Taste Japan Subscription Box Review and Unboxing – October 2014 !

Hey girls,
Happy Diwali !
A monthly box of mouth-watering Japanese treats delivered to your doorstep for only £15/month! Taste Japan is a brand new subscription box from Japan and their first box came out in July. Taste Japan very kindly sent me this box to review.  Taste Japan offers Free Shipping Worldwide!
I love subscription boxes. I know so do you guys. There are a bunch of crazy box addicts in this world including me. There is so much of anticipation regarding the mystery contents inside it. Taste Japan Says ‘Remember this while the parcel is in transit…“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet” – Aristotle.’

Subscribe Here :     http://tastejapan.net/subscribe/

Tell them I Am Girly Blog sent you via Order Notes to get a surprise when you subscribe to the box !

Cost: £15 ($25) / month + free shipping. Ships internationally.

The box comes straight from Japan and you get some treats that you don’t get here in India. The snacks came in a plain cardboard box. My box was tampered while transit and one of the items were torn and shattered inside the box. Nothing was stolen or found missing tough. I just had to clean the box. I also had to throw the potato sticks as they came in a bad condition. The oil from it had leaked.  Rest of the items were safe. A few things had melted but I quickly refrigerated it. The packaging is simple. It needs some improvement especially when it is going to a distant destination. I think it happened due to adverse climatic conditions (Heavy rain/ heat) and of course we all know how bad the postal fellows handle our parcels. So one can’t blame it on Taste Japan. I hope they will improve their packaging in the near future. Also it will be great if they cover the goodies with a bubble wrap.

Oil from Potato Sticks leaked. Other items were packed intact.
My order came in two weeks which is quick enough. It was shipped on 26th September and I got it by Oct 12th which is good. I don’t remember the exact date of delivery. The box was worth the wait and exceeded my expectations except for the packaging mishap.

Marked as Fragile but still tampered 
I didn’t pay any customs. Customs Declaration was struck in the parcel
Here are the contents of my October box:
Each month they send 11 delicious snacks and cookies like KitKat, cake, cookies, bacon chips and more from Japan. They are different from the snacks that you get here in India. The packaging is cute and colourful and they have different flavors and a unique taste of Japan. Everything on the cover is written in Japanese but the leaflet that Taste Japan sends you is very useful. The names of the snacks sound fun.


 Black Thunder:
  • A mini Halloween Version of the very popular crispy chocolate snack.
  •  The cookies are a mix between a sugar cookie and crackles. Soft and crumbly chocolate chip filled cookies with just the right balance of crispy cereal puffs and smooth milky chocolate. They’re popular with young and old people alike and have a “too cool for school” image about them.

    Pukupuku Tai:
  • Chocolate mousse filled sweet fish based on a traditional Japanese food called “Taiyaki”.
  • When I read fish, I expected it to be a non-veg item but to my surprise it is a fish shaped hollow crispy wafer like thing. It is filled with chocolate mousse. This is also yummmm. Fun shapes!
  • Taiyaki (shortened to Tai in the name of this snack) is a fish-shaped anko (red sweet bean) filled “cake(?)” often sold at festivals in Japan. They’re quite heavy and the contents are usually piping hot, but they make an excellent reprieve from the cold on a bitter winter’s night.The Pukupuku Tai snack is a chocolate mousse filled variant with a crispy outer shell. Red sweet bean paste takes quite some getting used to, so the chocolate version is probably more suited to the foreign palette!
The Fish Shape came broken
Pokemon Candy:
  • Pineapple flavored Pokemon Candy gummy sweets.
  • I expected these to be bubble gums. They are a bit long and flat. These are gummy candy and I simply enjoyed it. The packaging is fun. I want more of these. Extremely tasty these are and come in different flavors.
  • This stuff smells amazing! Pokemon branded chewing gum with a super fruity taste.

 Pierre’s Roll Cake:

  • Creamy butter roll cake. Made by none other than “Granddad Pierre”.
  • These are similar to the wonder cake that we get in India. It is a spongy and fluffy cake and it is seasoned with butter. It tasted good. I like it
  • We’re not quite sure who Uncle Pierre is, but his creamy butter roll cake is light, creamy and wonderfully sweet. A nice little cute snack that’s easy to eat!

Satsuma Riko: 

  • A limited edition (autumn) version of Jyaga Riko potato sticks. This is one sweet potato flavor.
  • Ufff… I couldn’t taste these. This came damaged in transit and it was spilled everywhere in the box. They have a strong odour. I ate one for a trial but the crispiness had gone and it tasted somewhat bad. These are salty, oily, savoury and weirdly flavored chips. I am calling it weird because it had the picture of a goose like bird and meat. These are potato chips/sticks and it was supposed to taste good. But I guess it tastes bad due to damage while transit. 
  • Satsuma imo is a Japanese sweet potato that is usually cooked over hot wood or coals, and served in a paper bag. It smells absolutely wonderful and is a long standing tradition during Japanese Autumn evenings.These finger snacks are great to munch on while watching TV or chilling out at home.

 Noshi Ume San: 
  • Umeboshi (Japanese Plum) flavored cuttlefish snack
  • I am not a fan of these coz I don’t eat Non-Veg. These smell unpleasant due to the fish but not as bad as the squid jerky that I got in Freedom Japanese box. The plum thing hides the odour I hope.
  • This is a dry fish sea food snack and those who eat fish will enjoy it. But this is not a “me” thing.
  • Made from dried, shredded cuttlefish (a kind of squid) and flavoured afterwards, these old-school snacks often divide opinion as to whether they are strangely delicious or just deliciously strange.

Shuwabo grape: 
  • Grape flavored sherbet gummy stick
  • This is a superb one. It is a sour candy and in the beginning it tasted like center shock bubble gum. Extremely sour but tasty. Smells like grapes plus curd.I thought it is a bubble gum but actually it is a gummy candy. I want more of these. Yummmm! It tickles your taste buds.
  • A fizzy grapefruit flavored stick of chewy sherbert style Japanese candy. As with the Pokemon chewing candy, this stuff smells great. “Shuwashuwa” is another Japanese onomatopoeia that is supposed to sound like carbonated fizzy bubbles popping or fizzing.

Kinoko no Yama Creamy Pumpkin: 
  • Extremely limited Pumpkin Halloween themed Crispy Chocolate Mushrooms
  • Another hit from the box. These are pumpkin filled crispy chocolate mushrooms. It tastes purely of pumpkins and I never knew pumpkins taste these good. It is filled with pumpkin cream and tastes really nice. These didn’t hold up well in the India’s heat. They melted and settled. I refrigerated and enjoyed these.
  • The regular ones are plain chocolate with a light, crispy “stalk”, but this month’s limited edition version are creamy pumpkin flavored.

Chusha Ame: 
  • Sweet liquid candy syrup in a scarily real plastic needle. It’s safe – trust us!
  • It is a kind of DIY Candy. It came with few coloured tiny bubble gums and orange candy syrup inside the needle. I gave the needle syrup to my baby cousin (4 years) and she loved it.
  • It really is a kids candy syrup syringe! The syrup inside is very sweet and probably best eaten with ice cream or something else.A “selling point” of this candy is that the syringe can be filled with water after it’s finished being eaten (drunk?) and used as a kind of water pistol syringe.

Disney Halloween Cookies: 
  • Disney is huge in Japan. Chocolate or Strawberry (lucky dip). Light, crispy cookies. One of many Mickey Mouse Snacks.
  • These tasted like Bourbon Biscuits. It was filled with dark chocolate and it was another tasty treat that I enjoyed. These are the best cookies ever. They are soft, crispy and chewy and filled with cream.
  • The cookies are cute and crispy and are emblazoned with the face of one of the Disney regulars.

Pumpkin Pudding Kit Kat: Bakeable:
  • Japan has a seemingly endless variety of KitKat flavours, including prefectural, seasonal and time-limited exclusives, From green tea to wasabi and everything in between, these bitesize beasts are almost always delicious and fiendishly moreish.Recently KitKat Japan have been releasing “bakeable” versions of their snacks and this one is no different.
  • A real treat! Place on some foil in a grill or oven for 2-4 minutes for best results. Frighteningly moreish, we have included two for you to sink your fangs or share with a friend.
  • These are not Indian KitKat. I love anything KitKat due to the wafer chocolate combo. I gulped these down in just one second and I didn’t even think of sharing these with any one. The two pieces went straight into my stomach. He He! These were so creamy and had a thick coating of white chocolate. The flavor tasted Milky with Pumpkin. Pure heaven! Utterly delicious!

Overall Thoughts:
This month’s box was themed Halloween. Taste Japan has mentioned on their site that they provide fun trivia and tidbits about Japan, and plan to do quizzes and competitions. By being a subscriber, you have a friend in Japan, someone you can contact any time. The company is run by two British guys who live in Japan, Malcolm and Rich.
They’re at par with standards when you compare to other subscription boxes. They are also priced similar to other boxes out there. The snacks are similar but unique. Even if you subscribe to different companies, most of the goodies you get will be different coz Japan just has that much variety to provide. Everything in my box was stuff I’ve never seen in Indian markets.

For the future, they plan to make the inside and outside look more visually appealing. I love the idea of this subscription box. With international shipping, the price is justified. I love the idea of getting Japanese treats but most of the time it is difficult to send them out of Japan but now it can be easily delivered to our door steps with the help of Taste Japan and similar boxes out there.
The packaging needs improvement because most of the snacks came broken into pieces but I am sure they are considering it. I love the fact that Taste Japan box is filled with more of candies and chocolates that you can eat. All the goodies are tasty and eatable which is a huge plus. There are hardly any non-veg items in this month’s box which I love. This box is different from Freedom Japanese Box and the snacks I got are also different.
If you love Japan and are interested in Japanese snacks then this box is perfect for you! Kids will love it and these boxes are a great gifting option too.
Overall, this box is definitely worth the £15 per month and I recommend this box to all of you!