The theme for the September 2023 Japan Crate is ‘Experience Japan Through Games’. To be more specific, it’s referring to board games. The unique non-snack item included this time was a dice and board game pieces to use on a simple board game that was printed on the inside of the box.
The past few boxes we received had no booklet included, but thankfully it’s returned this time. As well as giving some basic information about the snacks mixed in with some narrative, it gives more explicit details where needed.
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.
Olive and Onion
As usual, this month’s Japan Crate included two big bags of snacks.
We saw a version of the Pride Potato Japan Olive Salt Chips back in the December 2022 box, but these seem a little different. They’re similarly very flavorsome, if not quite bursting with a strong flavor, and are a pleasant treat. They’re otherwise standard potato chips.
The Aerial Sour Cream and Onion Chips are a more layered and airy snack, with a rather nice texture created by the four layers of each piece. I enjoyed the flavor, though not as much as the cheese variety.
Stamps, Gummies, and More
The Shimichoco Salted Vanilla Milk Corn Snack was quite interesting. Opening it gave off a similar smell to a tub of high-quality vanilla ice cream and the taste did remind me of the same, despite being a corn snack. It’s much denser than most corn snacks though.
Perhaps my favorite item in the box was the Picola Lemon Wafer Sticks. They’re wafer rolls with an attractive spiral design. I enjoyed the slightly sour lemon taste and crunchy texture.
Feeling more like a toy than a treat in a way, the Monster Stamp Cola actually works as a stamp. If you lick the stamp side and press it onto paper, it prints a monster design. It came with four different designs in the pack. The whole thing can be eaten, so it’s not actually a toy.
A pack of Mini Vita C Gummies was included too, which had 6 vaguely citrus-flavored bottle-shaped gummies with vitamin C. They’re modeled after an energy drink. They were surprisingly well packaged, in a flat mold of plastic, with a thin plastic sheet over it. Said sheet unfortunately was stuck right to each gummy and a pain to remove.
I’ve had the Pandaro Butter Cookies before. They’re soft big butter cookies with a cute panda design. They’re mildly sweet and I always wish the Japan Crate contained more of them.
There was a Diamond Ring Candy too. The Japanese version isn’t too different from the ones I’ve found here, aside from being slightly less sweet. It’s a giant candy diamond on a plastic ring. Pretty simple, but kids often love them.
Some small candy-coated chocolates were included with the packages shaped like a number and key. It’s nice to have foil-wrapped chocolates, so a chocolate can be popped out when it’s wanted. They were slightly bitter compared to local variants.
We’ve seen the Kanpai Ramune Candy in previous Japan Crates. It’s never a bad thing, since these small solid candies are pretty tasty as they dissolve in the mouth. Admittedly, I’m not sure the beer-shaped design is great for kids, but then again they used to sell cigarette-themed candy when I was younger.
Along the same lines is the Karaoke Mic Ramune Candy. Apart from being a little sweeter and in a very different container, they’re pretty much the same thing.
One big Sour Cider Gummy was included too in the shape of a big soda bottle. As always for Japanese goods, by cider, it means a lemon/lime flavor.
The Grape Whistle Gum made another appearance. These seem like popular items for the Japan Crate, though they vary in how well they work as a whistle oddly. This time wasn’t the best for whistling, but it still tasted nice.
A small ball of Awatama Black Cola Candy was in the box. This was kind of interesting since unlike most hard candy it gave off a fizzing feeling as it dissolved and lasted quite a long time while doing so.
The last smaller piece of candy was a small block of Blue Tongue Gum, which does exactly what you’d imagine from the name. It was a nice soda flavor.
As always, the Japan Crate for September 2023 included a DIY Kit. In this case, it was the Fluffy Cloud DIY Candy. Instructions came in the booklet and were fairly simple luckily. It was just a case of mixing the purple powder into a small amount of water until it became a foam, then using the stick to dip that foam into the blue powder to coat it. It turned into a nice mix of a slightly sweet foam with a very sweet powder.
The drinks included always seem to fall into the weird or wonderful categories. I thought that the Green Dakara Salted Lychee & Yogurt Drink might be closer to the weird side due to the name, and I didn’t know quite what to expect. I was surprised to find that it just tasted like mildly fruit-flavored water, with no trace of yogurt or salt taste that I could detect. It was surprisingly pleasant since I was expecting something unusual.
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 sometimes this includes traditional ones or fairly unusual ones that I haven’t found elsewhere.
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.