Kizuna Japanese 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, Read more

Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2017

Sakura Matsuri Stockholm – Cherry Blossom Festival On April 22nd was the annual cherry blossom hanami festival in Stockholm (“Körsbärsblommans Dag”), Sweden. It's an event organized by the Japanese Association, and we were very happy to see that they - once Read more

Top Japanese places to visit in London

Top Japanese places to visit in London In this post we have collected our top Japanese places to visit in London. The city has so many places that are connected to Japan in one way or another. In our top Read more

Best art, crafts and stationery shops in Tokyo

Best art, crafts and stationery shops in Tokyo As a person who love all things art and crafts I've hunted down the best shops that I could find during my travels in Tokyo. Here's a guide to my personal favourites. Read more

Japan Candy Box review + giveaway

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 Read more

win

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.

Save





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.

Save

Save





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

UFO Catchers In Japan

whysojapan ufo catchers prizes

UFO catchers

UFO catcher – or claw machines as there are also known as – are arcade machine that are very popular all over the world. The aim of playing the machines is to pick up the prize with the claw, It’s normally made up of two to four prongs, which will grip or move your prize over to the prize hatch and drop the price down, where you then claim the price through sort of a cat flap door in the front of the machine. The machines are usually see through from all sides, which makes it easier to play, or so you would think.

whysojapan ufo catchers prizeswhysojapan ufo catchers prizes

Playing claw machines 101

Is there any skill to playing the machines? Well, the claw machines that I’ve played here in Europe I’ve never had any problems playing. Getting the claw over and even pick up the prize is the easy part. The only real skill you need is being able to place the claw over the price in the right way.  After that it’s down to chance from there on. The machines in the UK are simple to play and once you’ve got the hang of the technique, you could win at them all day –  if it wasn’t for one thing. The only thing stopping you are the owners of the arcades who set the machines up. The machines are set to only tightly grip the prize for a longer period of time after machine has been feed a certain amount of cash.

One good tip is to try and go for prizes that are close to the hatch, because what happens is the claw becomes weaker the further it has to travel, and the price might drop before it reaches the hatch. Unless the machine is up in the quota it needs, only then will it stay strong enough to carry the prize all the way. You can also try and move prize bit by bit, until you have it close enough. That’s another good work around to getting the prize you have your eyes set on. I usually start with prizes close to the hatch, and the technique works good for me. Another good tip is to watch others play. If they have put loads of cash in the claw, it will normally hold the prize for longer before it weakens. This is giving you more of a chance on bagging the prize you want, if the previous player gives up.

The machines I’ve played in the UK have prizes that are mostly plush toys. One of my best wins as to date on a machine in the UK was a Minion, winning it made my day.

whysojapan ufo catchers prizes

UFO Catchers in Japan

Playing UFO Catchers in Japan is very different than playing the machines like I’ve played in the UK. You still have the element of the the settings by the vendor for how strong and how long the claw will grip the price, but there is so much more skill to it than the other machines I’ve played outside of Japan. First lets start off with the prizes, there are a lot more to choose from. Yes, you do have the plush toy machines, but you also have so much more. Some of the prizes we have won when playing in Japan for example are figurines that are only made as prizes for UFO catchers. There’s also food, bath towls, cutlery, small electrical devices, and so much more.

whysojapan ufo catchers prizes

Most arcades in Japan normally have at least one floor designated to UFO catchers. Usually it’s the first floor of the building. A couple of popular arcades we have played in are the Taito Game Station and Sega’s arcades. Most machines cost around 100 to 200 yen to play, and if you buy more games at once it can sometimes be cheaper.One great thing when you do win your prize is that the staff will usually see you win it and come over and congratulate you and give you a plastic bag to carry your prize away, which is great service.

Playing in Japan

The machines in Japan really do take it to the next level. Of course, you can find the normal claw machines there as well, but they have developed other ways to play, which requires a lot more skill to it, and a lot of the machines only have two claws to the pick up the prize with. There are a couple of different setups of UFO catchers. Of course the basic pick up and drop, but they also have other setups.

whysojapan taito game station archade hall

One being where the machines has got the prize laying across two metal bars with a gap big enough to pick up the prize and drop it between them. But that would be to easy. Yes, the gap is big enough, but you can’t just pick it up and drop, because mostly of weak claws due to settings. Also the way the staff place the prizes, laying them over the two metal bars and the bars are covered in rubber, which makes it even harder to just push and slide. The main trick is to ether pick it up one end and drop, and do so on and so on until it tips though between the bars.

The next setup is where the prize is hanging on underneath a little piece of plastic, which is balancing on a little rubber ball. At first it seems easy, but then you learn that the plastic rubbing on the rubber ball is a real pain. It can be done, but you have to move the piece of plastic from side to side until the plastic and the prize finally falls from the ball.

whysojapan ufo catchers prizesThe final setup is were the prize has a sort of a plastic ring stuck to the box of the prize. What I found was a good way to win at these sort of UFO catchers is to hook and try to lift it, which can be possible. Another technique is to bring one of the claws to side of plastic hole, so you use the power of the claw closing to drag the prize closer to the hole, which is a good way of winning at this sort of UFO catcher.

My last tip is, if you find one prize you just can’t win but really want (mine was a Super Sonico figurine) is to look around the shops in Akihabara, because there is a chance you find it for sale. They might have one or two available, since they’re not really made for retail. I’m guessing someone has won it and sold it on to the shop and then the shop sells it on – which was great for me, who really wanted it.

 

It is great fun playing the machines so I really recommend playing them at least once while in Japan.

Check out Taito Game Station homepage to find your closest arcade hall while in Japan: http://www.taito.com/gc

 





Posted on by Paul in Gaming 2 Comments
%d bloggers like this: