Discovering new food experiences can be one of the most exhilarating and exciting parts of international travel. But what if you could bring a taste of the world to your own home? The Sakuraco subscription box claims to do just that–delivering Japanese snacks and treats directly to your doorstep.
I personally am obsessed with all things Japanese. If I could live in Japan, I would! But for now, it’s the USA for me.
Needless to say, I love traveling to Japan. And whenever I travel to Japan, I tend to bring back hoards and hoards of snacks for my family/friends as well as for myself! But what’s a girl to do when there’s no trip to Japan coming up? How does one get her fix for Japanese delights?
In comes something called Sakuraco to save my day, a monthly delivery of authentic, traditional, and artisan Japanese snacks, tea, sweets, and even home goods!
I’ve tried a good amount of Japanese snack subscription boxes out there, and Sakuraco might be one of my new favorites. You’ll see why in this post! We’ll take a close look at Sakuraco and see if it really is worth the money.
In our opinion, it totally IS worth every penny!
*I received courtesy product from Sakuraco in order to do this review. You’ll get nothing but honest thoughts here! All opinions expressed here are my own. This post may also contain affiliate links. You won’t be paying a cent more, but in the event of a sale, the small affiliate commission I receive will help keep this site pumping out more free and useful content.
What Is Sakuraco?
With a subscription to Sakuraco, you’ll receive authentic Japanese snacks, tea, sweets, and home goods on a monthly basis hand selected by in-house experts that represent a seasonal or cultural theme.
With Sakuraco, you’ll get to experience traditional and artisanal flavors from Japan. While Tokyo Treat delivers snacks better suited for the whole family, Sakuraco’s snacks are more gourmet and artisanal.
Every month, you’ll receive 20 authentic Japanese snacks & candy, including Japanese tea, traditional snacks (like mochi, manju, and yokan), Japanese cakes, and even Japanese home goods!
Both Sakuraco and Tokyo Treat deliver worldwide and feature Culture Guides that pair along with the snack boxes.
Cost: Subscriptions start at $32.50 per month, additional savings are from committing to 3-12 months
Ships to: Worldwide; shipping costs extra.
Click here to subscribe.
DEAL ALERT: Use the above link and coupon code ELLE for $5 OFF your first box!
How Does The Sakuraco Subscription Work?
Since Sakuraoco is a monthly subscription box, members can expect a box every single month. While all the plan options deliver boxes on a monthly basis, they do come at different price points. The longer you pre-pay for your subscription, the cheaper each box will be.
- 1 month – USD 37.50 / month (charged every month)
- 3 months – USD 35.50 / month (charged every 3 months)
- 6 months – USD 33.50 / month (charged every 6 months)
- 12 months – USD 32.50 / month (charged every 12 months)
One important thing to note is that shipping is not included in the box price. Depending on what country you’re located in, shipping charges will cost you an additional $10.50 to 12.50 USD per box (at the time of writing).
DEAL ALERT: Use promo code ELLE for $5 OFF your first box!
Who Is Sakuraco Box For?
The Sakuraco box offers a really unique unboxing experience for those who enjoy fine Japanese sweets and even those who generally enjoy Japanese culture.
Unlike other Japanese subscription boxes that bring you modern-day, popular candy and snacks, Sakuraco puts a focus on artisanal delights that are not easily found in stores outside of Japan.
Its inclusion of hard-to-find regional treats makes it a standout choice for those already familiar with Japanese snacks and culture and looking to elevate their snacking experience. Think of it like a gourmet snack subscription box! Just like how there’s fine-dining, Sakuraco almost felt like fine-snacking for me!
For those seeking more fun, pop-culture-inspired Japanese sweets and candy, Sakuraco’s sister box —Tokyo Treat— may be a better option.
However, if you are indeed looking for more “elevated” snacks as well as more traditional Japanese experiences (and have an appreciation for things like Japanese tea ceremonies and the history behind snackmakers in Japan), Sakuraco is a perfect choice.
What Can You Expect Inside Sakuraco?
Every box will contain a total of 20 items, all of which fall under one of these categories:
- Japanese Tea: Matcha, hojicha, and seasonal teas
- Japanese Cakes: Different types of traditional cakes like castella and taiyaki
- Mochi, Manju, & Yokan: Traditional Japanese sweets that are typically only found in Japanese markets
- Seasonal Japanese Treats: Seasonal treats like sakura, momiji, and more
- Sakuraco Exclusives: Exclusive items like senbei and konpeito made by local artisans
- Japanese Home Goods: Ceramics, chopsticks, furoshiki, sake cups, and more
The category that really caught my eye was the Japanese home goods! I’m a sucker for Japanese homeware and the fact that I found a box that mixes some of that in alongside Japanese snacks seems too good to be true.
Sakuraco Box: Pros and Cons
- Beautiful and secure packaging
Comes with a really detailed and engaging information booklet to follow along to while eating snacks
Comes with 20 really interesting snacks; good mix of sweet, savory, and umami
- All snacks are hard-to-find outside of Japan, so you get a sense of exclusivity when trying them!
- 2- 5 day Express Delivery with every box
- Shipping does cost extra
- Not the best for people who have specific dietary restrictions (but all allergen info is included in Snack and Culture Discovery Guide)
- Other subscribers have reported receiving boxes later than anticipated
Sakuraco: My Unboxing And Tasting Experience
The month’s box was called Valentine’s Bliss, very aptly named given that it was February–the month of love!
My box was delivered by DHL in near-perfect condition. The box was wrapped with an outer bubble wrap which protected it from harm while traveling internationally from Japan to the US. Honestly, given the distance this thing had traveled, I was truly impressed by the condition of the box–it was as if I had gone to the local supermarket and picked up a perfect-condition box!
There’s also a tastefully designed and printed booklet explaining the month’s theme and all the snacks contained in the box. From just the cover of the booklet and the design of the box itself, I could tell that the Sakuraco team put a lot of thought and intention into crafting the entire box’s contents. And if the booklet/box is so well thought out, the snacks had to be too, right?
This month’s booklet covers the topic of Valentine’s Day in Japan. In addition to providing descriptions of each snack in the box, the booklet showcases a few temples of love in Osaka, shares a bit of history behind a few of the local artisans responsible for making the products featured in the box, and ends up going more in depth about traveling in Osaka (and all the cool things you could do there).
First off, wow. I loved getting to read about each and every snack I ate, because it truly made the eating process so much more intentional and educational.
Once we got through about 5 snacks, we took a break from the munching to learn more about some of the snackmakers that dated back to the Edo period. They have some incredibly inspiring stories in there that made us appreciate these snacks that much more. We also loved seeing the cultural spotlight on Osaka because it’s one of our favorite cities in Japan that we’ve actually been dying to go back to.
This actually got us really excited for our next box because if we were able to learn so much and get so many new travel ideas about Osaka, additional boxes would definitely introduce us to new regions in Japan that we could travel to in the future!
So after a few days of paced-out snacking, the Japanese snacks that really wowed us were:
My Sweet Valentine Chocolate Strawberries – by Yuuka (Osaka); a quintessential combination loved by those around the world on Valentine’s Day! These bite-sized morsels of strawberry perfection are wrapped in a milk, chocolate outer layer.
These were such a creative snack–freeze-dried strawberries covered in chocolate. Creative and decadently delicious!
Manekineko Senbei – by Senya (Saitama); this was by far the cutest snack in the entire box! I am obsessed with lucky cat everything, and before eating this amazingly umami-flavored rice cracker, I contemplated throwing it into my lucky cat collection so I could stare at it for years to come, ha!
Scenic Osaka Arare – by Fujiya (Osaka); this puffy arare was probably the best arare we’ve ever had in our entire lives. It was so fluffy and bursting with flavor! The only con about this one was that we only received one in the box! Needless to say, we’ve added this to our list of snacks to hunt for during our next trip to Japan. So. Dang. Delicious.
Senshu Onion Sable – by Mukashin (Osaka); this was my partner’s #1 fave. From the looks of the wrapper, this thing looked like nothing special. It ended up being another snack bursting with deep flavor! It was like a shortbread infused with a whole onion! Just as flavorful as Chinese chicken biscuits, but with onion flavor instead.
Red Ginger Squid Bites – by Maruesu (Osaka); we were split on these squid chips. While I LOVED how flavorful and zesty these squid chips were, my partner thought they were a bit too flavorful. I couldn’t get enough of them! Definitely adding to my list of Japanese snacks to hunt for in Japan.
Now for the snacks we didn’t like so much:
Kinako Dumplings – by Osaka Ginsen (Osaka); Kinako is a slightly nutty, delicately sweet, finely ground and roasted, soy bean flour. It is most commonly associated as a topping for mochi. Here it is infused into tricolor dumplings, to lend them their nutty and sweet flavor. While certainly one of the cutest snacks in the box, to us, the texture was a bit too potato-like.
Along with the snacks, there were also a few teas included in the box including Yuzu Kuzu-yu (arrowroot ground up into a powder, perfect for drinking on a winter’s day), and
And last but not least, we received a red soup bowl decorated with a flock of golden plovers (called a chidori pattern). The snack/culture guide taught us that the chidori pattern represents the ability to overcome challenges, which was really cool.
While cute, I think we would have liked it more if it was made of ceramic or something else. We aren’t big fans of plastic homewares, so hopefully, we’ll get something made of glass or ceramic in our next box!
Is Sakuraco Worth The Money?
After having such a fun time unboxing Sakuraco with my partner, we both agreed that Sakuraco is actually worth the money.
Especially if you love all things Japan and just don’t have the opportunity to travel there at the moment. We love how each month brings a whole new experience thanks to the rotating themes. We love how even just through snacks, we’re able to take a peek into the world of Japan through taste, knowledge, and imagination.
Not everything we received in the box was up our tastebuds’ alley, but we already knew that’s what comes with subscription box territory. Having said that, we did love trying each snack featured in the box simply because of our ability to read about the snacks before we tried them. This added SO MUCH to the overall tasting experience!
And honestly, the Cultural Guide really made this box worth it for us. Without it, we would have just seen this box as a “pretty good box of Japanese snacks”. But with the 24-page booklet, a simple box of Japanese snacks literally turned into a tasting adventure filled with boatloads of knowledge and a new appreciation for certain aspects of Japanese culture that we weren’t aware of.
And don’t get me wrong, the snacks were great by themselves, but to be able to learn more about the background of them all was just so enlightening. I’d say to really get your money’s worth, don’t toss the book away and definitely make it the centerpiece of your tasting journey!
Personally speaking, I’d say the box alone is 100% worth it. The only major con about this box is the fact that shipping is not included. And because it comes straight from Japan, the shipping costs are quite a bit higher than I would have liked to see.
If the cost of shipping is deterring you but you’re totally sold on trying out this snack box, I’d recommend trying out the 1-month or even 3-month subscription and seeing if the benefits and the enjoyment of the box outweighs the cost of shipping.
At the end of the day, the cost of Sakuraco (snack box + shipping fee) is still cheaper than their closest competitor, Bokksu.
- Sakuraco Total Cost: $37.50 per box + $10.50 shipping = $48 USD
- Bokksu Total Cost: $49.99 per box + free shipping = $49.99 USD
While I do hesitate to continue the box for just myself (since I’m not really one to spend money on myself), I’d 100% purchase this as a gift for all my friends/family interested in gourmet Japanese snacks!
I will definitely be gifting the 3-month subscription to my significant other as a birthday gift this year though–that way I’ll get to enjoy these delightful snacks while still treating as a ‘gift’ (for my mentality’s sake)!
If you’re still on the fence about Sakuraco, I’d suggest you check out their upcoming boxes page and see if you can take a sneak peek at the upcoming box’s theme. If you’re intrigued, just try it out for 1 to 3 months and see if it scratches that itch for you.
I do hope you love your Sakuraco tasting adventure as much as we did!
About This Box: Tokyo Treat is a monthly subscription box that delivers a unique and hard-to-find selection of Japanese snacks, candy, and other treats straight from Japan–right to your doorstep!
With each box, you can expect a whopping 15-20 full-size Japanese snacks. The boxes typically include a mix of sweet and savory items, such as candy, cookies, chocolate, ramen, rice crackers, chips, mochi, and even Japan-exclusive and seasonal KitKats. Tell me, who doesn’t love Japanese KitKats?
Sakuraco is actually the sister company of Tokyo Treat, one of the most well-known snack subscription boxes straight from Japan. While Tokyo Treat focuses on sending you the latest and greatest in Japanese candy and snacks, Sakuraco aims to showcase more traditional/artisanal snacks (which typically appeal to older folks with finer palates).
If you’re considering getting a Japanese snack box that all members of the family can enjoy (especially the younger ones), I’d say Tokyo Treat is a better option.
Cost: $37.50 USD for the month-to-month plan, but as low as $32.50 USD for longer commitments.
Ships to: Worldwide from Japan; shipping costs extra. Check here for more shipping details.
Click here to subscribe.
DEAL ALERT: Use the above link and coupon code ELLE for $5 OFF your first box!
Read More: Tokyo Treat Review: Could It Be The Best Japanese Snack Subscription Box?
About This Box: Japan Crate is a subscription service that delivers a variety of Japanese snacks and candies to your doorstep each month. They offer several different crate options, including the Original Japan Crate, which includes a mix of sweet and savory snacks; the Doki Doki Crate, which focuses on cute and adorable household items, travel items, and treats; and the Umai Crate, which includes a selection of authentic Japanese noodles and broth.
The Original Japan Crate box is similar to Tokyo Treat in that it features a mix of sweet and savory items, but it also includes a monthly DIY candy kit. Their version of the Culture Guide is the Manga-zine, featuring Japanese translations, fun facts, and more.
Cost: Subscriptions starting at $49.95 per month, additional savings if you commit to 3-12 months
Ships to: Worldwide from the United States, except a few countries; shipping costs extra.
Click here to subscribe.
About This Box: Eat like you’re in Japan with a variety of unique, tasty instant noodles and garnishes each month! Umai Crate is a subscription box all about Japanese instant noodles. Each box includes a selection of popular and unique instant noodle varieties from Japan, as well as a booklet on Japanese culture and noodle recipes.
You can expect 8-10 Japan-exclusive noodles, so if you’re a fan of hard-to-find ramen, this is a great box to opt for! Each box also comes with an exclusive recipe card so you can take your ramen-making to the next level.
Cost: Subscriptions starting at $46 per month, additional savings if you commit to 3-12 months
Ships to: Worldwide from the United States, except to a few countries; shipping is free in USA.
Click here to subscribe.
A monthly subscription to Bokksu will take you on a gourmet journey through Japan. Imagine getting the best goodies from Japan delivered straight to your doorstep, including Hokkaido white chocolate butter cookies and hand-ground matcha from Kyoto. Each box is curated around a cultural theme, with really fun past box themes such as Seasons of Japan, Snowy Hokkaido, Moon Festival, and Fireworks Festival.
Just like Sakuraco, Bokksu works with many Japanese family-owned businesses that dedicated their lives to the art of snack making.
Cost: Starting at $49.95 per month, additional savings if you prepay for 3, 6, or 12 months.
Ships to: Free shipping worldwide from Japan.
Skip a month feature: Yes.
Click here to subscribe.
Looking for more food subscription boxes? You may also like:
Tokyo Treat Review: Could It Be The Best Japanese Snack Subscription Box?
22 Best Snack Subscription Boxes You Must Try This Year
40+ Best Food Subscription Boxes And Gourmet Gift Ideas