About Japan Crate
Japan Crate lets customers around the world experience a taste of Japan with their curated snacks and collectibles boxes. Offering 5 crate options, the service selects fun and tasty items from hard-to-find and popular Japanese brands alike.
The hype for authentic Japanese snacks and toys is real according to the astounding 740k followers on the Japan Crate Facebook page.
The brand has also made headlines in The New York Times, HypeBeast, InStyle, The Wall Street Journal, News Week, Buzzfeed, and many other notable media outlets.
This Japan Crate review will take a good look at the brand and their crate options, fill you in on important details and promotions, provide feedback from customers, and more to help you decide if their curated packages fit your vibe.
Overview of Japan Crate
Ever since he was a kid, Hank Rao was enthralled by Japanese culture. After a visit to Tokyo, the future Japan Crate founder “fell in love with Japan” and everything that made the country so unique and nothing like anything he’d ever experienced before.
Soon after, Rao created Japan Crate to help the rest of the world feel the way he did when in Tokyo. He wanted to let others experience the tastes of Japan, but also for them to get a sense of the culture.
Deciding to offer a range of box types, from toys to collectibles to the beloved Japan Crate Japanese snack box, the brand was launched in 2014 and began to spread the word of the amazing products the country has to offer.
Before we jump right into how the brand’s subscription service works, this Japan Crate review will quickly list their pros and cons:
- 5 different boxes to choose from
- Great variety of candies, snacks, and collectibles
- Get a free Pikachu coin bank when you subscribe to their mailing list
- Be automatically entered to win free crates
- Get $30 off your first crate
- Attentive customer service
- Free worldwide shipping
- Premium orders shipped through DHL arrive quickly
- No refunds given for subscription cancellations
- Customers have reported shipping issues
- No trackable shipping option
How Does Japan Crate Work?
Landing on the Japan Crate website is an experience in itself. From the cute anime graphics to the wide selection of boxes, this brand gives subscribers an authentic feel of Japanese food and collectibles culture.
Pick one, two, or all of the five crates the brand has to offer:
- Japan Crate
- Doki Doki Crate
- Gacha Gacha
The Japan Crate is an auto-renewing subscription service, meaning that you can choose month-to-month, 3-month, 6-month, 12-month subscriptions, but at the end of each one, your membership will automatically roll over.
You can’t buy a one-time box, but you can cancel your one-month subscription directly after you place if you don’t wish to receive another. Of course, when you get your box and fall in love with it, you can totally start up a new subscription plan.
Subscribers also have perks like monthly draws for the Japan Crate Sugoi Crate, where a subscriber will be chosen randomly as the winner.
Japan Crate will curate your box, pack it up, and ship it directly to your door. The brand offers free worldwide shipping, so no matter where you live in the world, you can enjoy a selection of treats, snacks, toys, and accessories!
In the next section of this Japan Crate review, we’ll take you on a journey through the brand’s crate subscription options.
Japan Crate Review
This expansive crate comes in three versions: Mini, Original, and Premium. Packed to the brim with Japan Crate Japanese candy and snacks, this monthly box lets you taste authentic and obscure flavors you may not have ever experienced.
You’ll find items like Japan Crate Hi Chew, fascinating Kit Kat flavors, and salty snacks within your subscription box, along with a Japanese drink, a bonus item, and a Manga-zine that translates all of the labels for you so you know exactly what you’re getting:
- Mini: 5 Japan Crate Japanese snacks and treats
- Original: 10 snacks and treats
- Premium: 18-20 snacks and treats
Doki Doki Crate Review
Get a cuteness overload with Japan Crate Doki Doki. You’ll unveil 5-6 Kawaii items in each crate – and the best part is they’re not limited to toys!
The Kawaii-themed Japan Crate box includes plushies, things to wear, household items (like alarm clocks), and so much more.
Umai Crate Review
If you’re into noodles, this is the crate for you. With the Japan Crate Umai Crate, you’ll try a variety of authentic flavors, heat levels, and flavor combinations.
With 8-10 high-quality noodle packs in each crate, you’ll also receive a bonus cultural item, a recipe card to make your own, and a guide in your language that describes the flavors and ingredients of each noodle pack.
Kira Kira Crate Review
This plan has been discontinued.
Gacha Gacha Crate Review
The term Gacha Gacha comes from the coin-operated toy machine you’d find in stores. It’s a variation of the word ‘Gachapon,” referring to the sound of the crank and plop of the capsule as it falls out of the machine.
Each crate contains 6 capsules with a collectible Gachapon inside. The items inside could be characters you already know and love, like a Pikachu jewelry holder, accessories like keychains, or funny cultural figures.
Inku Crate Review
The Inku Crate is all about arts, crafts, and stationery. Use the 6-8 tools and supplies to create cute works of art or as everyday staples within your household.
Items include pens, markers, notebooks, planners, and other adorable, Japanese-themed accessories.
Does Japan Crate Come From Japan?
Yes! That’s one of the best things about this company. They source their items from obscure and popular brands in Japan, curate the boxes, and ship them right to you from their warehouse in Tokyo.
Our Favorites From The Menu
We love the idea of trying new flavors and receiving cute collectibles that are either hard or impossible to find within our country. We’ve rounded up a few items that caught our eye and made our mouths water.
Keep reading this Japan Crate review to get a taste of what you may find in your crate.
In celebration of cherry blossom season, the brand put out a box filled with Sakura-flavored items. The Japan Crate Sakura Gummy is a deliciously, lightly-flavored gummy candy that makes a perfect afternoon snack. This item was found in the Japan Premium Crate.
From the Umai crate, this packet of ramen has a Tonkotsu flavor – a creamy, savory, meaty flavor that results from boiling pork.
Unlike the lightly flavored varieties you’ll buy for under a dollar at the convenience store, Hakata Ramen is made with premium noodles and a strong, authentic Japanese flavor.
Pastry Scented Markers
From January’s Inku Crate, these delectable markers merge arts and crafts with the wonderful world of sweets.
You’ll receive one dual-tipped marker that has a different scent on each side. January’s scents were Melon Soda and Honey Toast.
Kitsune Lucky Plushie
This adorable, soft, lucky kitty sits happily with its eyes closed and a smile on its face. A good luck sign in Japan, Kitsune is a cute addition to any home but is a fun cultural toy for kids.
Who Is Japan Crate For?
Japan Crate is for kids and adults who want to try something new. Introducing the flavors of Japanese culture, out-of-the-ordinary toys, stationery, and collectibles, the surprise crates are an enjoyable way to shake up your daily routine or snack menu.
The brand ships worldwide, so anyone, anywhere can get in on the fun!
Comparison: Japan Crate vs. Bokksu
If you stumble across one brand, you can bet there’s another one offering a very similar product lineup. And though the overall concept may be the same, brands often do things a little differently from one another, so it’s a good idea to look at what makes each one unique.
We’ve put Japan Crate up to bat against Bokksu, a Japanese snack box subscription company.
As soon as you enter Bokksu’s website, you’ll get a more polished, traditional vibe than you do at Japan Crate. They specialize in snack foods only – you won’t get toys, stationery, or noodles there.
What they do offer is themed boxes that help you get to know different aspects of Japan. One month may be Tropical Treats while another is Mochi Madness.
For a month-to-month subscription price of $50, your Bokksu box will be full of 20-24 Japanese candies, snacks, and tea. Your box also comes with a cultural magazine that describes each item, where it comes from, and other important information. Shipping is always free.
Japan Crate offers 5 different box types, so immediately we know their product selection is wider. The Japan Crate Premium box contains 18-20 items, a magazine, a monthly bonus item, a drink, and is also $50 per month.
The boxes appear to be on par in terms of contents and price. Both the brands offer free shipping, but Japan Crate’s are not themed. Instead, you’ll get a random selection of items that are hard to come by outside of Japan.
How Much is Japan Crate?
Each of Japan Crate’s box options is priced differently, and with each option comes four subscription plans to pick from. Sit tight, this list may get a little long, but we hope it helps you understand your choices better.
The prices below are listed as monthly. If you choose to subscribe for longer than a 1-month plan, the entire term’s fees will be due at checkout.
- Japan Crate
- Mini – 1 Month $23 3 Months $22 6 Months $22 12 Months $21
- Original – 1 Month $36 3 Months $35 6 Months $34 12 Months $33
- Premium – 1 Month $50 3 Months $48 6 Months $47 12 Months $46
- Doki Doki Crate
- 1 Month $46 3 Months $44 6 Months $43 12 Months $42
- Umai Crate
- 1 Month $50 3 Months $48 6 Months $47 12 Months $46
- Gacha Gacha Crate
- 1 Month $39 3 Months $38 6 Months $37 12 Months $36
- Inku Crate
- 1 Month $36 3 Months $35 6 Months $34 12 Months $33
Japan Crate Reviews: What Do Customers Think?
We know you have options when it comes to subscription boxes. That’s why it’s always important to read through customer comments and precisely why we’ve included this section in our Japan Crate review.
Ahead, you’ll read about real customer experiences with the brand and learn about the quality of products, the brand’s customer service, and shipping.
Crate Joy shows a 4.5/5 star rating for Japan Crate gathered from 870 customer reviews. Take a peek at the rating snapshot below to get a feel for how shoppers enjoyed their boxes:
- 5 stars: 82%
- 4 stars: 1%
- 3 stars: 2%
- 2 stars: 2%
- 1 star: 12%
The majority were really impressed with the service, but it seems that buyers were either extremely pleased or displeased with the brand – there aren’t many who were in between. Let’s take a closer look at what customers loved about their crates.
Subscribers love the products that they get in each crate, noting that they are not the usual Japanese products they can easily find in the US – they’re not typical, which is really cool.
One Japan Crate review reads, “I love everything in my snacks. Amazing product and really good service.” Great service on top of great products makes for an exceptional company.
But to give you a balanced and transparent view of the service, we’ll need to check out the negative reviews too.
Unhappy customers write of long shipping times and frustrations with their subscription policy.
One frustrated shopper wrote, “Went through with canceling my order so it would not renew. Turns out I did not finish I guess because surely enough it auto-renewed and I’m down another $150. Auto renewal with no refund policy is awful.”
To be fair, there is an additional step some customers may not realize is required to cancel. To make sure you cancel your subscription properly, read through the cancellation steps listed further down in this Japan Crate review.
The brand’s Trustpilot page displays a rating of 4.4/5 stars awarded to them by 2,137 buyers. The rating snapshot is similar to the one on Crate Joy, a good sign that they’re consistently enjoyed by customers:
- Excellent: 74%
- Great: 14%
- Average: 3%
- Poor: 1%
- Bad: 8%
Subscribers write of good customer service, a variety of items, and that they are “packed with care.”
A Japan Crate review that mentioned the variety reads, “In general I think the curation is really good and I’ve enjoyed a lot of the snacks I’ve received.” When subscribing to anything that comes as a surprise, variation is key.
While it seems like diversity is something Japan Crate strives for, some users have found it’s not always what they get.
A comment that mentions this reads, “I’ve noticed a lot of the recent crates have included a lot of gum.” Gum is great, but unless you’re a chewing aficionado, it’s likely more appreciated as an occasional inclusion.
The Better Business Bureau gives Japan Crate a B rating. This is a pretty decent score considering they’ve had 69 complaints in the last 3 years.
Each complaint has been addressed and resolved, showing they care about customer satisfaction. This is also apparent on other review sites, as they reply to every negative review.
The BBB shows a 2/5 star rating for the brand based on 14 reviews. Not great, but also not bad considering this website is a place where customers come to complain about brands.
Most of the complaints are in regards to monthly boxes that never arrive. This seems to be a more recent thing and possibly may be due, in part, to the fact that they switched their shipping company this year.
Over 80% of customers are happy with their Japan Crate order, mentioning good variety and speedy shipping times for Premium orders.
The biggest issue is shipping for non-premium orders, and that is rightly concerning. If this does happen to you, at least we know that if taken up on the BBB website your issue will be resolved.
Is Japan Crate Subscription Worth It?
Japan Crate is a great way to get a feel for Japanese culture. Unlike other Japanese subscription box services, this one offers both snacks and toys and gives subscribers an overall feel of the country – versus just food or toys.
Japan Crate is rated highly by customers who love the variety of the boxes and the brand’s customer service.
With all of this in mind, we believe Japan Crate is worth the buy. There is no Japan Crate free trial, but if you wish to try out the service, subscribe for one month, then cancel your subscription after the payment has gone through.
Japan Crate Promotions & Discounts
Throughout this Japan Crate review, we searched for every last deal the brand has to offer on its site. Here’s what we uncovered:
- Win a free Pikachu coin bank when you sign up to their mailing list
- Free worldwide shipping
- Get $30 off your first crate
- Subscribe to the mailing list to get access to Japan Crate coupon codes
Sign Up For Japan Crate Subscription
If you’ve made it this far in our Japan Crate review, then you’re probably chomping at the bit to sign up. Don’t worry, the process is super easy, so just follow the guide below:
- Head to japancrate.com
- Click on ‘Pick a Crate’ at the top of the webpage
- Press ‘Subscribe’ on which option you love best
- Select which subscription plan fits your needs (3 months is the most popular!)
- Enter your shipping & billing information
- Create an account
- Agree to the Terms & Conditions
How do I cancel my Japan Crate subscription?
If there ever comes a day that you need to cancel your Japan Crate subscription, you can do so by following these steps:
- Log in to your account
- Under ‘Your Subscriptions’ on the left-hand side of the page click ‘EDIT’
- Head to the bottom of the page and select the subscription you wish to cancel
- Click ‘Cancel Subscription’
- You’ll be prompted to stay, but if you truly want to leave, press ‘Yes, Please Cancel’
- Let them know why you’re leaving
Keep in mind that if you wish to cancel a subscription partway through its term, the remaining balance is not refundable. You will still receive crates for the remainder of your term.
What is Japan Crate’s Shipping Policy?
Your order takes about 5-10 business days to process once you place it online.
Non-premium Japan Crate ship for free through JapanPost. Deliveries to the US and Canada typically take 2-4 weeks, but they can take up to 6 weeks for your first shipment. Premium crates are sent through DHL and take 3-5 business days.
The company does not offer a tracking service at this time, but perhaps they will soon.
What is Japan Crate’s Return Policy?
Your Japan Crate is non-refundable. You can cancel your subscription at any time, just be sure to do it before your next billing date to avoid your next round of charges as subscriptions auto-renew.
How to Contact Japan Crate
We hope that you found all of the information you came looking for in this Japan Crate review, but if you need any more feel free to email the brand at [email protected].
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