I am the type of person to consider giving a Japanese snack box as a gift so it's a little strange to be on the other end of receiving not one but TWO boxes from Sakuraco and TokyoTreats to try. While both are filled with Japanese snacks, the branding and snack contents are made for slightly different audiences. Both boxes are the same price points for all subscription levels and guarantee the delivery of authentic Japanese for your friends and loved ones. Join me in my discovery of both boxes this holiday season to see what's inside.
Sakuraco (starting at $32.50 USD/mo for 12 months) specializes in a refined snack experience. This month's theme was "Holidays in Hokkaido". We're talking rice crackers, yuzu infusions, and straight up Japanese chinaware. This box would be ideal for somebody who loves savoury snacks or enjoys a Japanese tea with their Japanese snacks. In my box, I received the following:
- Milk Mochi
- Matcha Genmaicha Tea
- Milk and Chocolate Sand (Cookie)
- Hokkaido Adzuki Cake
- Indigo Yuzen Dish
- Hakodate Squid Senbei
- Fried Corn Snack
- Yuzu Kaki no Tane
- Camembert Cheese Arare
- Okinawan Sal Daifuku
- White Chocolate Fruit: Strawberry
- Wasabi Pistachios
- Muscat Fruit Jelly
- Hokkaido Butter Cookie
Out of the snacks above, I most enjoyed the Hokkaido Adzuki Cake which to my delight was flaky and creamy despite being shipped all the way from Japan.
I was most surprised by the Camembert Cheese Arare. These chips tasted like the Japanese version of a Ritz crackers and I desperately need more because I can't find them anywhere else in Canada.
If snacks had an aesthetic value, I would place the Hakodate Squid Senbei at the top. Squid-shaped and squid-flavoured all in one package was the cutest squid to munch on.
Next I opened the TokyoTreat (starting at $32.50/mo USD for 12 months) box and this month's theme was "Snacktacular Christmas". We're talking Christmas Kokutou donuts, Christmas gummies, and other sweet treats. This box would be ideal for somebody who loves festive snacks, sweet surprises, or wild variations of their favourite KitKat sticks. In my box, I received the following:
- KitKat Strawberry Chocolate Cake
- Christmas Kokutou Donut
- Christmas Cake Gummies
- Christmas Crunch Mix
- Premium Ghana Chocolate Caramel
- Christmas Pizza Corn Snacks
- Pure Potato Truffle & Rock Salt
- Calpis Soda
- Snow Sugar Karinto
- Snowball Marshmallow
- Streamer Marshmallow Stick
- Spicy Kitakata Ramen
- Don Don Yaki Tonkatsu Sauce Crackers
- Chocolate Candy Cane
- Sour Cream Potato Crackers
Out of the snacks above, I most enjoyed the Pure Potato Truffle & Rock Salt chips. These were wonderfully thick-cut chips that didn't overload on the grease. I wish more North American brands could take note for their thick or wedge-cut chips.
I was most surprised by the Christmas Cake Gummies. Generally, surgary jellies in North America are very sweet and I have to be careful how much I eat because the sheer amount leaves a sticky residue on my teeth. These gummies still had all the gelatin but a more tolerable amount of sweetness. Perhaps that is because the TokyoTreat curators know I'm not going to stop eating after a single gummy.
Both TokyoTreat and Sakuraco boxes can be had for as low as $32.50/month, but if you're not ready for that kind of commitment, 6, 3, and 1-month options are also available. For gifts, I like to give the 3-month subscription because you get to see how the snacks rotate through the seasons and your recipient gets to reminded of your great gift-giving skills 3 different times.
Compared to other subscription boxes I've tried, both TokyoTreat and Sakuraco go an extra mile by providing a little booklet describing the goods inside and share holiday or seasonal travel guides based on the theme of the month. There might be 2-4 fewer overall snacks inside but I also appreciate the price point being lower than competitors. It's a fair tradeoff and I think you get 99% of the joy.
One-liner: Sakuraco and TokyoTreat offer different vibes of subscription boxes filled with a variety of treats and Japanese lore for you to eat your way through every Japanese season
Highlight: Sakuraco snacks
Price per box: Starting from $32.50 USD a month for 12 months
To order your own Sakuraco or TokyoTreat box, head on over to the links below: