March 2016 Freedom Japanese Market Review

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Freedom Japanese Market
The Breakdown:
Monthly | Cost: $24.99/month
Sweet and savory snacks, candy straight from Japan
Ships via Japan Post | Ships to Worldwide

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What is Freedom Japanese Market?

“Japanese snacks are taking the world by storm! Find out what the craze is all about with our monthly snack box subscription! We are Freedom Japanese Market and our family business can bring the unique snacks and candies of Japan straight to your doorstep every month at an affordable price.

Some highlights:

  • Free Shipping Worldwide
  • All products are shipped fresh from Japan.  These items have never seen the inside of a container ship.
  • Each box contains a handmade, seasonal origami.
  • Most of the items are sold exclusively in Japan.  Also, most boxes contain some limited edition snacks and candies that are only in Japanese stores for a month or two.
  • An itemized list with pictures is included in each box, so you don’t have to read Japanese.
  • About a pound of candy (13 to 16 snacks) and snacks are packed into each box.
  • We only ship products we would eat ourselves, and only send boxes we would be happy to receive as a gift.
  • You can subscribe through PayPal for maximum security
  • Club members can buy additional boxes and send them (to other addresses) as gifts.  Some companies use these boxes as corporate gifts or thank you packages for hard working employees.  You can also get all of your holiday shopping done quickly this way!
  • You can create a gift subscription that sends a monthly care package to a friend or relative.
  • You can create a one-time payment for boxes sent out over 3, 6 and 12 months.
  • Cancel at any time without fees or penalties.
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Their information sheet!

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Adorable!

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Smartphone Candies – Fruit-shaped candy in a color wrapper resembling a smartphone screen. I love Japanese packaging! I’ve been craving gummy-like candy for the past few days and these really hit the spot. They’re kind of like gumdrops meet Swedish fish? I can only identify the pink ones as peach and the green ones as apple, but I’m not sure what the yellow ones are supposed to be. Maybe banana or melon? In any case, I really enjoyed these too! The cutest thing is that they included a toothpick so you can easily take one out at a time. XD

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The other side.

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Cute and tiny.

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Lifeguard Candy – This was weirdly amazing! It’s a thick jell-o kind of paste that tastes a lot like smarties. XD You’re supposed to squeeze it out onto a spoon and lick it like a soft lollipop.

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Almost reminds me of slime, haha. XD

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Umaibo – Puffed corn tubes in two flavors: salami and yakitori! Interestingly enough, the salami one tasted like smoked salmon! But not overwhelmingly so and it was a perfect, crunchy snack. The yakitori one tasted exactly like teriyaki chicken! SERIOUSLY I DO NOT KNOW HOW THEY DO IT. It honestly tasted like fried chicken skins glazed with teriyaki sauce. I really need to know if I can buy some of this stuff locally since there is a lot of Japanese grocery stores here!

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Salami.

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Yakitori.

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Chocolate Pen (Bonus!) – A cute pen filled with colorful chocolate circles. 😀

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.

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Puku-Puku Tai – Fish shaped wafers filled with strawberry chocolate. This was what I zeroed in on the moment I opened the box. I absolutely LOVE wafers and strawberry flavored sweets so of course I knew I’d love this! It definitely didn’t disappoint and was crunchy, strawberry-amazingness. I can totally see why this was brought back by popular request.

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What it looks like unwrapped.

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Airy and delicious.

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Tako-Yaki Senbei – I quite love takoyaki… or octopus balls! (well, they’re traditionally filled with octopus and lots of other good stuff) So of course I loved these too. Seriously, what’s up with the amazing curation? Or maybe I just love too many kinds of food. 😉 These are takoyaki flavored rice crackers and there’s a little packet of takoyaki sauce (which is umami goodness) to add on top to really encapsulate the experience. Highly recommend these!

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Out of the package.

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With sauce.

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Yakiniku-Flavored Rice Crackers – I’m so glad that they included some savory snacks in here too! Japan has some amazing savory snacks and I would seriously love a subscription box full of different chips/crackers/savory junk food from Japan. XD This one is fantastic and has that smokey, grilled, salty flavor that is just irresistible. It was really hard not to eat this entire bag in one sitting because the flavor is so addicting! The fun thing about this snack is the characters that are featured on the bag; it’s Crayon Shin-Chan. I actually grew up reading some of the comics/watching the TV shows so it’s pure nostalgia for me. He’s kind of like a Japanese Cartman (Southpark). XD

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Yessss.

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Takenoko No Sato – Tiny bamboo shoot biscuits coated in matcha milk chocolate. I’ve seen these before at a local Japanese market (usually just covered in plain milk chocolate), but never with matcha milk chocolate – and no wonder, because it’s a spring exclusive.

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These were almost too sweet. XD

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Kurabete Neru-Neru – This was SO WEIRD. And so cool at the same time! XD You basically have to make your own candy and I really wasn’t sure what to expect. XD It’s two different flavors (melon and pineapple) and two packets each. The packets are number 1 and 2 so you know which one to open first. You open Packet #1 and pour it into the tray, add water (there’s even a small water measure cup thing ready for you) and then stir. After it’s stirred, you add the contents of Packet #2. This is when the magic happens. The mixture turns into this foamy fluff that has a similar consistency to marshmallow fluff. XD Then you toss on some sprinkles. You repeat these steps for the second flavor. Now for the taste. It tastes like… ramune soda with fruit flavors! It’s weirdly carbonated and fizzy somehow and the flavors are INTENSE. When they say melon, you get melon. It’s so melon-y. I’m not sure if I like this for its mouthfeel and fizziness, but I thought the whole DIY process was really fun. XD
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Instructions.

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Buta-Men Curry Ramen – A cute, snack-sized portion for when those ramen cravings hit but you don’t want to eat an entire bowl.

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Punch Cola – There are 2 tablets in the packet and you drop 1 tablet into 180 cc of water (or around 3/4 cups). I was curious as to how this would taste and sadly it does not come close to that refreshing coca cola flavor that we all know and love. It’s not fizzy enough nor is it sweet enough, in my opinion. But if you’re seriously craving coke… this might do the trick. :p

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Kirby Gum – Japanese gum always has great flavor! But the novelty of these are the awesome artwork on the wrappers. (They’re great for blowing bubbles too.)

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Umai Candy – I didn’t know what to expect from these, but OMG I just opened a taro flavored one and it is absolutely to die for! These are hard candies for you to suck on and I didn’t even know they had taro flavored hard candies until now! Now how can I describe a taro flavor? It’s like cotton candy but nuttier. SO SO GOOD. I really want to buy more of these, haha.
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Whistle Ramune Candy – These will drive parents crazy. XD The whistle that emits from these when you blow air through the whole is really, really shrill and really, really annoying. My brother and I had these before as kids and definitely made a nuisance by whistling with these.

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A closer look.

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Overall enjoyment: I absolutely LOVED this box and its curation! There was a really great balance between savory and sweet. As much as I love sweet things, I definitely need some savory, salty snacks to balance it all out. But the best part was trying all of the unique snacks that I never would have been able to buy for myself. If you’re a serious snacker, then you definitely need to try out this subscription because it’ll introduce you to all sorts of new snacks that are only otherwise available in Japan.

 

 

 

*Disclosure: The above item was complimentary and received for review purposes. All opinions are my own and no compensation was received. I only review things that are in line with my interests and wouldn’t subject you, my dear readers, to boring products or subscriptions.

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3 comments

    1. Hahaha, really?? I thought they were pretty good. :p BUT I WANT TO TRY ALL OF THE UMAIBO! I really need to head to my local Mitsuwa or Nijiya market to see what they have on their shelves. XD

      1. There have got to be over 30 flavors…maybe over 50 if you count limited editions. There are some *premium* ones too, like wasabi steak, mozzarella and Camembert cheese…

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