- Good variety and selection of items
- Lots of rare flavors
- Quality resealable packaging
- Responsive customer support
- Shipment tracking available
- Not suitable for those with diet restrictions
- Cannot cancel before your subscription cycle ends
Do you love snacks? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably — of course! But do you like unusual snacks, those that come from different cultures? If so, then this Japan Crate review is a must-read for you.
Moreover, due to the pandemic and issues that followed, many people’s traveling plans have been halted.
So, if you’ve planned on visiting Japan but had to postpone your trip, or if you’d simply like to experience a small piece of its culture without breaking the bank, bringing Japan to your own doorstep is a pretty good consolation prize.
If we’ve managed to pique your interest, keep reading.
About Japan Crate
From an early age, Hank Rao, the founder of the brand, has appreciated Japanese culture. Visiting Tokyo was all it took for him to fall in love with all the unique aspects of the culture so much, he wanted to share it with the world.
So, Japan Crate was created in 2014. It is a monthly subscription box that comes with snacks, sweets, toys, collectibles, and drinks that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
Plus, compared to many other snack subscription products, which focus mainly on food items, Japan crate also provides items to craft and collect.
Japan Crate reviews are predominantly excellent, but we’ll get into all the details below — including some areas of improvement as well.
How Does Japan Crate Work?
Japan Crate offers five crate options, which we’ll list here but explain in the next section:
- Japan Crate
- Doki Doki Crate
- Umai Crate
- Gacha Gacha Crate
- Inku Crate
While browsing the website, we were fascinated by the graphics that can be associated with the anime style. Furthermore, the colors were quite bright and abundant, which definitely fits the theme.
However, people who prefer clarity and simplicity might be overwhelmed by the design. Nevertheless, it is straightforward, and you can find answers to most of your questions on the FAQs page or the Blog section.
What Do You Get in the Boxes?
As mentioned, there are five different options, and what you’ll get in the box depends on your choice.
Let’s start with a Japan Crate items review. The Japan Crate staff will select a number of sweet and salty snacks, such as lollipops, sours, cookies, chips, chocolates, mochi, drinks, and similar. They will all come in rare flavors that you’ve probably never tasted before, like yam, ume (Japanese pickled plum), or shrimp.
Most of the products are made by well-known Japanese brands, like Glico, Calbee, Fujiya, and Morinaga.
Aside from that, you may also get a non-edible bonus, which can be anything from a small plushie to scented markers. Additionally, a “Manga-zine” is included to translate all the labels of the products for you.
Next, if you love the world’s simplest — and very often the most delicious type of food — you will love what you’ll read in this Japan Crate Umai review. It is a Japanese ramen subscription box that includes 8–10 of Japan’s best instant noodles, some seasoning, a booklet with instructions and translation, and a culinary item like chopsticks or a wooden spoon.
Additionally, we were also interested in Inku Crate because we are addicted to cute little stationery items. Things such as notebooks, planners, sticky notes, pens, markers, stickers, and washi tapes are loved by both kids and adults who want to add a dose of cheerfulness to their workday.
Doki Doki Crate
Speaking of cuteness, Doki Doki Crate is a monthly subscription box of toys, accessories, and other “kawaii” items. This includes anything from plushies to kitchen utensils, and all are guaranteed to be adorable.
Moreover, according to Japan Crate reviews of this option, if you choose this crate, you will also enter a lottery-type reward system. Winners get “Suteki Crate,” which consists of premium items such as big plushies, blankets, purses, make-up kits, and much more.
Gacha Gacha Crate
Last but not least — Gacha Gacha Crate. The term comes from the word “gachapon,” which refers to the sound toys make when they fall out of the coin-operated toy machine. The concept resembles surprise eggs, and most of the toys will be in the shape of popular anime characters.
Needless to say, the content will always be a surprise. However, you can rest assured that every item will be an authentic part of Japanese culture that you could not find anywhere else.
If we compare Japan Crate vs. Bokksu, we can see that Japan Crate offers much more than just snacks and drinks. Bokksu, on the other hand, has a Boutique page where you can buy items individually. This can come in handy for those with dietary restrictions. If you’d like to learn more about its offer, you can check out our in-depth Bokksu review.
Japan Crate Premium Review
We purchased the Premium Japan Crate, and some of the things we liked the most are an adorable Kit Kat mini whole pack (cookies & cream flavor), Pie Fruit Coolish, cream soda, and Shin Chan’s Experiment (DIY kit). The theme for September is “Happy birthday, Japan Crate!” to celebrate their 8th anniversary.
Although we are not huge fans of Kit Kat, the unique flavor was definitely a pleasant surprise. The cream soda was also quite unusual, unlike any drink we’ve tasted here.
Although most Japan Crate candy reviews point out that the selection leans more to the sweet side, we personally did not mind it. All in all, it was definitely enjoyable enough for us to continue the subscription.
Unfortunately, there isn’t an option to customize your box or choose a vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free option.
Plus, most of the products don’t have a list of ingredients on them (though you may be able to find it online), so they aren’t safe for those with allergies either.
There isn’t an option for buying a one-time box. However, you can cancel your monthly order as soon as you place it, so you’d only be charged for the first box. They also offer free boxes for sponsored reviews, which is great news for influencers who focus on such content.
The subscription option is an auto-renewing service (month-to-month, 3-, 6- and 12-month- subscription).
|Doki Doki Crate||$45.95||$43.95||$43.45||$42.62|
|Gacha Gacha Crate||$38.95||NA||NA||NA|
Besides, you can get 25–30% off your first order, depending on where you’re ordering from.
Additionally, there is a loyalty program that comes with certain benefits depending on how many points you have. You can get points during special events, by buying items, and by interacting with the company on social media platforms.
Free worldwide Japan Crate shipping is available, though there is a shipping fee of $9.95 for some countries.
It takes about 5–10 business days to process the order, then 3–10 business days for your order to arrive in the US, and 7–15 business days for the rest of the world.
From April 2022, they’ve also started including tracking numbers, which is a huge improvement many customers had been asking for.
Refunds and Cancellations
Keep in mind that if you wish to cancel your subscription, you must do so before the next billing date. Otherwise, you will not be given a refund. Needless to say, you also won’t be given a refund if you happen not to like your crate, as there is no satisfaction guarantee.
Another thing to note in this Japan Crate review is that you cannot change nor cancel your multi-month plan before it expires. This means that if you’ve subscribed for 3, 6, or 12 months, you have to wait for the cycle to finish before making any changes.
With that in mind — and since some of the flavors you get might be an acquired taste — we suggest you opt for a shorter plan first if you’re not familiar with Japanese food culture.
To test Japan Crate customer service, we sent them an email — and we got a reply within 24 hours. Moreover, we’ve noticed that they are quite responsive on social media platforms as well, replying to almost every review on Trustpilot that gave them less than 5 stars.
To us, this shows that they care about customer satisfaction and improvement.
Moreover, if your crate gets stolen or goes missing, you can send them an email with your tracking number, and they will gladly help you. Just make sure to do so within 60 days of the order date.
If you’re looking for something extraordinary and unusual, and you’d like to experience a part of Japanese culture, don’t wait — try Japan Crate.
Not many things are more exciting than waiting for a mystery package to arrive, and we are confident that you’ll enjoy each one.
Is Japan Crate legit?
Yes, it is. Japan Crate is a company launched 8 years ago that is highly rated based on hundreds of reviews, indicating the generally excellent customer experience. For example, it has a 4.3 rating on Trustpilot and 4.4 on Cratejoy.
Is Japan Crate worth it?
The short answer is yes. The market value of the items you receive might be lower than the price of your subscription, but there are more important aspects.
When you consider the free shipping and the fact that you can’t find these items outside of Japan, you get a more realistic idea of its worth. Plus, there is always the surprise element — going to the store to buy a specific snack is just not the same.
When does Japan Crate ship?
According to the official website, it takes 5–10 business days for an order to be processed. The delivery time will depend on your location. Check our “Shipping” section above for more detailed information.
How long does Japan Crate take to ship?
After subscribing and processing the order, it may take 3–5 business days for your package to arrive in the US, and 2–4 weeks if you live in some other part of the world.
Of course, these are only estimates, and it may take a bit longer — but you will also get a tracking number, so you can always see where your package is.