Are Sakuraco Boxes Worth It? | Sakuraco Review


Japan is somewhere I’ve wanted to go for years.

Everything about Japanese culture fascinates me, especially the food.

I eat a lot of Japanese food, but have rarely tried Japanese snacks and candy, so when I got the opportunity to try a Sakuraco box filled with Japanese treats, I grabbed it with both hands!

In this post, I’m going to provide an honest review of my Sakuraco box.

sakuraco box
My pretty Sakuraco box


I’m going to reveal everything that was inside, explain how Sakuraco subscription boxes work, and talk about whether I believe they’re worth the money.

I would like to highlight that my Sakuraco box was gifted, and that I’ll be including an affiliate link later in the article in case you decide to buy. If you subscribe to Sakuraco through my link, I’ll earn a small commission, but it won’t cost you any extra!


Are Sakuraco Boxes Worth It? | Sakuraco Review


What is Sakuraco?


Sakuraco is a monthly Japanese subscription box that includes traditional Japanese snacks, teas, and home goods, all produced by local makers

Founded by Ayumi Chikamoto in 2015, the aim of Sakuraco is to share traditional Japanese sweets and afternoon tea culture with the world, while celebrating local artisans.

sakuraco box contents
The contents of my Sakuraco box


Every month there is a different theme, and each box contains a carefully-curated selection of 20 Japanese snacks.

Sakuraco is a sister brand of the popular Japanese snack box, Tokyo Treat (read my review of Tokyo Treat here), but a somewhat more sophisticated version.

You can visit Sakuraco’s website here.


Who are Sakuraco snack boxes for?


The products inside Sakuraco boxes are almost impossible to find outside of Japan, so they’re about as authentic as you can get.

This makes them perfect for anyone who has been to Japan and is craving Japanese snacks, or people like me who have never been but are eager to discover something new!

senbei in a pink packet
One of the Japanese snacks I discovered – senbei


They also make a great gift for the Japanophile in your life, as you can buy individual boxes if you don’t want to commit to a subscription.

I will say that Sakuraco boxes have a much more elegant feel than other Japanese snack subscription boxes, and I got the feeling that they’re designed with adults in mind.

With that being said, they don’t contain anything unsuitable for children!


How it works


What to expect in your box


Every Sakuraco box comes with 20 products, including one tableware product (chopsticks, plates, bowls, etc.).

You will also receive a 24-page Culture Guide that describes each snack, along with its origin and some information about the area. Sometimes, you also get to meet the snack maker, which I found really interesting.


The booklet also details allergen information for each snack, as well as whether the snacks are vegetarian-friendly (most are).

The snacks in the box include traditional Japanese teas such as matcha, sweets (like mochi and manju), and savoury bites like corn puffs and rice cakes.

sakuraco box
Inside my Sakuraco box


Pricing


Sakuraco is a subscription snack box, meaning that as long as your subscription is active, you’ll receive a box each month.

The longer you subscribe for, the less you pay for each box, meaning a 12-month subscription is the best value for money.


It’s worth nothing that Sakuraco do not send you an email when your subscription is about to renew, so if you don’t remember to cancel, you will be automatically charged for the next pay period (if you initially signed up for a 12 month subscription, this will be another 12 months).

I’d recommend setting an alarm in your calendar when your subscription is due to renew, so that you can cancel it if necessary!

Sakuraco prices are as follows:

  • 1 month: $37.50
  • 3 months: $35.50 (a saving of $6)
  • 6 months: $33.50 (a saving of $24)
  • 12 months: $32.50 (a saving of $60)


Shipping


Shipping costs are not included in the price of your Sakuraco box.

This can bring the overall cost up quite significantly, as you can expect to pay between $10.50 – 12.50 for each shipment.

To get Sakuraco shipped to the UK, you’ll pay $12.50 per box.


While this is expensive, the boxes are pretty weighty, and I totally understand that express shipping from Japan is not going to come cheap.

As far as shipping times go, my box arrived in less than 3 days, and I was notified when my parcel left the warehouse in Japan, as well as when it arrived in the UK and was out for delivery.

The courier used by Sakuraco in the UK is DHL Express.

sakuraco box contents
My box was pretty heavy!


My Sakuraco Box


The theme of my Sakuraco box was ‘A Night of Sakura,’ and the first page of the Culture Guide invited me to celebrate Yozakura as I enjoyed my Sakuraco box.

Yozakura is the Japanese tradition of admiring the illuminated sakura (cherry blossom trees) at night, while savouring delicious food and drink, and I was looking forward to tasting some of that yummy food and drink from the comfort of my own home!

Get your box here!

inside my sakuraco box
The branding of my box was so cute!


The first thing I noticed about my Sakuraco box was the attention to detail.

From the delicate sakura design on the outside, to the message printed on the inside of the box that read ‘From our families to yours, let’s enjoy the traditional flavours of Japan together,’ to the postcard with a message from the founder, I could tell that Sakuraco put a lot of effort into their boxes.

postcard from the founder of sakuraco
The postcard from Ayumi Chikamoto was a nice touch


Although Sakuraco boxes are slightly smaller than Tokyo Treat boxes, they are certainly heavier, and are absolutely jam-packed full of goodies.

After I’d emptied my box and wanted to put everything back inside, it was quite a challenge to get the box to close!


The first thing that greeted me was the Culture Guide, which not only included information about the snacks inside my box and where they come from, but it also had mini travel guides for sakura season in Japan.

As a travel blogger, I especially liked the section about celebrating Yozakura in lesser-known parts of Japan!

There was also a section that explained the history behind hanami (cherry blossom viewing), that provided context and made me appreciate the theme of my box so much more.

sakuraco culture guide
The 24-page Culture Guide


Snacks inside my Sakuraco box


Blueberry Hibiscus Tea


I received two bags of blueberry hibiscus green tea.

I’ve yet to try this, but I love anything blueberry flavoured, so I’m really happy about the tea I was given!

I also like that two teabags are included, allowing you to share the Japanese tea tradition with a friend.

blueberry hibiscus teabag
So excited to try this!


Sakura Cream Cookie


I received two of these cookies.

Sandwiched in-between two thinly-baked senbei (a sweet rice cracker) was a dollop of cherry blossom flavoured cream.

The senbei had pretty cherry blossom flowers printed on them, which was a lovely touch, and the Culture Guide provided the history behind their maker, a man who started his confectionary business in 1955!

senbei cream cookie
One of my cream cookies


Sakura Castella


Initially, I thought that this was just a bog-standard sponge cake, but when I read its description in the booklet, I was intrigued.

Sugar-pickled cherry blossom petals are blended into a paste that makes this fluffy cake, and the resulting flavour is a sweet and sour mix that is really unique.

japanese castella
My sakura castella cake


Sakura Houten Tetra


Also in my box were two teeny bags of houten, a traditional Japanese candy made from karinto (crunchy fried dough coated in brown sugar) that has been dipped in sugar syrup.

I received three flavours – matcha, strawberry, and plain sugar – and I really enjoyed these tasty little bites!

They reminded me of Blackpool rock, albeit with an extra crunch in the middle!

houten
Little bags of houten


Shoyu Corn Puffs


As a self-confessed soy sauce addict, I was really excited to see these soy sauce flavoured corn puffs!

While the flavour could have been stronger, they definitely tasted like soy sauce, and the bag was really big – much bigger than the average packet of crisps in the UK!

japanese corn puffs
These soy sauce corn puffs were so good!


Cheese Arare


I received two of these arare, which are bite-sized rice cakes coated in a rich cheesy flavour.

Although I wished they were bigger, these were definitely one of my favourite things from my Sakuraco box (I’m definitely a savoury girlie!).

arare
Bite-sized arare


Sakura Mochi


Mochi are a chewy, sugary rice cake (but the texture is more like jelly than any rice cake I’ve tasted), and I received a large bag full of sakura flavoured mochi.

For my friends and I, these were a bit too much of an acquired taste, which was a shame, as the bag was so big!

japanese mochi
My huge bag of mochi!


Cherry Blossom Yokan


More jelly-like confections inside my Sakuraco box were two cherry blossom yokan, rectangular-shaped blocks with a sweet taste and jellied texture.

Yokan are actually made from red bean paste, and these yokan had been kneaded with handpicked cherry blossom leaves to make them extra special.

Again, these weren’t really to my taste, but I loved how authentic and unique these were.

yokan
Cherry blossom yokan


Sakura Cashew Nuts


I love cashew nuts, and often cook with them, so I was happy to see two small bags of these in my box (three nuts in each).

While I wished the bags contained more nuts, I really enjoyed these, and the sugary sweet sakura flavour combined with the crunch of the nuts was seriously moreish!

cherry blossom cashew nuts
I got two packets of these


Strawberry Butter Senbei


I got two senbei rice crackers coated in a strawberry butter powder.

These were sweet and simple, and I can imagine them making a nice accompaniment to the blueberry hibiscus tea.

senbei
One of my senbei


White Chocolate Strawberries


I loove white chocolate, and these tart frozen strawberries coated in rich white chocolate were delicious.

I received a full bag of these, which I was super happy about.

white chocolate strawberries
Yum!


Strawberry Manju


This fluffy bun stuffed with a bean paste made with strawberry jam and condensed milk was really rich, and quite filling!

My boyfriend wasn’t a fan of the texture of the paste, but I thought this was quite nice, even if the flavour isn’t something I’d normally choose.

strawberry manju
Strawberry manju


Sakura Glass


Every Sakuraco box includes one homeware item, and the item I received in my box was a Sakura glass, which is the result of a collaboration between Ishizuka Glass and Sakuraco, and is exclusive to Sakuraco.

This glass is branded with the Sakuraco logo and adorned with red cherry blossoms, and it’s really pretty.

Ishizuka is a premium glass manufacturer in Japan, and I was impressed by both the quality and design of this glass, which came protected in a cardboard box.

japanese glass decorated with chery blossoms
How cute is this glass?


What I liked about my Sakuraco box


The attention to detail


I loved the overall aesthetic of my Sakuraco box.

The branding and attention to detail was exquisite, and from the colour palette of the booklet to the packaging of the candies, everything was cohesive and in-keeping with the cherry blossom theme of the box.


Supporting local businesses


I love that Sakuraco not only source their snacks from small businesses, but they shine a spotlight on them in the Culture Guide and on their website, telling the stories of the people behind the products.

When you sign up for a Sakuraco subscription, you’re supporting families that have dedicated their entire lives to snack-making.

sakuraco box
Supporting small businesses and eating sweets at the same time – winning!


Discovering new things


I loved being able to try new things that I would never usually be able to buy here in the UK!

While not everything was to my taste, that was all part of the fun of it, and I had such a fun time trying everything with my boyfriend.

japanese snacks
Trying Japanese snacks with my boyfriend. The food in this picture is a mix of Sakuraco and Tokyo Treat boxes


Homeware product


I love that every Sakuraco box contains a lovely piece of homeware.

Most Japanese snack subscription boxes only contain snacks, so when you’ve eaten everything in the box, you’ve nothing to show for it.

With Sakuraco, you have a Japanese gift that you can keep forever, and if you keep your subscription active, you’ll build up a nice collection of authentic Japanese tableware!

a glass decorated with cherry blossoms
A permanent souvenir from my Sakuraco box


What I didn’t like about my Sakuraco box


Repeat items


Many of the snacks in the box came in pairs, meaning that although I got 20 items, only 13 of them were unique.

While this allowed my boyfriend and I to have fun trying things together, it did mean that there weren’t as many things to try overall, and it was also disappointing when we didn’t like something that there were two of.

yokan
I didn’t really like the yokan – too bad there were two of them!


Expensive shipping


While I totally understand that Sakuraco have no control over shipping costs, there’s no denying that express shipping from Japan is expensive, and this really pushes the price of the boxes up.


Sakuraco Snack Box | Final Thoughts


If you or a friend are obsessed with Japan, and you love snacks, you’ll really like the Sakuraco snack box.

While it certainly isn’t cheap, it isn’t any more expensive than other Japanese snack boxes on the market, and I do think that Sakuraco are offering a premium service with high quality products.

If you want to buy your own Sakuraco box, just click here to visit their website!

That’s all for today, but as always, if you have any questions about Sakuraco boxes, just reach out and ask in the comments section below!

Until next time,

XOXO


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