Japan Crate‘s theme for June 2023 is ‘Experience Japan Through Samurai’. It comes complete with some attractive Mega Drive/Sega Genesis-style artwork of a fighting game featuring samurai on the front and weapons inside.
Unfortunately, much like the May 2023 box, there was no guide included this time and no ‘in-box game’ with a prize to win. Looking at a couple of other people’s experiences, there seems to be some variation in what was received but it was mostly the same.
If you’ve not seen our previous posts about Japan Crate, they’re a popular subscription box service by Sugoi Mart that sends 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.
Mochi and Clams
Two particularly unique items came as the big bags of the month.
The Echigo Seika Fluffy Master Kinako Mochi are bite-sized snacks made of kinako (yellow soybean flour). I found them to be extremely soft and easily crushed with almost no pressure, but solid enough to hold their shape despite that. I can’t quite identify the taste, but aside from the soybean flour, rice, and a few sweeteners were involved. It’s not for me, with a strong taste and aftertaste, but it is interesting.
The Koikeya Shellfish Hamayaki Chips are quite airy chips, with a flour base, but with a consistency similar to some rice crackers. With shrimp, clam, scallop, and oyster ingredients, it has a unique taste that shellfish lovers will likely appreciate. Unfortunately, that’s not me and I’ve been bemoaning the inclusion of seafood snacks in several of the recent Japan Crates. My cat seems very attracted to the strong smell though.
Bags and Boxes
Domyoji Umeko’s Love Challenge by Ribon is the standout item when it comes to uniqueness in this month’s box, even just from the design. In the bag are individually packaged small soft pale pink chews with a surprisingly sour plum flavor inside. The concept of this candy is that you’re supposed to not show that it’s sour by your face, unlike the face on the packaging.
The Meiji grape gummies were almost the opposite, with such a mild taste that they could be described as flavorless. They’re slightly hard inside, but soft outside which was unusual.
We’ve seen the candy floss in a previous Japan Crate. It’s nice and interesting to see a block of it in a package, but otherwise just as you’d imagine candy floss to be.
Another standout snack is the box of Bourbon Mochi Truffle. It contains eight mochi split between two packs. They’re soft and fluffy mochi, with a solid chocolate core, and the only problem is that there aren’t enough of them. Each pack comes with a little stick to eat them with, which is definitely helpful since even just opening the packet had cocoa dust on my fingers.
Sonnomama Grape seems to be a frequent repeat, but it’s quite nice so I’ve no complaints. It’s three gumballs, with one as a ‘surprise’ sour one.
Jack Soccer Scratch is one sweet tablet. I’d guess it’s ramune flavor, but it doesn’t say that I can see. It comes with a scratch lottery ticket of some type, which reveals a soccer score (Japan’s 1 VS Italy’s 3 in my case).
The grape candy by Orion look like small mints, coming in a tiny container with a ring pull and ‘tablets’ inside. They have a slightly chalky texture, with a strongly sweet grape candy flavor. I liked these quite a lot.
Another inclusion was a key-shaped package with candy-coated chocolates inside. They’re similar to the fortune-telling candy we looked at previously, but these ones don’t seem to have a gimmick.
The Tanenashi Hoshiume is a dried seedless pickled plum made from umeboshi plums. It’s kind of an odd mix of a strong salty taste, slightly sour, and a sweet aftertaste. Certainly interesting, if not something I’d get for myself.
The Bananaman snack (no relation to the British comic book character) was surprisingly delicious. It’s banana-flavored marshmallow, with a strong chocolate filling.
It included four mini KitKats too. Three I believe were the ‘Whole Wheat Biscuit’ Kitkat, which had creamy white chocolate and milk chocolate inside. They were delicious. The other was pistachio.
I was surprised to find the Sekihan red bean rice included in a Japan Crate. If anything, it seems more suited to the mostly noodle-based Umai Crate, which included similar when we tried it before. It wasn’t bad, but just doesn’t seem to fit.
The DIY kit this month was the Nericho Ice Cream DIY again, though the foam that goes on top of the ice cream cones is strawberry flavor this time. Missing the instruction manual when including this would cause issues for some, as it’s difficult to guess the right amount of water to add.
More positive was the Asahi Tokunou Peach Squash. I was a little surprised to find that it was slightly carbonated, as ‘squash’ means a flat cordial to me. It was really refreshing though, with a mild peach taste and stronger peach smell.
Maybe I’m a Samurai
As a special item, the Japan Crate for June 2023 contains a Samurai Sword pen by ‘Mini.Katana’. It does look rather nice, which includes the presentation in the box.
Twisting the pen reveals the nib to write with and it comes with a refill too. That said, I think it’s better for display. It’s fairly heavy for a pen, and quite unwieldy due to its large size. It does write smoothly though.
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, and particularly liked to see some of the more traditional ones in the March 2023 box.
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.
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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.