ZenPop Japanese Snack Box - Kyoto Spring*

Zenpop Japanese Snack Box - Kyoto Spring*

The cherry blossoms have bloomed, Spring has brought some sunny days, and ZenPop is taking us on a trip to a beautiful city full of history and good food.

They've been so kind to *sponsor* this blog post, and sent me a free Japanese Snack Box to review. Are you ready? Let's go!

Each Snack Box includes:

  • New and trendy snacks from Japanese supermarkets and convenience stores
  • Popular instant noodles and beverages
  • Candy and gummies unique to Japan
  • Indulgent sweets like chocolates, cookies, or wagashi
  • A variety of salty and savory snacks to delight and surprise you
  • At least a dozen or more new things to try in every box!

The theme for the May 2023 box is Kyoto Spring and, as explained in their booklet (which can be downloaded from a QR code), Imagine lounging by the Kamo river, surrounded by stunning sakura trees, while munching on a delectable array of snacks, sipping on refreshing drinks, and slurping on mouth-watering ramen noodles. Sound too good to be true? Well, our Kyoto Spring Snack Box is here to make it a reality! We've handpicked the best treats and flavors from Kyoto and packed them all into a convenient box, ready to be delivered straight to your doorstep.

Let's not wait any further and take a walk through the streets of Kyoto! 

Zenpop Homareyaki-Marugoto-Azuki-Yakisobayasan

    • Homareyaki from Negita: I do like a good senbei, so I was really eager to try their Traditional Shrimp Senbei from Negita, Homareyaki (ほまれやき). Besides the packaging that looks super cute, the taste reminded me of the snacks you would get at traditional Matsuri festival in ancient times. Great job!
    • Marugoto Kajitsu from Kasugai Seika: You know I'm not a fan of grape-flavoured snacks, but I liked the texture of these fruit gummies. Also, the small package means that you can keep them in your purse for when you're on the go and you need a burst of fruity goodness.  
    • Azuki Caramel Otsubu from Morinaga: This could not be a miss for sure! I like azuki, and I like caramel candies, so how could I not enjoy this bite-sized treat? Happy mind and happy stomach!
    • Yakisobayasan Tarou from Kadou: I'm not a big fan of this snack, but the taro flavour was nice. Plus, it was good to meet the newest member of the Taro Ramen family, Yakisoba Restaurant Taro (やきそば屋さん太郎)!
          Zenpop Fugashi-Kinako-Bekkou

            • Fugashi from Yaokin: This was a surprising snack. First of all, I really thought it was chocolate—which it's not, never judge a snack by its looks—but I think the biggest surprise came in the form of the texture. This was quite crunchy but, when it melted in my mouth, it literally felt like cotton candy. Mind you, it's very very sugary, but the perfect balance of molasses, brown sugar, and sweetness makes it a fabulous treat.
            • Mochitto Kinako Mochi from Yaokin: Lots of mochi in this tasty box, and I couldn't be happier! My favourite part of this mouthwatering Mochitto Kinako Mochi was the filling, soft (but firm), and sweet. I really enjoy bite-sized snacks, and I'm not ashamed to say that I kept them both for myself. 
            • Bekkou Ame from Kinsen: These handmade Kinsen tortoiseshell candies were a very lovely sweet treat, I just wish the flavour was a bit stronger.

                Zenpop Picola-Matcha-Honkuzu

                  • Picola Sakura Matcha from YBC: Zenpop knows how to celebrate the seasons in style, and this Spring Picola (ピコラ さくら抹茶) was definitely well received! The cherry blossom-coloured roll cookie is crunchy and delicate at the same time, and the special matcha blend cream (that combines two types of Uji matcha) is very tasty. This snack is pretty and delicious, what more do you want?
                  • Matcha Latte from Craft Boss: This certainly looks like a drink you would normally find in a vending machine (jihanki, 自動販売機). It's very refreshing when cold, and it's very sweet, so I think it's a perfect choice for when it's hot outside and you need to replenish your energy and sugar levels!
                  • Honkuzu Sasamochi from Wakou: This Hon Kuzu Mochi (本くず笹餅) was quite a luscious treat! Technically, since Kudzu root is a famous herbal medicine known for its many benefits, this is also a healthy one, and you can't disagree with me! 😜 And the nutty taste of the soybean flour made this snack extra special!

                      Zenpop Mochitto-Yokozuna-Wasabi-SpyxFamily

                        • Mochitto Kinako from Yaokin: I was very eager to try this Mochitto Soybean Flour snack, but sadly, I was quite disappointed. The flavour—or at least the tiny bit I was able to try—was quite lovely. However, because of its chewy and soft texture, it was wrapped in thin paper that came apart as I was delicately trying to open it, and it made it practically impossible to enjoy it fully.  A good advice would probably be to put it in the fridge for a bit so it can harden slightly. 
                        • Yokozuna Arare from Tengu Seika: I don't know if it's just me, but these crunchy and salty rice crackers tasted a lot like soy sauce, and I enjoyed them very much! It's also nice to know that this legendary snack is produced near the Fushimi shrine in Kyoto, and rumoured to be born from the mawashi (回し) of a mighty sumo wrestler! Personally, it makes me feel extra special knowing that I'm eating a typical snack from one of my favourite cities.
                        • Wasabi Nori Tarou from Kadou: Unfortunately this Confectionery Wasabi Noritaro (わさびのり太郎) was a big miss. I don't really like wasabi because it's very spicy, so this snack was too strong-flavoured for me to be able to appreciate it. However, if you're a fan of spicy treats, you'll definitely enjoy it!
                        • SPYxFAMILY Fusen Gummy from Marukawa Seika: When ZenPop shares limited edition treats, you can be sure they're going to be good! This Fusen gum tasted like green apple and it was such a sweet and delicious flavour! I haven't watched this series yet, although I probably should at this point!

                              Zenpop Ramen-Potato

                                • Sapporo Ichiban Tabimen Kyoto Seabura Shoyu Ramen from Sanyo Shokuhin: If Kyoto's famous backfat soy sauce ramen (旅麺 京都 背脂醤油ラーメン) tastes like this, then I don't want to eat anything else! The flavour was so tasty and personally, I didn't find it spicy at all. It was so good that I even finished all the broth (whereas I leave some most times).
                                • Kyoto Shibazuke fu Sansyo Iri Potato Chips from Idea Package: To be honest, I was a bit worried because I don't like pickles. However, I have to say that I did enjoy them! If I had to pick a word to describe the taste, I'd definitely choose tangy. ZenPop warned they could be addictive, and I think they were right!

                                  Zenpop Kawara-Funawari-Umaibo

                                    • Kawara Senbei from Nanao: Wow, these were amazing! I'm more used to savoury senbei, so these Kawara-shaped crackers were truly a revelation. The delicious nutty flavour and the bits of roasted peanuts were a great combination, and it makes for the perfect afternoon tea treat! I also have to say something about the awesome packaging, as it give strong "Edo period" vibes!
                                    • Funwari Meijin Kinako Mochi from Echigo Seika: I had the pleasure of trying a similar snack in the past so, as soon as I saw this, I knew it was definitely going to be a hit. They're crunchy and soft at the same time, and they melt in your mouth! They slightly taste like popcorn, and they're simply delicious!
                                    • Umaibo Chocolate from Yaokin: Ah, finally an umaibo snack I can enjoy! If you've followed my partnership with ZenPop from the beginning, you'll know I've felt quite "unlucky" with this particular treat so far. However, this chocolate-covered corn puff was really delicious. Crunchy and sweet, and it's also limited edition!


                                        This box contained many traditional snacks, and it was great to have a small taste of Kyoto since I haven't been able to visit yet. 

                                        You still have a few days before the month is over, so make sure you get this box by clicking the link below!
                                        Get $5 off your first box by using the code MOCHI5 at checkout!
                                        Have you ever been to Kyoto and tried traditional snacks? Let me know in the comments which of these you would love to try! 



                                        1. This is the first time I have visited here, I like your writing style and I want to say, I love 🍘 too💖サクサクですね!うまい~~~

                                          1. Thank you so much for replying, Abbie! Your words are so nice and meaningful... Also, I'm so glad you love senbei too!!

                                        2. Ooh Kyoto! That Matcha Latte sounds perfect for a hot day, and this would be perfect for snacking and sampling different flavors while watching a nice walking tour of Kyoto (if one can't be there naturally)!

                                          1. Ohh, you just painted one of my dream days in Japan! It would be awesome to spend a day in Kyoto, admiring the gorgeous scenery and sampling all the different foods it has to offer.

                                        3. I loved lots of things in this box, but I think the Kawara Senbei might be my favourite! But also the ramen . . . not to mention the chips . . . or the Fugashi snack . . . See? I knew I couldn't choose just one! *sigh* Anyway, I had the same problem with the Mochitto Kinako snack, I would have liked it to be less sticky, so I could have enjoyed it properly without the paper getting in the way . . . Still, I'm glad you also enjoyed this box! Thanks for another lovely post to read and engage with, Fran 💚

                                          1. Haha, I knew those would be your favourite! Yes, the mochitto kinako snack was tricky, but I think it made me realise I like the soybean flour a lot!