Japan Crate – May 2023 – Experience Japan Through Speed

Japan Crate‘s theme for May 2023 is ‘Experience Japan Through Speed’, which seems to be based on a train journey. It has an amazing design showing a bullet train in a fictional version of Tokyo Station.

These boxes usually come with a guide explaining each item inside. Instead, this month it had a ‘Candy Map of Japan’ and a QR code to see all the possible items. Unlike most months, for the April 2023 box, each one is different. While the randomness does keep it a surprise, I did notice a lot of repeated items from previous recent crates.

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.

Choo Choo

Japan Crate includes the possibility to win a prize. Staying on theme, each box contains one of four ‘train tickets’ with a prize for any other than the subway ticket. While I didn’t win a prize, it had a round-trip on a real Bullet Train in Japan as the headline feature, with other small prizes available too.

Plums, Peas, and Urchins?

One of the fun things about Japan Crate is the chance to try some things that I’d never choose on my own. Sometimes it’s a hit and sometimes it’s not, but it’s always interesting.

The Tohato Beano Plum Flavored Snack was certainly an odd example of this. It’s an unusual taste for this type of snack, a mix of sweet and salty. These long stick-shaped snacks had a strong taste of peas. Apparently, they’re a favorite to soothe motion sickness, so fit the theme of this box well.

Similar to the anchovy-flavor snack we tried in March 2023, I was a little apprehensive about the Koikeya Pure De Rice Sea Urchin Flavored Snack. It’s a rice-based snack and wasn’t bad, but wasn’t to my taste as someone who doesn’t enjoy fish-flavored food. Again though, it was something unique to try.

Big Bags and Bars

The Japan Crate May 2023 is the first time that I’ve seen cotton candy in a prepackaged bag, and it was a pleasant surprise. Opening the package with its cute design, I found a rectangle of pink cotton candy inside. Like any cotton candy, it was soft and fluffy, delivered a delicious hit of sugar, and near instantly melted in the mouth.

We’ve seen the Policky Brown Sugar Sticks before, but as mentioned then, they’re quite nice. It’s a pack of ten pretzel sticks that smell and taste quite malty, with a hint of sweetness to them. No complaints about getting more of them to snack on.

The Sequoia Strawberry Chocolate Bar is another repeat but appreciated. With a strawberry-flavored coating on top, milk chocolate on the bottom, and a thin wafer center, it tasted great. The strawberry was very prominent here.

I mentioned wishing I could have a whole bag of Sonomanma Grape when we last saw them. While not a whole bag, I’m not complaining about more. Beware the Sour Grape (Sonomanma Grape) are three soft gumballs, but one is secretly really sour, while the others are juicy. It makes for a fun roulette game.

The Morginaga Peach Hi-Chew was new to me. I found a strong peach flavor smell when opening the packet and lots of little individually wrapped chews. It stays chewy for a long time, much like bubble gum, which made them last. It was to the point that I actually looked it up to confirm it wasn’t bubble gum. Apparently, it was designed to be similar but able to be swallowed which is interesting.

Looking at a more savory option, the Sankaku Crackers were pleasant. They’re triangle shaped as you’d expect from the name (as fans of Sankaku Renai: Love Triangle Trouble would know). They have a mild taste, which is more herby than salty. Coming in a little tray for convenience, they’re nice to have to pick at during those gaming sessions.


It feels like I’ve not seen the Japanese Kit Kats in Japan Crate for a while, but they returned here with five of them. They tasted like a very sweet cookie and cream flavor, not too dissimilar from the Hershey flavor, but creamier. I’m a fan of these.

The Senjaku Cherry Candy was nice. They’re very soft gummies with a light dusting of sugar and a strong cherry flavor taste when biting into them.

To fit the theme, a box of ‘train candy’ was included. This cardboard container comes in the design of an old-style train. Opening it up, I found a bag of tiny chocolate candy balls. They have a thin but hard shell. When bitten into, they burst into a strong chocolate taste.

The Barley Chocolate Puffs are another repeat. It’s a small pack of chocolate-covered puffs, which taste quite sweet even beyond the chocolate.

The Chocolate Ball Pillow returned from a previous crate too. It’s quite small at only 1cm or so but works as a nice little bit of chocolate. It had a hard shell.

Green Tongue Gum does exactly what you’d imagine – dyes the tongue green after chewing the small block of gum. It had a pleasant somewhat sour apple flavor.

The fortune-telling candy balls are interesting, though require some Japanese ability to get the best out of them. It has words under each candy ball, like talk, popularity, practice, homework, travel, friend, trouble, future, and so on. Pop a candy ball out and you can find a ‘rating’ on the back of the foil for that word and your luck in that area. Aside from that, it’s sweet chocolate with candy covering and pretty tasty!

Melon Pandaro is a single large butter cookie shaped like a panda. It’s melon bread flavored and breaks apart in the mouth easily. It made me miss picking up melon bread at the convenience stores.

I enjoyed the Morginaga Strawberry Ramune Candy. It was presented nicely, in a plastic bottle shaped like a bottle of ramune. Popping off the cap allowed access to the small hard tablet-shaped candy. It very slowly dissolves in the mouth or can be bitten and it easily breaks into powder. It’s not too sweet but had a nice flavor to it.

Coffee and Ice Cream

The Coffee Milk was a highlight. It has a strong coffee taste, with a bit of sweetness, and tasted amazing when chilled to near ice. I’d certainly order more if I could.

This month’s DIY kit was the Nericho Ice Cream DIY again. These three tiny ice cream cones are topped by a thick foam made by mixing water and the package’s contents in a provided tray. It tasted pretty extremely sweet.

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.

Purchase: Japan Crate
Japan Crate has set up a 15% off discount code for our readers: NOOKGAMING15 – this should apply to all types of crates and not just this one if you enter it at the checkout.

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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