During my first year in Japan, I tried to find a vegetable box service. I had wanted to start one while I was still living in the States, but for a few different reasons it didn't happen. So, along with my search for a farmer's market in Japan, I looked for a place I could order a veggie box from, though this proved to be difficult.
I used Warabe Mura (mentioned below) for a while, as they had a way to order in English, and I liked their service, although there were always a few things in the box I couldn't eat (such as tomatoes - I'm allergic), so it would have been nice to customize the box.
We had been meaning to start getting a veggie box again but didn't get around to it until after 3/11 when we became concerned about harmful radiation levels in the food we were buying (as I was pregnant at the time). We live in Shizuoka, but most of the produce here, aside from locally-grown stuff, usually comes from Hokkaido and the Tohoku region. We buy local as much as possible anyway, but I was also just wanting the convenience of a weekly box, especially with a baby on the way. After some research, we decided to go with Oisix (more about why below).
So, if you're pregnant or have a little one at home, or maybe you're sick or injured and can't get to the store easily or at all, you might want to try a vegetable box or food delivery service.
Costs and Specifics
The details for each of these varies to some extent. Some require a registration and/or membership fee; some offer a free or discounted trial for one or more weeks; some offer pay-on-delivery, others bill each month and you pay at a convenience store or bank, some take credit cards, and some will do automatic withdrawal from your bank account. Some companies and organizations offer free and/or discounted delivery to pregnant women and mothers with young infants. Most of these also require signing up (i.e. filling out a form on their site).
Price per box depends on how many items are included in each box. A small box for a single person with only a 3-6 items or so may, for example, cost around 1500 yen, or a large box with 10-12 items (including eggs) may cost 3500-4000 yen or more. We pay on average around 3500-4500 yen for our weekly box (maybe 10 items or so) from Oisix, which includes things like butter and yogurt on top of fruit and vegetables. The standard box from Oisix is around 6000 yen, but we change everything out for stuff from the "baby and kids" section (more on that below). We've found that this has actually helped us cut down on grocery expenses in general, even though we still go to the store for other things throughout the week.
Considering that many delivery companies offer organic produce and free-range meats, chicken, eggs, etc., the price can be higher for these items than what you might typically find at the store (although you can certainly find these items in many local stores or at nearby farmer's markets as well). I think the convenience and health factor outweigh the price, although it really depends on your personal preference.
Shipping costs vary depending on your location (of course), but it's pretty cheap, and many offer free delivery over a certain amount or for certain items.
Online Food Delivery and Vegetable Box Companies in Japan
All links are Japanese unless noted otherwise.
Oisix (おいしっくす) - Carries (organic) produce, dry goods, meats, eggs, fish/seafood, dairy and more. Has a "baby and kids" section for radiation-free items. Can sign up for weekly vegetable box (size customizable) and can also modify contents (as long as you do it by the deadline each week). Oisix is one of the most popular food delivery services in Japan. Delivers all over Japan.
Radish Boya (らでぃっしゅぼーや) - They deliver a weekly set vegetable box with options for fruit and eggs, offered in different sizes depending on how many people you are buying for, and a catalog of various other items to add if desired. Delivers all over Japan, and certain areas are delivered via their own courier service.
Radish Lawson Supermarket - I just discovered this site today: a combined online store of Radish Boya and Lawson selling the same stuff as Radish Boya and even more dry goods and personal care products, courtesy of Lawson. AND, you can shop entirely in English (although the English is a little strange at times; "naughty carrots" anyone?). Link is English.
Warabe Mura - English site (well, catalog). They offer a set vegetable box in addition to other health food items, similar to Tengu Natural Foods.
Daichi wo Mamoru kai (大地を守る会) - Sell (organic) produce, dry goods, meats, eggs, fish/seafood, dairy, among other things. Has a radiation-free kids' vegetable box (and regular boxes as well). Delivers all over Japan.
Pal System Co-op (パルシステム) - After signing up, each week you choose items from a catalog (organic produce, meats, fish, dairy, some dry goods, and meals) and they deliver. Can place order online as well. Only for the Kanto region and Shizuoka, Yamanashi, Fukushima.
Co-op Net (コープネット) - Related to the store of a similar name in the Kanto region and Shizuoka and Yamanashi. Produce, meat, fish, dairy, dry goods, meals, among other items. Shop for what you want online and a box is delivered once a week. Ouchi Co-op, for Kanagawa, Shizuoka and Yamanashi, can be found here. Co-op deli, for the rest of Kanto, can be found here.
Co-op Kobe (コープこうべ ) - For those of you in the Kansai area, another co-op that offers weekly delivery of produce, meats, meals, fish/seafood, dairy, etc. They deliver to all of Hyogo, Osaka and Kyoto cities and a few other cities in the general area.
For a few more food home delivery services in addition to the ones above, check out this link (Japanese).
Do you use a home food delivery service or get a weekly veggie box? What company or organization do you use? Have any other suggestions you think should be on this list?
For those of you wanting to sign up for a veggie box delivery with a Japanese site, check out this tutorial for how to sign up for a veggie box with Oisix.