Everyone likes getting goodies and I’m no exception to that. Especially when it comes to Japan related stuff, if you just tell me where to find them, I’ll be dashing over there in no time to get as much of those treasures as I can!
I’ve done a Review on the Sakuraco box before and talked about how much I enjoyed the treats, tea, and the home good item that I received.
But that was over a year ago and a lot of things have happened since then. Are they still as good as I remember them, or have they possibly gotten even better?
Let’s open up this box and find out!
Thank You Card and Booklet
The first things I’m greeted by as I lift up the lid of the box are the thank you card and the booklet contained within.
I always like to take a look at the thank you card first, since it contains a heartful message from the founder, Ayumi Chikamoto, and she talks about the theme of the box.
The theme this month is “Taste of Japan” and Ayumi-san talks about her life and journeys through Japan.
This box full of treats is meant to share her experience with everyone and give them a glimpse of Japan through the treats, teas, and the stories shared from the booklet.
Something that I especially love is the woodblock print of the Sakuraco card. It gives me a sense of the adventure I’m about to embark on and it is very pleasing to gaze upon.
This is something that I will keep and I haven’t quite decided if I will place it on my wall, use it as a bookmark for whatever Japanese book I find myself reading, or repurpose it for something else.
The booklet is great and contains 24 beautifully illustrated pages that contain information on all of the snacks found in each box as well as much more.
For example, information and history on some of the treat’s makers are contained within. It talks about Takahashi Shokuhin’s Mayonnaise Arare and Tengudo Takarabune’s Kuromitsu Kinako Mochi.
I love this as learning about the makers and their unique stories gives me the feeling of visiting the place, touring where they make it, and then tasting it for myself.
The booklet also has a prefecture spotlight on the Kansai region, a section that teaches about Japan’s Festival of Dolls (Hina Matsuri), and it explores the evolution of yokan which is a sweet jelly first introduced in the 12th century.
Taking my earlier example a step further, by reading all of the highlights in the booklet and then tying them to the specific treats from the box, I felt like I was on a tour of Japan stopping here and there while enjoying myself along the journey.
The booklet is an essential part of the Japanese snack box experience. First of all, it tells you what is in each treat so you don’t have to try to translate the printed Japanese on the packaging!
Furthermore, I always feel like I have a stronger connection with the tea and snacks since I can learn more about their history and any cultural significance that they hold to the people of Japan.
One final thing to note on the booklet that I found interesting was that it reads from right to left, very much in the style of Japanese reading!
Snacks and Tea
After having gone through the booklet and checking out each snack, it’s time to dig into them and actually experience what they all taste like!
From just a numbers perspective, here is what was contained within the box I received:
- 17 snacks
- 2 tea bags
- 1 souvenir (discussed below)
I won’t go over every single item, since that will probably make you super hungry and super jealous 😉
But let me share with you my top three favorites snacks from this month’s box and what I thought of them.
I’m saving the tea for a rainy day as we get close to entering the spring-time weather.
There’s nothing better than relaxing at home, enjoying the warmth of a good tea while listing to and watching the rain outside.
A picture of all Sakura snacks contained in this month’s box
Sakuraco Snack #1: Edomae Sushi Candy
Something that has to be said about Japanese candy in general is that it is so much fun!
I mean, just think about this one: it is a sushi-shaped piece of sweet candy!
This one was similar to a hard candy where you are meant to suck on and enjoy the flavor over an extended period of time.
I feel like getting to enjoy the artwork that goes into these treats is almost as enjoyable as eating them… almost!
Sakuraco Snack #2: Salted Caramel Nut Sable
I am addicted to caramel, so it’s no surprise that I absolutely loved this one!
Mmm, the feeling of the crunch in my mouth, the smooth caramel, the moderate saltiness of the Okinawan salt… It was so good!
It was the perfect thing to munch on in the early afternoon while a waiting for the time to pass and get closer to dinner. It was a nice light snack that satisfied my sweet tooth.
Also something that I really love about this whole experience is reading about the snack right before enjoying it. In this case, I learned a little more about Okinawa and imagined I was there as I bit into the delicious sable.
By the way, a “Sablé” is a French round shortbread cookie. I had to look it up since even I didn’t know!
Sakuraco Snack #3: Mini Millet Okoshi
Finally, the mini millet okoshi was a light treat that tasted great and gave me a glimpse into the taste of the Kansai region.
Something else that I really enjoy about Japanese snacks, beside the tasty flavors, is that they are often times a light treat that can be eaten after lunch or dinner as a sort of dessert.
This one in particular came with two millets so I’ve still got one left over to enjoy later! 🙂
Overall Thoughts on the Treats
I have to be honest, I really enjoyed all of the treats I ate from the Sakuraco box this month!
Since Japanese treats and sweets come from all over the country and cover a wide variety of flavors, there are times when I get one that isn’t really what I’m into.
They are very distinct from American snacks in two ways.
The first, is that often times they are a lot less surgery, which is something that I think it good but I can see how people used to a lot of sugar in their candy might be taken aback by the initial difference.
The second thing is the variety of flavors. Japanese snacks have plum flavors, fish flavors, onion flavors, and much more.
This give it all a really unique taste and experience. Something that is hard (perhaps impossible) to find in America where I live.
Lucky for me, I enjoyed all the snacks in this month’s box!
And it was all tied into this month’s theme, Taste of Japan.
With this Sakuraco box, I felt like I was traveling the land, stopping in at select towns and locations to sample their delicacies and partake in their customs, only to one day return home and tell tales of the wonders and splendor of Japan.
These types of Japanese snack boxes aren’t just treats in my opinion, they are an experience that I love to have each and every time I open them up and “visit” Japan.
A Souvenir from Sakuraco
Alright, let’s talk about the home good item that Sakuraco provides, which I affectionately call my souvenir.
Each month Sakuraco includes one home good that you get to keep and enjoy long after all the snacks have disappeared.
It’s something that I’ve only ever seen them do out of the several different types of snack boxes that I’ve had the pleasure of trying.
The item you get could be chopsticks, ceramics, cups, bowls, or something like the gift I received this month: a Kanji Side Dish!
While reading the booklet, I learned that there are three unique styles of dishes that you can get from this month’s box:
- a fuku character, meaning fortune
- a kotobuki character, meaning longevity
- a mizuhiki symbol, representing togetherness
As you may have noticed from the picture listed above, I personally received the fuku character, which is great because that means I’m going to have a very fortunate year this year!
At least, I hope so 😉
As I slowly but surely build up my collection of these types of Japanese home goods, I not only enjoy using them myself, but also sharing them with friends and family that come to visit me.
Everyone I’ve shown them to so far has thought they were great, and it makes for an interesting conversation topic.
I love the many snacks provided by Sakuraco, and those treats and tea are definitely the main reason for getting a box, but I have to admit that I feel like I’m getting just a little something extra with that home good item.
Join the Sakuraco Community
Something else worth mentioning is the global community that you can become a part of by joining the Sakuraco family.
Here you can record your streaks by claiming each monthly box that you’ve received which can then lead to rewards.
You can chat with others who have tried Sakuraco, share your experience with them and learn about the things that they have done and enjoyed.
There is also a monthly photo contest that is super fun to be a part of!
The fun part is setting up the right atmosphere, getting dressed however you feel like (Japanese clothes, cosplay, just something comfortable, etc.) and then taking the photo of you with your box.
Share it on social media with the appropriate tags and you could be one of the lucky ones to earn a prize or even be featured in the next month’s booklet!
It’s always fun to have a great experience with like minded people who are as passionate about something as you are, and this is a great way to connect with others and share something special.
Final Thoughts and Where to Learn More
As you can probably tell from this review, I have really enjoyed this month’s box!
Earlier I made a comment about checking in with Sakuraco to see if they still “had it” so to speak.
Well, I am happy to report that they still got it!
And I think that they are getting better and better all the time.
I think anyone who loves Japan and Japanese culture like I do will really like and have fun with picking up one of these fun boxed.
Each month brings a different theme, with different goodies, and a slightly different experience.
You could grab one at any time of the year. This is one of those cases where there really is no wrong answer.
I always feel so much more immersed in the Japanese culture after experiencing one of these boxes.
Since I don’t live in Japan, the connection it brings is especially meaningful to me.
Maybe it’s the little things like the booklet reading from right to left, Japanese style.
Or the short history lessons that share what the people of Japan have gone through to bring their creations to life and provide them to the people of the world.
Sakuraco has given me tea and treats to enjoy now, while also providing me with gifts that I will keep with me for many years to come.
And as the days go by and my use my Kanji Side Dish while enjoying dinner, or the thank you note with the woodblock print as a bookmark, I will be reminded of my enjoyment with Sakuraco and piece of Japan they brought to my door.
I had a blast with it and I feel that anyone who likes Japanese stuff will too.
Check them out at sakura.co to learn more about them and their wonderful monthly boxes.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them in the section down below.
Or if you’ve tried out Sakuraco before and would like to share you experience, then please do so and let us all know about it.
Further Resources for Learning Japanese:
#3 Get My eBook (Secrets to Learning Japanese) for Free