warning that it’s fragile, and it’s certainly true. I had to move it as my cat was very interested. That was enough to make some parts fall off. It’s a little sturdier after a day. Sadly, the petals on mine have all fallen after a determined cat attack on the new high-up location.
This links to Japan Crate‘s monthly prize. Three winners who post the best videos of the trees they grow can win a live Japanese cherry blossom bonsai tree and a course on how to take care of it. It sounds like a pretty nice prize!
Ordering Japan Crate?
The Japan Crate comes at $49.95 per month, with discounts if you prepay. This includes delivery too.
It’s a nice mix of items, with some familiar and some new. I always enjoy trying new snacks.
Many thanks go to Japan Crate/Sugoi Mart for sending out a sample for this feature.
You may also be interested in checking out our look at the Sugoi Mart Anime Set.
Support High-Quality And Detailed Coverage
Want to support the cost of us bringing you these articles or just buy us a coffee for a job well done? Click the Ko-fi button below. You can even find some digital goodies in our shop~!
A gamer since the days of Amstrad and DOS and someone who has dabbled in a variety of professions. He enjoys a wide variety of genres, but has been focusing on visual novels and virtual reality in recent years. Head Editor of NookGaming. Follow him and the website on @NookSite.