Japanese snack subscription boxes have exploded in popularity, and with good reason. Japan produces the most wonderful (and sometimes weird!) array of delicious munchy things. Not only is there remarkable choice, but the package designs are brightly coloured and extremely attractive. You can also get some unique versions of familiar sweets and chocolate bars.
Anyway, this particular box is from Freedom Japanese Market, run by an expat family. It contains an impressive variety of snacks and candies. They have three box sizes:
Puchi Pack – 5 to 8 full size and sample snacks $14.99 p/m (£11.22)
Original Pack – 12 to 16 full size and sample snacks including 1 DIY candy kit $24.99 p/m (£18.71)
Family Pack – 24 to 32 full size and sample snacks including 1 DIY candy kit $45.99 p/m (£34.44) Two of everything – double the snacks without double the price.
Longer subscriptions are lower price, and shipping is included.
I was sent an Original Pack. While the box takes 10 – 20 days to arrive (which coming from Japan with no extra shipping costs is bloody good) it arrived in perfect shape.
I love the family picture on the box!
Here’s this month’s newsletter.
And the origami skull. The monthly origami are always fantastic, every one is made by hand.
On the other side, the menu of goodies for this month.
There look to be slightly fewer then usual, but I can see there are a couple of really big bags in there.
A festive Halloween Umaibo! This is corn pottage flavour in lovely seasonal packaging.
Umaibo are delicious sticks of puffed corn, and come in a multitude of different flavours.
In fact, Umaibo translates as ‘delicious stick’!
Another Halloween-themed item, this is pineapple candy. It’s just like a Polo Fruit!
Another Umaibo, but this one is CHOCOLATE! These are absolutely incredible.
Corn snacks are seriously popular in Japan, as you can probably tell.
This big bag of Aerial snacks are crunchy and spicy, and contains chili as well as 15 spices.
Puccho Apple Candy are rather like Starburst; chewy and fruity.
This cola-flavoured Halloween Marshmallow is cute little thing.
Once you get over the slight oddness of cola marshmallow it’s very tasty!
This is the other big bag. Osatsu Snack are sweet potato chips.
They are only available in the colder months of the year, and this seasonal treat is seriously yummy!
Porickey are pretzel sticks. This version is corn flavour, another very popular taste in Japan.
They are crunchy and savory, rather like Pretz.
This month’s DIY candy kit is called Doki Doki Fishing.
You mix the powder provided with water to produce little fish-shaped grape flavour jellies. Very cute!
Kaki no Tane are a very common snack in Japan. They consist of a mixture of tiny soy-flavoured rice crackers and peanuts.
This version is extra-spicy!
This month’s bonus snack is Puchi-Puchi Urani Chocolate in strawberry flavour.
They are little sweet candies you can pop out of the foil just like pills! So much nicer than taking a paracetamol.
This box arrived a little late for Halloween, but it doesn’t really matter, as Halloween candy definitely last through into November!
We have eleven items this month, slightly fewer than usual, but there are two large-size snack which definitely make up for it.
I was really happy to have five savory items in this month’s box, especially as both of the large packets of snacks were savory. Two of them are also spicy, which is terrific timing as colder weather is here so warming snacks are perfect!
Even though the delivery timing wasn’t perfect, I love having seasonal items. The Halloween snacks are super-cute (and I don’t care how Umaibo is packaged, as long as I can eat it) and the sweet potato Osatsu Snack are a limited edition that disappear some time after Christmas.
One of the great things about Freedom Japanese Market is that every single item is sourced direct from Japan, so is exactly what you would buy in stores there. Of course you can buy plenty of Japanese snacks in the UK, but they are produced for the export market, so are generally different from the domestic versions. Also, the exported items spend months in the shipping process, so won’t be half as fresh.
I did find Cheese Aerial snack available in the UK, but absolutely no trace of this spicy version. Like items such as KitKat, there are different varieties produced for different markets. In the this box you’ll always get the domestic Japanese ones!
This family-run small business is terrific. Their customer service (Ken) is incredibly good, and they clearly put a great deal of thought and consideration into their monthly selections. Plus Ken is clearly as awesome at packing boxes as Sanae is at making origami!
I think the value is pretty good for what you get. Sourcing all these things individually would be more or less impossible, and never for anything like as cheap as this. Even googling these items is difficult, as they tend not to be listed under English names. As always, smaller boxes (Puchi) aren’t such good value, so I think it’s definitely worth spending the extra eight quid and getting the Regular pack. Or if you want to treat your family, get the Family pack!
As Christmas is coming, this would be a fun source of stocking fillers too. You can bet I’ll be saving a couple of things for some more original Christmas snacking!