Kizuna Japanese subscription box

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Food & snacks

Kizuna Japanese subscription box

whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box

Kizuna Japanese subscription box

This is a promotional post.

We were offered the opportunity to try a new subscription box from Kizuna Box from Japan. Of course we jumped at the chance. We were given the option of two different boxes, the Kizuna Snack Box or the Kizuna Lifestyle Box. The snack box includes 13-16 traditional and artisanal snacks and beverages, and a couple of lifestyle items. Often the snacks are only available from a particular time of the year and only from certain regions in Japan. The lifestyle box includes 5-6 beautifully made Japanese goods, that may include items such as stationery, ceramics, snacks, cloths and more. The lifestyle box also has a nicely tied in seasonal theme.

The box we chose to go with this time was the Kizuna Lifestyle Box. It sounded more interesting to us, as we have already tried a couple of snack based subscription boxes from Japan before, and this sounded both exciting and intriguing.

The box arrived very fast from Japan to us. It only seemed to take a couple of days, which was a positive thing because no one likes to wait. The subscription box was well packaged and had a very personal and professional feeling to it.

whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box

whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box

On opening the box, the first thing that greeted us was a little booklet, explaining the theme of this month’s box, and giving an in-detail description of everything found within. We received the June 2017 edition, which was influenced by tsuyu – the rainy season, and the ajisai flower – the Hydrangea.

whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box

Mino-yaki Ajisai ceramic bowl

This beautiful Mini-yaki ceramic bowl fearures the Ajisai flowers, coinciding with this month’s theme. The Mino-yaki (Mino ware) originated from the Gifu Prefecture where around 50% of Japanese produced pottery comes from this region.

whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box

whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box

Mino-yaki Ajisai ceramic plate

The Mino-yaki Ajisai ceramic plate is shaped like the Ajisai flowers, and also comes from the Mino province (modern day Gifu Prefecture). The pottery from this area is believed to have started more than 1300 years ago.

While writing this post we discovered that we have previously bought a couple of bowls and plates while in Japan, bearing the stamp from the Mino province, something we would have never known about if it wasn’t for this subscription box giving us information about it.

whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box

whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box

Ajisai hankerchief from Yonagado

Included in this box was this hankerchief, which I can imagine would come to plenty of usages in Japan’s rainy season, even though we found it too beautiful to ever use. The hankerchief is from Yonagadou, which are based in Osaka. They mix traditional and modern Japanese designs into their products.

whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box

whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box

Ajisai document folder from Unsodo

A beautiful plastic folder, featuring the Ajisai flower, from Unsodo, established 1891, who are based in Kyoto. They’re famous for their Japanese woodblock printing technique.

whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box

The Cat Series – Tsuyu Ukiyo-e styled postcard

The post card that is another thing too good to use, pictures a cat sitting inside watching the rain go by, with the Ajisai flowers in the garden outside. The postcard is in the style of Ukiyo-e, an art genre that dates back to the 17th century and is very much about evoking feelings in the viewer.

whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box

KitKat Premium Mint Summer limited edition, Kamakura Ajisai Sandwich cookie and Ito En Instant green tea

This time the lifestyle subscription box also contained a selection of cookies, instant green tea and a limited edition mini KitKat.

whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box

Kizuna Box is currently having worldwide giveaway contests on both their Facebook page and their Instagram account. For the chance to win, check out Kizuna Box on Facebook and Kizuna Box on Instagram. They’re two separate contests so you can enter both to double your chances of winning. The contests are open until June 23, 2017.

If you want to know more about the Kizuna Lifestyle Box and the Kizuna Snack Box, just head over to their site, Kizuna Box | Re:Discovery Japan, where there are plenty of subscription and gift choices to choose between.

whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box

Disclaimer: This product was sent to us for free, but our review is an honest take on the products.

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Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Food & snacks, Reviews Leave a comment

Japan Candy Box review + giveaway

whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box

Japan Candy Box

This is a promotional post.

The Japan Candy Box was kindly sent to us to try and review for Why So Japan. We’ve been wanting to try a Japanese themed box for a long time now and thanks to the people at Japan Candy Box this is the first time we got the opportunity to do so. We are big fans of subscription boxes which lets you explore different products which you might not know otherwise are available on the market. Each subscription box is filled with 8-10 Japanese candies and snacks and the box we received  was the November box. Previous boxes can be viewed on their homepage, japancandybox.com.

At the end of this post enter the free giveaway to win your very own Japan Candy Box!

The box

The box arrived very quickly after it was sent, which surprised us since things that are sent from the other side of the world can take some time to arrive. Once we received the box we were eager to open it. Inside we found the box full to the lid with treats and snacks from our favourite country. It was surprising to find so many things in one box, which made us really happy and looking forward to trying the snacks. It was a good mixture different kinds of snacks and treats.

whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box

whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box

Candy and snacks reviews

Here’s what we thought of each product. One thing that we liked throughout the box was the cute design.

whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box

Fuiya Anpanman Biscuits

Every bite sized biscuit features a cute character from Anpanman. The sweet tasting biscuit reminds us of the Marie biscuits.

 

whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box

Yaokin Christmas Chocolate Stick

A waifer tasting snack with a chocolate coating. Simple and sweet tasting treat, in a cute christmas packaging.

 

whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box

Fujiya Milky Matcha Green Tea Candies

Each sweet is individually wrapped and comes in a cute box featuring Peko-chan and Hello Kitty. The candy are sweet tasting matcha flavoured treats which we highly enjoyed.

 

whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box

Pompompurin Pudding Gummies

This has to be our favourite out of the whole box. The package contains small chewable gummies tasting of custard and caramel. It didn’t take us long to finish the entire bag. Absolutely adore Pompompurin from Sanrio.

 

whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box

Hi-Chew White Soda Chewy Candy

As always with Hi-Chew sweets, a nice chewie texture. A flavour of white soda, if you can imagine. Really enjoyed these!

 

whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box

Fujiya Anpanman Lollipop

Cute packaging. Wasn’t one of our favourites, but we like the idea of a chocolate lollipop. Tasted a bit artificial to what we are used to. The chocolate reminded us of Kinderegg chocolate.

 

whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box

Yaokin Christmas Corn Potage Snack Stick

On the first bite it tasted a bit weird, but after that we got used to the taste and really enjoyed it. The puffed corn shaped stick left a savoury and sweet taste in your mouth. Reminded me of Burger King’s French Toast snacks.

 

whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box

Morinaga Tsum Tsum Chocolate Biscuits

A cute little sweet biscuit with chocolate cream inside, with the added bonus of cute Tsum Tsum characters printed on them. Sweet and cute.

 

whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box

Lotte Koala March Strawberry Biscuits

We usually buy the Koala biscuits in China Town in London, but this is the first time we’ve tried them with strawberry. Each biscuit has a sweet strawberry filling and a printed koala on them.

 

whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box

Meiji Mushroom Mountain DIY Kit

This is also one of our favourites. We’ve tried a few of these DIY candy kits before, but this was a new one to us. The instructions were easy to follow and it was a lot of fun making them. A biscuit base and a nice tasting chocolate top. Recommend trying these DIY kits, because they are a lot of fun.

Win the Japan Candy Box!

We really enjoyed reviewing this box. There were a lot of new snacks and treats that we hadn’t tried before and we’ve now got some new favourites. Even though we’ve reviewed each sweet on it’s own, for the whole box we would give it top marks. Perfect thing to give as a present to a friend or for yourself. Now you’ve got the chance to win your very own box! Details below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: This product was sent to us for free, but our review is an honest take on the products.

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Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Food & snacks, Reviews Leave a comment

Vending machines in Japan

whysojapan vending machines tokyo japan

Vending machines

Japan has the most amount of vending machines per person in the world. Because of the population of people and there is a very limited, space vending machines are very popular things in Japan. A lot of people on foot and bike use them. Since there is very little crime in Japan it is not that often you will find a vending machine vandalized leaving it out of order, which makes them a great way of selling things to people that are on the move.

You find vending machines everywhere in Tokyo. It seems every small side street, car park and train station will have at least one. Normally it will be a row of them, selling different sorts of drinks.

whysojapan vending machines tokyo japan whysojapan vending machines tokyo japan

The most common vending machine we have come across while out in Tokyo was the drink ones where you normally find fizzy drinks, like Coca-Cola and Pepsi. You will also find a lot of machines that just sell energy drinks too, and then you have the machines that sell warm drinks. Sometimes there will be a machine for each sort of product and in some of them you can find all of the above products in the same machine. The cold drinks are normally marked with a blue colour around the selection button, and the hot drinks would have a red colour around them. Depending on what time of the year is it, the hot drinks might be available more or less.

whysojapan vending machines tokyo japan whysojapan vending machines tokyo japan whysojapan vending machines tokyo japan

You can also find vending machines that sell hot food, like burger and fries and other fast food styl . Even though I looked for the machines I haven’t been able to find one in Tokyo as of yet. Other machines sell hot pasta noodles, which I’ve seen at a hotel we stayed in. A perfect late snack. And then, of course, there are machines that sell different candies.

whysojapan vending machines tokyo japan

Other machines that are a bit different can be ones that sell bananas, books and umbrellas, which all can come in handy of course. Machines that sell alcohol have a smart card reader on them that you have to swipe a card to prove your age.

A lot of smaller restaurants use vending machines to sell their food. Normally the machine will just be outside the entrance of the restaurant. On the machine you will find pictures of the different dishes available to buy. You put your money in, choose the dish you want, and then it prints out a ticket that you take in to the restaurant and hand over to the staff to get your food.

whysojapan vending machines tokyo japan whysojapan_vending_machines_tokyo_japan_06 whysojapan vending machines tokyo japan

You can also use your Suica transport prepaid card to buy stuff. The machines will detect the amount due from your card for you, which comes in handy if you don’t have any other money on you at the time.

Some vending machines even have cameras in them that try to detect what sort of mood you are in and decide what sort of drink would suit that mood.

Do you have any experiences with vending machines in Japan?

whysojapan vending machines tokyo japan

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Posted on by Paul in Food & snacks 1 Comment

Takeshita Dori – Shopping in Harajuku

Takeshita Dori

Takeshita Dori (Takeshita Street in English) is a very famous shopping street in Harajuku. It’s a pedestrian only street and the shops are focused on fashion, Japanese pop culture and young people. The street is about 400 meters long and there are a lot of shops on both sides.

The area

This part of Tokyo is seen as an youthful area. There are a lot of clothes shops with the latest trends in fashion, alternative styles and independent designers. Harajuku has become famous for young people dressed in more fun or alternative fashion styles, such as visual-kei, lolita and cosplay and hanging out on the Jingu bridge and in the Yoyogi park. Takeshita Dori is the place where new trends are tested and where you can spot Harajuku celebrities like Shironuri. It’s also where Kyary Pamyu Pamyu was discovered.

whysojapan takeshita dori harajuku tokyo japan harajuku station

Shopping

Of course, everyone won’t have the same favourite shops, it depends on your personal taste, but if you like Japanese fashion you’re very likely to find something you like here. You’ve got shop after shop after shop along the street. Some are more expensive, some are cheap. I didn’t have any problems finding clothes that were just as nice as the ones you find in Shibuya 109, but a lot cheaper, the difference being they’re no brand here. But you can also find very famous and more expensive brands too, like Liz Lisa.

whysojapan takeshita dori harajuku tokyo japan liz lisa

Here’s a list of a few of my favourite shops:

Paris Kids
Cheap and fun jewellery. You’ll find lots of teenagers coming here, because everything is so cheap. I think it’s a set price, 324 yen last time I was there, for each item. You’ll find necklaces, ear rings, bracelets, hair accessories and more. I found lots of nice necklaces that were typical Japanese and Harajuku style. I loved it! You’ll find the shop on your left hand side, if coming from the station, and it’s at the beginning of the street.

whysojapan takeshita dori harajuku tokyo japan paris kids

Daiso 100 Yen Shop
Daiso is a 100 Yen chain shop. They sell everything and anything, and it’s fun browsing the shop. It’s pretty big, several floors, and you will find beauty products, stationary, sweets, kitchen items, crafts and lots more. A lot of the things are of lower quality, but you can find some great bargains too. Daiso is also located at the left hand side.

whysojapan takeshita dori harajuku tokyo japan daiso

whysojapan takeshita dori harajuku tokyo japan daiso 100 yen

Wonder Rocket
I absolutely love this clothing shop. You’ll recognize it by the mannequins with hare masks. The clothes are very Japanese, I’d say romantic and mori girl would describe their style. Lots of muted earthy tones and pastel colours, lace, ribbons and flowers. I absolutely love just browsing the shop and looking at all the pretty things they have for sale. It’s located on the right hand side, a bit further down on the street.

whysojapan takeshita dori harajuku tokyo japan wonder rocket

The crepes
Not really a shop, it’s a food stall. Harajuku is famous for it’s delicious crepes, and I dont think it’s possible to walk though Takeshita dori without stopping for a crepe. The queues can be long, but they move pretty fast, and it’s well worth the wait. They have loads of different fillings and I try to remember to try out a new one every time we are there. They’ve got whipped cream, strawberries, mochi, red bean paste, banana, chocolate sauce, ice cream, custard, peach… I could go on forever. Remember to stand to the side or have a sit down while enjoying your crepe, since it’s considered rude to eat and walk in Japan. If you go to the big crepe stand somewhere in the middle of the street on the left hand side, there’s a good area just behind the crepe stand for eating. You’ll probably see it, because that’s where everyone else is sitting or standing.

whysojapan takeshita dori harajuku tokyo japan crepes

How to get there

Takeshita Dori is located in Harajuku, an area in Shibuya in Tokyo. to get there, take the Yamanote Line to the Harajuku station. There are two exists, the southern exit is closer to the Yoyogi Park and northen exit is closer to Takeshita Dori, and it’s this exit you want to take, because as soon as you’re out of the station, you just have to cross over to the other side of the road, and there you have Takeshita Dori. If you happen to come out the other exit, you walk down the hill to the left until you reach the crossing and then cross the street. It’s very easy to spot Takeshita Dori once you’re close to it, because the entrance has a gate you can’t miss and the street is probably packed with people.





Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Fashion, Food & snacks, Shopping, Visiting Leave a comment

Japanese Candy Popin Cookin Sushi

whysojapan_popin_cookin_sushi_02

Japanese Candy

Japan has a large and great selection of sweets (candy, if you’re American). Over the next couple of months or so we will be sharing some of the wierd and wonderful treats that can be found in Japan, and even bought online, for the worlds delight.

Popin Cookin Sushi

First up is one of the many great mixture packs from Popin Cookin. The best way to describe Popin Cookin packs are to the likes of making  your own sweets, a DIY project one could say. You start off with a few sachets that you mix into different compartments of the tray filled with water. You get all that is needed to make your sweets looking like sushi. If you don’t know Japanese then it might take a little time to figure out which sachet is to mix into which compartment. Thats where our making video below will come into hand for everyone that is trying to make their own Popin Cookin Sushi kit! We have made a step by step guide on how to make them correct, making it easy for you to follow and be successful when making them yourself.

whysojapan_popin_cookin_sushi_04 whysojapan_popin_cookin_sushi_05

I would highly recommend these sorts of DIY kits for families, since what’s more fun than just eating sweets is making them first, of course. You can check out the manufacturers of Popin Cookin via this link: http://www.nerune.jp/product/ where you can find lots more of their kits that can be made. We got our kit from the UK company CyberCandy and it cost around 4-6 pounds from their store (http://www.cybercandy.co.uk). There are also a lot of other online stores that sell all over the world, so just do a search for Popin Cookin via Google for other places to buy them from.

whysojapan_popin_cookin_sushi_03

We found it great fun to make. I think it was more fun making it than actually eating it, but that’s mostly due to that we might not be used to Japanese sweets in that way. We have a couple of more boxes from the Popin Cookins series to share with you in up and coming posts, and we also have other fun sweets to share with you all.





Posted on by Paul in Food & snacks 1 Comment
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