In a long-overdue update to the “Life in Japan” category, I’m finally posting my review of Oisix, Japan’s premier online greengrocer and meal delivery service. I’ve been a member since Spring 2018. Oisix has completely changed the way I shop for groceries and plan meals. I personally enjoy grocery shopping in Japan with Oisix, so I hope you’ll find this (overdue) review useful!
This post is NOT sponsored by Oisix in any way.
I have been using Oisix since Spring 2018. I had transitioned back to working semi-part time after taking maternity and child care leave. For my first months back in the classroom, my typical working day was from 9:30 to14:30. Gradually I extended it to 16:30, so by the time I got home it was well past 5pm. On the other hand, my husband worked longer hours and had a longer commute, so dinner planning became something that I did. (And to be honest, I’m a better cook!)
Rather than navigating supermarket aisles in the evening with a stroller and a one year old eager to touch everything within reach, I initially opted to do supermarket runs during my 1 hour break. However, I’d sometimes often forget to take dairy products or meats out of the break room fridge before going home!
I needed some way make meal prep easier for me.
Enter Oisix, Japan’s largest meal kit and organic food delivery service, operating since 1997.
Oisix is primarily known for its fresh produce boxes, consisting of vegetables and fruits sourced from all over Japan and select countries. In addition Oisix also stocks meats, poultry, fish, and dairy products. Its lineup has expanded to include other food stuffs and lifestyle products. Basically, Oisix is an online upscale grocery store much like Kinokuniya or Seijo Ishii. Oisix also offers meal kits, known as “KitOisix,” and food recipe boxes known as “Chanto Oisix.” (More on those below.)
Oisix Pros & Cons
As I mentioned earlier in this post I’ve been an Oisix member for 3+ years and this isn’t a sponsored post. Even if it were, I’d still be transparent with my experience. So here goes!
1. Stress-Free Meal Prep
What’s great about Oisix is that once you’ve set your box preferences, there’s no need to have to manually search through the Oisix catalog to plan meals. Every week, new items are instantly added to your cart. However, you should check the contents of your Oisix cart just in case, especially if you or your family members have allergies or food sensitivity/intolerances.
Another thing I like about Oisix is MySet (Myセット). These are a la carte items that you select to be automatically added to your shopping cart for your scheduled delivery. For example, my daughter absolutely loves corn dogs and broccoli florets, so I like to have those on hand for her school bento and weekend lunches.
2. Coupons, Points & Free Stuff
I love earning points when I shop in Japan! (Who doesn’t?) You can also earn coupons or points when you shop (100 yen = 1 point) on Oisix. Points and coupons are also available when you answer surveys. Another perk is that sometimes Oisix will randomly add a freebie to your cart, especially if they’re adding new items to their catalog.
3. Easy Way To Manage Food Budget
Oisix bills monthly and all invoices are electronic. I like this because nearly all my “food” receipts are in one place and I don’t have to keep track of endless receipts.
1. Content Overload
One of the biggest drawbacks of Oisix is the sign up process and the website itself. There are so many options, coupled with the Japanese language only interface, that it really can feel overwhelming. (Honestly, that was a big reason why it took me so darn long to actually write this review. I had no idea where to start!)
With that said, once you set your user preferences, everything automatically ends up in your cart. As you can imagine, this makes shopping online for groceries super easy. With that said, if you’re too caught up to confirm your cart contents before auto checkout, you may end up with meals that you probably wouldn’t have ordered yourself.
2. Free Shipping Threshold
Another thing worth pointing out is that when ordering on Oisix, you’re likely to end up with a cart full of frozen and cool items. Frozen and cool items are shipped via Kuroneko in different boxes. You ‘ll need to meet a certain threshold in order to qualify for free shipping. However this won’t pertain to you if you don’t make any changes to your pre-selected shopping cart.
3. Too Much Plastic
Perhaps the biggest criticism of Oisix is the amount of waste involved in packing and shipping their produce and meal kits. KitOisix and Purple Carrot meal kits generate a lot of waste as every single ingredient is individually packaged.
In the 3 years that I’ve signed up with Oisix, I have noticed a significant change in how they package and ship items. Oisix has switched to biodegradable materials, but even then, all that trash adds up when you’re cooking in a small kitchen!
KitOisix are meal kits that come with all the ingredients you need to make a main dish and a side dish or soup. Each meal kit also comes with a step-by-step recipe card. Vegan meal kits are also now available under the Purple Carrot label. (Purple Carrot is an American vegan meal kit delivery acquired by Oisix a year or so ago).
The biggest draw to KitOisix is that nearly all its ingredients arrive precut and individually wrapped. Each meal kit comes with enough to feed 2 or 3 adults (you can choose the serving size at checkout) and range from 1,180 yen to 1,690 yen. However, it’s not unusual for specialty/seasonal meal kits to go for 2,000 yen or more.
Here is a list of Kit Oisix meal kits currently available on Oisix.com as of December 13, 2021.
鍋 // Nabe // Hot Pot
Nabe, or “hot pot” (stews) are a staple during the fall and winter in Japan, and Oisix nabe meal kits are a wonderful way to try making your own nabe without any complications.
スープ // Soup
Also known as the “morning soup” set, this meal kit consists of enough ingredients and recipes for 3 different kinds of soups.
キッズOK // Kizzu OK // For Kids
Well-balanced, kid-friendly dishes with ingredients that young kids are sure to love.
ちびキッズOK // Chibi Kizzu OK // For Babies & Toddlers
Do you have a baby who’s weaning or a toddler that loves trying what’s on your plate? These dishes go light on flavor and can be easily rearranged for young foodies.
クイック10 // Kuikk Ten // 10 Minute Meal
10 minutes is all you need to get these meals from the kitchen to your dinner table.
(The Saba Misoni (Mackerel simmered in miso is a family favorite!)
シェッフ // Sheffu // Chef’s Picks
As the name implies, these are collaboration meal kits with renowned Japanese chefs.
イベント // Ibento // Event
“Event” meal kits are “gourmet” tie-ups with established chefs, restaurants, and delis. Past tie-ups include Dean & Deluca and Ippudo Ramen. Right now, Oisix has gourmet holiday meal kits!
クイック１皿 // kuiku ichi zara // Quick 1 Plate
Most of the KitOisix meal kits consist of a main dish and a side dish or soup. Quick 1 Plate meal kits are just the main dish and it takes only 15-20 minutes to prepare.
サラダ // sarada // Salad
A salad “meal kit” sounds boring (or even unnecessary) but these salad kits are anything but. They’re unconventional yet very very filling (and photogenic, too)!
ごはん麺 // Gohan Men // Rice & Noodles
Meal kits that fill you up with tasty carb-rich dishes like pasta, stir-fry, and noodles.
ヴィーガン // Vi-gan // Vegan
The vegan meal kits fall under the Purple Carrot label, which is originally a vegan meal kit service from the United States.
Chanto Oisix are 3 Day and 5 Day meal boxes based on Japanese cuisine. Whereas Kit Oisix are individually packaged meal kits, a weekly Chanto Oisix delivery includes everything you need to make 1 main dish and 2 side dishes for the next 3 or 5 days.
You can choose between a weekly box for 2 adults or a weekly box for 3 adults. Chanto Oisix prices range from 4,000 yen for a 3 day/2 adult box to 8,600 yen for a 5 day/3 adult box.
You can preview the menu for each Chanto Oisix box, but unfortunately you can’t customize your order (with the exception of adding extra ingredients to your cart).
In a way, it seems like Chanto Oisix is an upgrade of the weekly/bi-weekly produce boxes that are synonymous with Oisix. To me, it’s a smart move because I’d often get random vegetables like gobou and would have absolutely no idea how to cook with it. My guess is Oisix realized that customers are more keen to order produce boxes if they came with recipes!
I ordered my first Chanto Oisix boxes this summer, and I love the concept. However, I’m not a fan of mushrooms so these autumn boxes have been very challenging!
Chanto Oisix or KitOisix — Which One Is Right For Me?
At first glance, Chanto Oisix and KitOisix are the same, but there are two key differences that you should know about.
For starters, Chanto Oisix assumes that you have cooking skills and a kitchen stocked with all the ingredients of Japanese cooking. (Miso paste, soy sauce, mirin, cooking sake, dashi, potato starch, etc.)
KitOisix, on the other hand, provides nearly all the condiments except for the bare minimum (salt, sugar, soy sauce, butter).
Chanto Oisix produce arrives whole, unlike Kit Oisix produce which comes pre-cut and individually wrapped.
I recommend Chanto Oisix for anyone who wants to expand their Japanese cooking repertoire as many of the meals lean more “washoku.” KitOisix, on the other hand, is a great choice if you love a variety of cuisines.
How To Shop on Oisix.com
To create an account on oisix.com, you have the option of linking your current LINE, Rakuten, or Yahoo accounts.
You can choose between weekly or bi-weekly delivery and select your desired delivery date and time. Once your preferences are set, it’s time to select your desired course.
Your preferences can be changed at any time; the cutoff/cancellation date is based on your delivery preferences.
In my case, my Oisix order arrives every Tuesday morning, and if I want to change anything for next week’s delivery, I need to do so by 10 AM on Thursday:
There are 3 main ways to enjoy Oisix. You can sign up for the produce box, KitOisix Meal Kits, or Chanto Oisix Recipe Boxes.
My very first Oisix order was the “starter set” campaign via Rakuten. I got a box of produce, fish, dairy products, and 2 Kit Oisix meals all for 2480 yen. I thought it was an amazing value for the quality and quantity of food items inside.
Now, I prefer a mix of KitOisix Meal Kits, or Chanto Oisix Recipe Boxes, and round out my shopping cart with their wines and dairy products.
Choose from the following weekly/bi-weekly courses:
KitOisix & Chanto Oisix Course
KitOisix & ちゃんとOisixコース // Meal Kit and Recipe Box
Oishii Mono Select Course
おいしいものセレクトコース // Produce Box
Pre-mama & Mama Course // Meals selected with the nutritional needs of pregnant and nursing moms in mind
Tokidoki Vi-gan VeganOisix Course // Vegan Meal Kits and Seasonal Produce Box
Gyunyu toka nomihoudai // Monthly Dairy Course
I should also mention the “Gyunyu toka nomihodai” (牛乳とか飲み放題) monthly subscription service! For 1,280 yen a month, you can choose 3 select dairy products (or bagels/bread, nori/natto/tofu). In addition, you’ll get 20% off all fresh produce anytime you place an order. According to Oisix, more that 70% of its users take advantage of this service (and so do I!).
If you’re interested in giving Oisix a try, please click here to access the invitation page.
Some perks you’ll enjoy:
- 5,000 yen worth of coupons
- FREE shipping on orders over 4,000 yen for the next 6 months
- FREE 1 month subscription to the “Gyunyu toka nomihodai” service.
Grocery Shopping in Japan With Oisix — Final Thoughts
This concludes my very lengthy review of my experience shopping with Oisix! I’ll be following up this review with a post sharing my top picks on Oisix. In the meantime, I’d love to hear about your experience with Oisix or other meal delivery/subscription services in Japan!