Thursday, May 5, 2016

March Freedom Japanese Market Review

Regular readers of my blog know that I love snacks, and I especially like Japanese snacks because they're so much fun (and delicious)! Freedom Japanese Market is great subscription that sends hand-picked Japanese snacks right to you, directly from Japan.

*Disclaimer: This box was sent to See, Shop, Love! in exchange for an honest review.

Freedom Japanese Market ships all of their products fresh from Japan, and most of the items are sold exclusively in Japan. They note that, although some of these snacks might seem familiar in U.S. or other markets, the "made for foreign market" versions are often made in third party countries. The snacks that Freedom Japanese Market really are authentic and from Japan (more on that later).

They have three subscription options:
  • Puchi Pack ($12.99/month) - This is a mini version of the original subscription box that contains five to eight snacks.
  • Original Subscription Pack ($24.99/month) - Each box contains 12 to 16 full-sized and sample snacks.
  • Family Pack ($45.99/month) - This has double the snacks of the original subscription.
Each subscription option has free worldwide shipping! You can also purchase one-time sample packs for $15, $27, and $50, respectively if you don't want to commit to a renewing subscription.

As you can see from the customs sticker on the photo above, the box really does ship straight from Japan. I received the March Original Subscription box to review.

I was surprised at how many snacks were packed into the box! 17 total individual snacks were included, and they had a good mixture of sweet and savory. There's a print out inside, too, that describes each snack, so even if you don't read Japanese (I do not) you'll know what you're eating.

Each box also comes with a different origami piece each month, made by Freedom Japanese Market product coordinator Sanae. She and her husband, Ken, along with their two kids, Juliet and Kevin, are the family behind Freedom Japanese Market!

My favorite thing about Japanese snacks is the colorful and cute packaging! Here's what was inside:
  • Lifeguard Candy - This is a thick candy paste that can be squeezed onto chopsticks or a spoon and then be licked like a lollipop! I'm a bad Korean--I haven't purchased any chopsticks since moving into my new apartment almost a year ago. I need to get on that. But, I digress--I haven't actually tried this yet, but it looks interesting!
  • Puku-Puku Tai - I've heard of these fish-shaped wafers before and I was really excited to try this! It's filled with strawberry chocolate and it tasted so good.
  • Tako-Yaki Senbei - I love senbei. This package had about five or six senbei inside, along with a syrup packet to pour on top. See the end of this post for a picture of the crackers outside of the package.
  • Kurabete Neru-Neru - I've seen Japanese DIY candy kits all over the internet but I've never tried one myself. I still have yet to try this, but the candies are pineapple and melon flavored.
  • Takenoko no Sato - These are tiny bamboo shoot biscuits coated in matcha milk chocolate. They're a spring exclusive and certainly sound interesting. The matcha milk chocolate sounds yummy, but I'm not so sure about bamboo shoots. Are they real bamboo shoots? Like the pandas eat? Guess I'll have to try them and find out!
  • Umaibo - I love these puffed corn tubes! They remind me of cheese puffs, except these weren't cheese flavored. The orange package was salami and the yellow was yakitori (chicken).
  • Whistle Ramune Candy - It's hard to tell from the photo above, but inside the package are three Lifesaver-like white candies. They are "ramune" flavored, which is not a flavor I'm familiar with, but I've read from other reviews that they're sweet.
  • Umai Candy - These are little hard candies from the makers of the aforementioned Umaibo.
  • Kirby Gum - I love Kirby! This is exactly what it sounds like. Little pieces of gum with Kirby on the package.
  • Buta-Men Curry Ramen -  What a cute little ramen cup! I'm going to take this to work with me. Or maybe I'll have it as a late-night snack sometime.
  • Chocolate Pen - This pen is a bonus item that has little chocolates inside.
  • Smartphone Candies - Inside the package are a bunch of little fruit-shaped candies.
  • Punch Cola - This is interesting; inside there are tablets that you drop into water to make soda!
  • Rice Crackers (Yakiniku) - I love rice crackers so much and I reached for these right away! They had a light, airy texture and good salty flavor.
  • Origami of the Month - March is graduation month in Japan, so this month's origami features a fancy kimoni with plum blossoms. It's really beautiful!
Tako-Yaki Senbei

Puku-Puku Tai
This box is so much fun! I love that Freedom Japanese Market sends snacks straight from Japan that aren't readily available in the U.S. I also like that they send a variety of salty and sweet things.
Bottom Line: Freedom Japanese Market is a great subscription box for anyone who wants to try fun Japanese snacks! The fact that they ship worldwide for free really makes this an affordable subscription that's well worth the price.

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