Review: Freedom Japanese Market – November 2017

Freedom Japanese Market is a family business that curates, packs, and ships original, made-in-Japan snacks to all corners of the globe. About a pound of handpicked Japanese candies and snacks sent straight to your front door!

They have three box sizes:

Puchi Pack –  5 to 8 full size and sample snacks $14.99 p/m (£11.26)

Original Pack – 12 to 16 full size and sample snacks including 1 DIY candy kit $24.99 p/m (£18.77)

NEW! Premium Family Pack – Original Pack plus a handpicked selection of premium snacks $45.99 p/m (£34.54

Longer subscriptions are lower price, and shipping is included.

I’m reviewing an Original Pack.

While the box takes 10 – 20 days to arrive (which coming from Japan with no extra shipping costs is bloody good) it always arrives in great shape. The November box took a little longer than usual to get here, no doubt because with Christmas approaching the mail is even slower than usual!

Freedom Japanese Market Review November 2017

Great picture on the box!

Freedom Japanese Market Review November 2017

Here’s this month’s menu newsletter.

You can see information about their new subscription grade, the Premium Family Pack

Freedom Japanese Market Review November 2017

Those are the premium snacks listed at the bottom. Mmmmmm…

Freedom Japanese Market Review November 2017

Mustn’t forget this month’s origami! Such a cute bunny!

Freedom Japanese Market Review November 2017

Oooh, I see yummy things!

Bubblish Ramune Candy Freedom Japanese Market Review November 2017

This was sitting right on top, and it’s Bubblish Ramune Candy. Ramune is Japanese soda, and this is one of the many types of ramune candy. It’s very yummy, and it comes in these little tablets that are both crunchy and melty.

I also love the cool 8-bit style packaging design!

Watagashi Freedom Japanese Market Review November 2017

Watagashi is Japanese cotton candy or candyfloss. It tastes pretty much like you’d expect. The animal packaging is very cute though, and I think it’s amazing how it stays intact in the packet!

 Curry Arare Freedom Japanese Market Review November 2017

These are Curry Arare, which are little rice crackers flavoured with Japanese curry

Here’s a fun fact: curry was actually introduced to Japan by the British in the 19th century. However Japan took the idea and put their own spin on it, and curry is now considered a national dish! 

Fluffy Marshmallow Freedom Japanese Market Review November 2017

This Fluffy Marshmallow is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a big marshmallow stick. In fact, it’s extremely similar to a Flump (remember those?).

Christmas Umaibo Freedom Japanese Market Review November 2017

Not just one, but TWO of my favourite snacks: Umaibo! And they’re Christmas Editions!

There are two versions here. The one above is a Corn Potage flavour in a festive package. Corn potage is a very popular flavour in Japan; it’s a kind of creamy corn soup.

The one on the bottom says on the menu it’s a surprise flavour. However I don’t do surprise flavours because I’m allergic to seafood, and quite a few Japanese snacks contain seafood. I don’t wish my surprise to be a trip to the hospital. Using the magic of Google, I discovered that this is the Christmas edition of the Chocolate Umaibo!

As it happens, last month’s box contained a chocolate Umaibo in regular packaging. Let me tell you, I’ve very happy to have another one this month. Those things are gooooooood.

Shittori Ichigo Freedom Japanese Market Review November 2017

Here’s something else that’s amazing. Shittori Ichigo. Now, once you’ve stopped giggling at the name, let me tell you these are utterly delicious. I’ve had the chocolate ones before and they’re incredible. They are basically little crunchy corn puff cakes soaked in chocolate, and these beauties are the raspberry version. They manage to be creamy, crispy, and melting all at the same time, and there are simply not enough in the bag. In fact, no bag is big enough.

Mike Popcorn Caprese Salad Freedom Japanese Market Review November 2017

The Japanese like their popcorn, and Mike Popcorn is a very popular brand, but boy, do they make weird flavours. (The August box had a soy sauce variety which was pretty good). This one is Caprese Salad flavour. Seriously. What’s even more weird is that it really does taste like caprese salad, but of course, the texture is as you’d expect from popcorn. It’s an odd juxtaposition, tastes nice, but I don’t like it as much as the soy simply because I can’t quite get my head around popcorn that tastes of tomato, basil, and mozzarella. 


Bourbon Petit Puchi Chips pea spicy mayo Freedom Japanese Market Review November 2017

Staying with interesting flavours, here are Pea and Spicy Mayo flavour Bourbon Petit Puchi Chips. These are like tiny little Chip Star, or Pringles. Again, crazy flavour, but these taste really good, nice and savory with a nice spicy kick.

Mugi Chocolate Christmas Freedom Japanese Market Review November 2017

Another Christmas snack! Mugi Chocolate are little barley puffs encased in milk chocolate. Tiny and sweet and slightly crispy. The packaging is incredibly cute, and these will make excellent stocking fillers. Plus the packages are small enough that I won’t feel bad at allowing Little C to eat chocolate at six in the morning.

Sanrio chewing gum Hello Kitty Super Mario Freedom Japanese Market Review November 2017

These little packages are Sanrio Character Orange Chewing Gum. You can see Super Mario and Hello Kitty, both incredibly popular franchises. 

Puchi Chocolate Freedom Japanese Market Review November 2017

These cute and colourful little things are Puchi Chocolate, little balls of chocolate in a crisp candy shell. They are packaged in a dispenser rather like a TicTac box, and as a little bonus, the lid of the box has a whistle in it!

Oh, and you may have guessed, but puchi means ‘small‘ in Japanese.

My box didn’t include the Premium Family Selection <sob> but I’m familar enough with them to know they’ve chose well. Pie no Mi are delicious, as are Calpico. I’d really love to get my hands on the chocolate potato chips, as I love sweet/savory mixes (I eat Marmite and jam on toast) and I bet they’d be amazing.

There are eleven items again this month  (I’m counting the gum and mugi chocolate as two rather than four), but the two large-size snack packs more than make up for it. Especially the Shittori. Damn, they’re good.

Four out of the eleven are savory snacks, though I can only eat three of them because of the seafood thing. But never mind, I’ll take the Shittori over a savory snack any time!

I’m really happy they’ve included a couple of little Christmas items. 

Freedom Japanese Market only sources snacks direct from Japan, so is exactly what you would buy in stores there. Japanese snacks in the UK are produced for the export market, and usually differ from the domestic items. Also, the exported items spend months in the shipping process, so won’t be nearly as fresh.

This is also a family business, and encouraging small businesses is important. Their customer service definitely has a personal touch, not least the creation of all those origami! 

I think the value is pretty good for what you get. Sourcing all these things individually would be more or less impossible, and never for anything like as cheap as this. As always, smaller boxes (Puchi) aren’t such good value, so I think it’s definitely worth spending the extra eight quid and getting the Regular pack. Or if you really want to treat yourself get the Premium pack. It’s definitely a welcome upgrade.

Christmas is nearly here but it’s still a great idea for an original gift! Both the packaging and flavours are exotic and frequently completely unfamiliar, and I think it’s a wonderful treat to get every month!

Merry Christmas! Or as they say in Japan, Merīkurisumasu! メリークリスマス!


If you’d like to read more of my Freedom Japanese Market reviews, click here. 

And if you’d like to see what someone else thought of this box, you can find an alternate review here.
























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