The theme of Japan Crate theme for March 2023 is ‘Lost in Japan’. It’s a box meant to take you on a journey. The immediately striking thing about this box is the design, which mixes the traditional and new.
The guide that comes with it tells a story. You meet a samurai who tells you that you can find a treasure by eating a bunch of secret snacks, and it goes from there. This was a fun concept, though it does replace the item descriptions, which are useful.
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.
A Journey to Japan
Each month, Japan Crate includes a way to win a prize. The idea for the Lost in Japan crate was visiting Japan, whether by winning a flight to visit or by winning a VR headset, so you can ‘virtually visit’. While the former is definitely the big prize, I can say from experience that wandering around in VR is interesting too.
The way to see if you won was by a scratch card. Sadly, I can’t report that I’ll be visiting Japan again, whether in reality or VR, but it’s still probably better odds than the lottery. The QR code took me to a livestream from a camera on a Japanese street as a consolation prize.
Bags of Future and Past
As always, Japan Crate has included two big bags of snacks. There’s a notable contrast here, in that one is very sci-fi and the other traditional.
The Gundam Aerial Rich Cheddar Cheese Snack feature Guel Jeturk from the Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch of Mercury series, which is currently between cours. They have a rather nice mild cheese flavor, and each piece is made up of four layers with some separation, so they’re nice and light.
As for the more traditional feeling snack, I was somewhat apprehensive about the Anchovy Bonito Shutou Chips. I’ve never tasted anything anchovy and mostly heard about it as a now-rare pizza topping. It seems to be some sort of rice-based cracker. It wasn’t to my taste, though I appreciated the chance to try something unusual.
Boxes and Bars
On a more positive note, I definitely enjoyed the Milky Picola Sticks. Coming with two packs inside a box, it’s crunchy and airy, with a hollow tube shape, and a pleasant milk flavor.
The Scary Story Chewing Gum had a really interesting design on the packet. It contained a little comic panel with zombies and Japanese text inside with a horror theme – and of course a sheet of gum. Might be a good one to have alongside the new Project Zero game!
The Chunky Chocolate With Nuts from Lotte is a little blast from the past for me. I saw these all the time when I lived in South Korea. It’s pretty much what it says in the title – a chocolate bar with a lot of small nuts inside. Tastes nice.
New to me was the Shimichoko Stick. It’s a puffed corn snack, with a really strong chocolatey taste.
Going back to more traditional Japanese snacks is the Fugashi Square Puff. It’s a wheat-based snack, which tastes strongly of sugar. No surprise, since it’s basically coated in dried sugar syrup.
Big Marshmallow and Small Snacks
The third month of the year suitably sees Koala’s March return to Japan Crate, though in a smaller packet than the New Years 2023 Crate. It’s a small pack with only five cookies inside. They’re small koala-shaped cookies, with a crunchy shell and delicious chocolate taste within. I really like these, but I can find them locally.
Hyoroku Mochi is another returning item. I first saw it in the Christmas 2022 Japan Crate. I’m definitely happy to have more of these little cubes of green tea flavored mochi. They’re a slightly sweet flavor, with a chewy texture.
The Chocolate Ball Pillow is a small 1cm approx chocolate ball with a hard crunchy shell. a strong chocolate taste bursts out when biting this one. It’s pretty different.
A nice one for a Valentine’s Day treat is the Traditional Heart Chocolate. It comes in a traditional-looking wrapping, containing a small chocolate heart. It tasted pretty nice.
Another chocolate snack is the Choco Flakes. It’s two circles of chocolate, mixed with cereal. It looks similar to the chocolate rice crispy cakes for anyone familiar, but the taste is extremely chocolatey.
Looking at a more savory treat is the Petite Maeda Crackers. They were somewhat dry, without a particularly strong taste.
The Camembert and Gorgonzola Snack is definitely the better cracker. Coming at about 2cm squared, it’s a really strong cheese taste. I could’ve eaten a whole pack of these.
Lastly for the regular items, is the Big Marshmallow. It’s soft. It’s squishy.
It’s exactly what it says on the package – a Big Marshmallow.
The sharp-eyed may have noticed an orange-Kit Kat in the picture above. This wasn’t listed in the booklet, but it came in the Japan Crate anyway. I assume it was a bonus – unless the nice people at customs decided to throw in a snack when they decided to inspect the inside.
The Special Items
As always, Japan Crate has included an interesting Japanese drink. This time, it’s the Dydo Milkshake. I think it may have been banana flavor. Either way, it was quite sweet and pleasant. It feels quite different to have a milkshake from a can.
The DIY Kit is a Puyoyon Jellyfish Aquarium Jelly, which included three different powders, containers, and a spoon. I used these to make some cute hard jelly shapes to ‘swim’ in a sea of sweet liquid jelly. The English instructions in the booklet were a little confusing this time around, but I figured it out eventually.
Finally, the bonus is a gachapon (capsule toy). It’s a crab, which fits the water theme nicely. If you like gachapon, Sugoi Mart offer lucky bags of them too.
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.