Exploring Authentic Japanese Snacks with Sakuraco (Box Review June 2024)

Team Japanese uses affiliate links. That means that if you purchase something through a link on this site, we may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you).

One thing I really love about Japanese snacks is all the unique flavours.

Anko (red bean paste), kinako (roasted soybean flour), umeboshi (sour pickled plums), ramune soda and more. Most of these tastes are hard to come by in the UK where I live now. Taste is a very powerful sense, so when I do get my hands on some authentic Japanese tastes, I feel transported right back to Japan!

This month our friends at Sakuraco box kindly sent me a sample of their wonderful Japanese snack subscription box!

Sakuraco’s goal is to share authentic Japanese snacks with the world. They specialise in traditional snacks and flavours from small businesses and makers all over Japan. And you can get a monthly box of these goodies shipped to you, anywhere in the world.

Join me for this Sakuraco unboxing and see what is included this month!

Note: Sakuraco sent me a free box for the purposes of this review. All words and opinions are my own.

An open pink box filled with various colorful packaged Japanese snacks, including chips, candies, cookies, and authentic Japanese snacks, sits on a table.

Sakuraco Box June 2024 theme

Each month, Sakuraco has a different theme. The June 2024 theme is ‘Traditions of Tokyo’. The box aims to celebrate the traditional side of Tokyo. As a result, the box includes a number of products from old Tokyo-based businesses, as well as snacks linked to celebrations and landmarks of the city.

Each box comes with a gorgeous little booklet explaining the monthly theme and giving some cultural background. This month’s booklet shares information about Tokyo landmarks such as the Imperial Palace and Asakusa district, as well as cultural arts such as kabuki and sumo.

Of course, the booklet also provides information about the contents of your box, including potential allergens.

Sakuraco Box June 2024 contents

Opening the Sakuraco box is always such as treat! The contents are beautifully presented and packed, with a postcard message from the founder Ayumi Chikamoto on top.

With everything so nicely presented, I almost didn’t want to unpack the box! Luckily, I was unboxing with my 5 year old so he did me a favour and immediately tipped everything out all over the table.

My son went immediately for the cute and colourful Hanatsumi Gummies. These adorable, brightly coloured cubes and meant to represent the hues of hydrangea season in Japan. (Hydrangeas are a popular flower in Japan and everyone loves seeing them bloom during the rainy season.)

The gummies were very soft, and each colour had a unique and delicate flavour, including fruit flavours and the Japanese soda ramune – a unique taste of Japanese summer!

A magazine page showcasing Hanatsumi gummies on a plate next to a bowl brimming with colorful treats and an opened package of the same product. Text reads "Authentic Japanese Snacks, Hanatsumi gummies.

Next, we decided to try something savoury and picked out the Hineri Arare. Arare are crunchy Japanese snacks, usually made from rice flour. These crackers were very light and slightly salty but with a mild flavour, so my usually fussy son ate them right up. We also enjoyed the cool Japanese packaging of these snacks with the samurai design!

A package of Authentic Japanese Snacks hineri arare is on the left, with some of the snacks served in a small black dish on the right. The text reads “Authentic Japanese snacks hineri arare.”

Continuing the savoury theme, we sampled the Cheese and Pepper Otsumami. This was a mix of cheesy flavoured puffed rice snacks with fried peanuts. I liked the combination of textures, although the cheese flavour was quite strong and not my favourite.

A dark ceramic dish contains small, assorted Japanese snacks with cheese and pepper flavor. The opened snack package is positioned to the left of the dish. Text reads: "Authentic Japanese Snacks cheese & pepper otsumami.

On to the Vegetable Karinto! These are a featured snack this month as they are made right in Tokyo by a company that honours traditional craftsmanship. They are made from deep-fried dough flavoured with sweet potato, pumpkin, spinach, carrot and onion. Each colour had a distinct taste. They were a mix of sweet and salty. The mild, slightly sweet vegetable taste is something I find to be typically Japanese.

An open brochure and a green packet of vegetable karinto are displayed on a beige surface. Some karinto snacks rest in a black bowl, and the text reads "Authentic Japanese Snacks, vegetable karinto.

Here’s another authentic Tokyo snack: Edo Matsuri Ningyo-yaki. Edo is the old name for Tokyo and matsuri means festival. Ningyo-yaki means ‘baked dolls’ – how cute is that? So these treats are shaped like dolls and traditionally made for the Edo festival.

They are made from sponge cake and filled with adzuki red bean paste or custard. They are similar to other Japanese festival food you may be familiar with, taiyaki and dorayaki. We loved the cute shapes and authentic Japanese flavours that are not too sweet.

Two Edo matsuri ningyo-yaki cakes on a ceramic plate in front of an open booklet showcasing details about these authentic Japanese snacks. A "TeamJapanese.com" watermark is visible at the bottom right.

Here’s another sweet treat – Hydrangea Amber Sugar. These are another speciality of the hydrangea season. They come in pretty shades of blue and are delicately flavoured with apple. They are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Very easy to eat!

A bowl resembling a fish contains translucent blue and gray cube-shaped treats, labeled as "Authentic Japanese Snacks: hydrangea amber sugar." The background is a textured fabric. "TeamJapanese.com" is noted.

We both loved this Milk Tea Waffle. It combines two European influences – Belgian waffles and English milk tea – to come up with a product that somehow seems very Japanese! It really does taste like sweetened black tea. A recurring theme of these snacks is that they are not overly sweet, so you can eat a lot without them getting cloying.

A small, round waffle on a glossy, square black plate with text "Authentic Japanese Snacks" and "milk tea waffle" above. The plate rests on a textured, light-colored surface.

Okay, now I want to share my absolute favourite item in this month’s box – the Mizu Warabimochi. The pictures do not do it justice. This is a perfectly clear round warabimochi jelly, which looks just like a pure drop of water. Warabi mochi is traditionally made from bracken starch, instead of rice flour like normal mochi. This gives it a softer and less chewy texture.

The mochi here had a jelly-like texture and no particular flavour on its own, but it comes with two packets of molasses syrup and roasted soybean flour so you can flavour it to your taste! The soybean flour in particular is such a unique Japanese taste and it really took me back to living in Japan!

This was just such a unique treat that was so much fun to eat and was a very fun experience. 5/5 for the warabimochi!

A plate featuring mizu warabimochi, a Japanese dessert, with a circular clear mochi piece and a small portion of kinako powder, displayed on a printed ceramic dish. Text reads "Authentic Japanese Snacks."

Also in the above picture, you can see the beautiful plate that came in this month’s box. My favourite feature of the Sakuraco box is that you get an item of quality Japanese homeware each month. It is so nice to have something to keep well after all the snacks have been eaten, and over time you can build up a wonderful and unique collection.

Previously I have received chopsticks, tea cups and a furoshiki cloth. This month it was a cute plate designed exclusively for Sakuraco featuring Tokyo motifs and landmarks such as Tokyo Tower, the Skytree, a sumo wrestler and more!

A hand holds a plate with a blueberry tartlet. Next to it are an authentic Japanese snack wrapped in purple and an opened booklet showing a pink plate with the same tartlet, along with text about "Authentic Japanese snacks.

Another thing that every Sakuraco box has in common is tea! After all, snacks and tea go hand in hand in Japan!

This month there are two sachets of Kuromame tea bags. This is a caffeine-free tea made from roasted black soybeans. Well, I can’t say it’s my favourite tea but it’s certainly an authentic Japanese flavour and I was glad to get the chance to try it! Again, I love the packaging design.

A cup of kuromame (black soybean) tea sits next to its packaged teabag on a tablecloth. Text reads, "Authentic Japanese Snacks, kuromame (black soybean) tea.

How to get a Sakuraco Japanese snack box

Tempted to try the authentic flavours of Tokyo in this month’s Sakuraco box? You will get everything mentioned in this article (and more – there was too much to include!) if you order by 15th June 2024. After that, you will get the next month’s box.

Order on the Sakuraco website here.

Sakuraco ship to pretty much every country in the world.

You can order a single box for $37.50, or a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription. With a 12 month subscription the price drops to just $32.50 per box!

Also, you can save $5 off every box with our special discount code TEAMJAPANESE (enter at checkout). That’s off every box in your order – so if you sign up for a 12 box subscription, you will save $60 over the year!

Sakuraco box

A unique subscription box for lovers of traditional Japan. Each box contains up to 20 items, including artisanal Japanese snacks, tea bags and homeware pieces to keep. Sakuraco carefully sources items from small family businesses and traditional makers.

Buy now My review
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no extra cost to you.

One warning: although the booklet lists common allergens (and also whether the snacks are vegetarian or not), you don’t get a full list of ingredients in English. So if you have food sensitivities, it might not be for you.

Sakuraco boxes make a wonderful present for anyone interested in Japan, or simply anyone who loves food and trying new flavours!

Sakuraco have a sister company, Tokyo Treat, who specialise more in popular and trendy snacks. Check them out here!

Have you tried a Sakuraco box? I’d love to know your thoughts!

Related posts

Want to learn Japanese?

JapanesePod101 is our top recommendation to learn Japanese online. We love the fun, current audio lessons and interactive online tools. Sign up for your free lifetime account and see for yourself!

Join for free!
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no extra cost to you.
An open Sakuraco Traditional Japanese Snack Box with an assortment of authentic Japanese snacks inside, including a booklet. The text "UNBOXING" is highlighted on the image.

A woman in a pink kimono holding a red parasol

Rebecca Shiraishi-Miles

Rebecca is the founder of Team Japanese. She spent two years teaching English in Ehime, Japan. Now back in the UK, she spends her time blogging, self-studying Japanese and wrangling a very genki toddler.

Leave a Comment

I accept the Privacy Policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.