Calling all foodies who love Japan! I have the perfect item for your Christmas wish list – it’s the Sakuraco snack box. 😋
The Sakuraco box is a box of traditional Japanese snacks and treats. The focus is on traditional, authentic products from small businesses and local makers. Each monthly box has a different theme, highlighting a particular region of Japan or a cultural festival.
The boxes will appeal to anyone who is interested in traditional Japanese foods and culture.
You can order an individual box, or subscribe for a monthly treat. They also offer gift options. And they ship from Japan all over the world!
If you’re looking for a last minute Christmas gift for someone who loves Japan, you could do worse than a Sakuraco box!
The December box is available to order until the 15th. Let’s have a look inside.
Disclosure: Sakuraco sent me a free box to review. This post contains affiliate links. Words, opinions and pictures are my own.
What’s inside the Sakuraco December 2022 box
The Sakuraco box is always a treat to receive. It arrives packaged in a beautiful and sturdy cherry blossom-covered box, which is great to keep and store things in afterwards!
Each box contains 20 items, including Japanese tea bags and an item for the home, as well a variety of sweets, crackers and other snacks.
On top of the box is a postcard with a message from the company’s founder, and a booklet telling you what’s inside.
This month’s theme is ‘Tochigi Traditions’. Tochigi is a prefecture north of Tokyo and home to the historical town of Nikko. As you would expect, this box features many regional delicacies and supports many long-running local businesses.
Here’s the full list of what’s in the Sakuraco box this month:
- Furoshiki wrapping cloth
- Aged sencha teabags
- Bekko ame sweets
- Wasabi mayonaise peanuts
- Tochigi lemon yokan
- Anko donuts
- Uni rice cracker
- Nikko jingoro senbei
- Strawberry tiramisu biscuit
- Amaou strawberry almonds
- Plum renkon chips
- Yuba chips
- Chestnut manju
- Black sesame mochi
- Chili arare with peanuts
- Strawberry and yoghurt piccolo dolce
As always, the Sakuraco box contains lots of uniquely Japanese items, such as yuba (a Tochigi delicacy made from boiled soy milk) and renkon (lotus root) chips. It’s great for adventurous foodies who want to try items not commonly available outside Japan.
I learned from this month’s box that Tochigi is famous in Japan for its strawberries, and has even earned itself the nickname ‘Strawberry Kingdom’! So this box contained lots of sweet strawberry surprises, including a strawberry tiramisu biscuit, strawberry coated almonds, and strawberry and yoghurt dessert pots.
Also pictured above: ume (plum) renkon chips. This was one of my favourite items in this box! Uniquely Japanese and deliciously moreish, these are made from slices of dried lotus roots coated in sour plum flavouring.
My other favourite items were these adorable mini donuts, filled with anko (red bean paste) and dusted with sugar. These are the signature product of Motohashi Confectionery, a Tochigi-based business.
And how cute are these Bekko Ame candies?! They come in the shapes of traditional symbols of Japan: Mt Fuji, a sumo wrestler, a maneki neko cat, a daruma doll and a cherry blossom flower. These are also made by a Tochigi business and apparently they have been sold for centuries!
One thing that sets Sakuraco apart from other Japanese snack boxes is that each box contains an item of homeware, such as a ceramic item or a pair of chopsticks. This means you have something to keep from your box long after you’ve devoured the snacks, and over time, subscribers will build up an awesome collection of authentic Japanese home goods!
This month’s box includes a furoshiki cloth, used in Japan to wrap gifts and bento boxes. The accompanying booklet has instructions on how to use it.
Sakuraco pricing and shipping
A one-off Sakuraco box costs $37.50, excluding delivery. You can also order a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription. The subscription plans work out cheaper per box, with a 12 month plan costing just $32.50 per box, but you do have to pay for the full plan in advance.
The boxes ship from Japan to most countries in the world. Fees and times vary – see detailed shipping information here. It only took 3 days for my box to arrive to the UK, so you still have time to order before Christmas!
Sakuraco have kindly given me a coupon code just for my readers: use coupon code TEAMJAPANESE for $5 off!
Sakuraco vs TokyoTreat
I was also lucky enough to review the TokyoTreat box this month. Sakuraco and TokyoTreat are sister companies, so the basic idea and service are very similar. The main difference is that Sakuraco is focused on traditional Japanese food and culture, and TokyoTreat reflects modern/popular Japanese culture.
I noticed that the Sakuraco snacks includes many unique Japanese flavours and ingredients, such as wasabi, uni (sea urchin), ume (pickled plum) and renkon (lotus root). All the snacks in TokyoTreat are of course authentically Japanese, but they tend to have more familiar or accessible flavours for Western palates.
Because of this, TokyoTreat might be a more attractive option if you are buying for people who are not so familiar with Japanese ingredients, or a family with young children. My three year old dived straight into the TokyoTreat box, but he kindly left the Sakuraco box for me to enjoy!
The other main difference is that the Sakuraco box always includes an item of homeware such as a furoshiki cloth or a pair of chopsticks, whereas the TokyoTreat box is snacks (and a drink) only.
Here’s a summary of the main differences:
|Traditional culture and foods||Modern/popular culture and foods|
|Items sourced from small local makers||Big, well-known brands|
|Traditional Japanese ingredients and flavours, unusual outside Japan||Flavours and foods may be more recognisable outside Japan|
|Includes tea bags||Includes a bottle/can of soft drink|
|Includes an item of homeware||Only edible items|
My coupon code TEAMJAPANESE will get you a $5 discount on both sites!
A Sakuraco box is a lovely experience, from opening the box to enjoying each carefully-selected treat. I particularly like how you learn about a different region of Japan with each box, and that you get an item for your home to keep!
A Sakuraco box or subscription would make an awesome Christmas gift for anyone who loves Japan, especially if they are into traditional Japanese culture, and of course, food!
You can order a Sakuraco box here. Don’t forget to use coupon code TEAMJAPANESE at checkout for $5 off.
You might also be interested in these posts:
- 21 Awesome Gift Ideas for Japan Lovers
- TokyoTreat Japanese Snack Unboxing! [Christmas Box 2022]
- 11 Awesome Japanese Subscription Boxes to Bring Japan to You
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.