Maybe you’ve always wanted to visit Japan, or you’ve recently been and find yourself reminiscing about the incredible food you had.
That’s where Sakuraco comes in. Every month, a box of curated Japanese snacks are delivered to your door, allowing you to experience Japanese culture without leaving the front door.
Is Sakuraco a great Japanese experience, or does it fail to inspire? Let me share my experiences in this Sakuraco review.
Sakuraco Subscription Box Review
Sakuraco - Review Summary
Sakuraco delivers on the promise of a beautifully curated monthly Japanese cultural experience. You’ll find a box packed full of interesting foods, plus a homeware item, all with interesting backstory in a fascinating ‘snack guide’. Shipped all the way from Japan, this is as genuine as they come, albeit at quite a steep price.
Ordering - Website - 9/10
Products - Quality & Experience - 10/10
Ordering - Delivery - 8/10
Value For Money - 9/10
- 14+ different snacks/items in each box.
- Local delicacies themed around an interesting part of Japan.
- Interesting and thoughtful stories in a ‘snack guide’.
- Around $75 AUD per box (including shipping costs). Website prices are in USD.
Sakuraco’s offering was born from launching their first brand, TokyoTreat, in 2015. That box allowed founder Ayumi Chikamoto to send discovery boxes of Japanese sweets all over the world.
Launched in 2021, Sakuraco is the grown up, more cultural version of TokyoTreat. There’s a clear mission to share authentic Japanese culture around the world, expanding from sweets into more savoury snacks, teas, and home goods.
Since delivery is available globally, Sakuraco is available to anyone living in Australia.
We got ourselves a Sakuraco box to see if they really do deliver on an authentic Japanese cultural experience.
Who are Sakuraco?
Sakuraco is actually part of a group including the aforementioned TokyoTreat as well as:
- YumeTwins (monthly Japanese plushies!)
- NoMakeNoLife (monthly beauty box)
- Japanhaul (international shipping of Japanese products)
- TokyoCatch (play arcade ‘crane’ games online to win prizes)
All of these have been started by Ayumi Chikamoto to provide access globally to Japanese culture and products.
Whilst these products might be normal in Japan, Ayumi realised that there’s huge demand across the world because of their unique flavours and variety.
What do Sakuraco offer?
Sakuraco talk about working with local makers and communities in Japan to provide a global platform for their products.
This box is a curated experience that displays a “more traditional side of Japanese sweets, teas, and snacks”.
Expect a set of products in each box that are exclusive to Japan, and that match the current season. Since they aren’t limited to just “sweets”, boxes might include homewares, accessories, and fun snacks like yokan (a Japanese jelly).
How is it delivered?
Since Sakuraco are shipping internationally from Japan, delivery times and methods can vary quite significantly. For Australia, Sakuraco use DHL Express.
I received a notification on the 20th that my shipment was on its way, and it arrived just 3 days later on the 23rd. DHL are generally reliable with international shipments and I found that to be no exception here.
Here’s the box that landed on my doorstep, with very simple bubble-wrap packaging.
My Sakuraco Review Box
I must commend that Sakuraco team for their packaging design, it’s absolutely beautiful. The box is a rose-pink colour with flowers delicately printed across, which really echoes the Japanese theme.
Upon opening, the box is filled to the brim with goodies. On top is a ‘snack guide’ alongside a postcard that doubles as a personal note from Ayumi explaining the theme behind this month’s box.
The month displayed in my photos is dedicated to the Japanese region of Nikko, located around 2 hours north of Tokyo. A region I’m not familiar with at all, which makes it even more exciting to learn about.
Unpacking the rest of the box is super exciting as I find no less than 14 different products to explore. There’s a large fish that feels like marshmallow (it’s Waka Ayu), a pack of strange jelly-like noodles (Kuzukiri), and plenty of packets impossible to identify if you can’t read Japanese.
The booklet, or ‘snack guide’ provides the answers to what each packet it, along with some fascinating insights about the food itself. Sakuraco adjust the information provided depending on how unusual the food is, which is very useful.
Take the Kuzukiri, which includes some details about how best to eat it. From the packaging alone, that would have been very difficult to figure out!
Some items even include tales / stories about their history and Japanese culture. The snack guide is incredibly thoughtfully curated and printed, something you’d be happy to keep as a record of everything you’ve experienced.
Stepping away from snacks briefly, my box also contained a patchwork Furoshiki. This is a traditional Japanese wrapping cloth traditionally used to carry sacred objects but now often used as a handkerchief, bandana, or bento box wrap. It’s a beautiful piece.
How much does Sakuraco Cost?
Considering that the box is packed full of authentic Japanese produce that’s imported into Australia, you’d expect it to be quite expensive.
With global shipping options, Sakuraco operate in USD meaning you’re also at the mercy of AUD-USD exchange rates every month.
If you want to pay month-by-month, Sakuraco will set you back USD $37.50 per month plus shipping costs. That’s around $55 AUD.
You’re also able to subscribe to multiple months at once for a small saving:
- 3 Months – $35.50/month (USD)
- 6 Months – $33.50/month (USD)
- 12 Months – $32.50/month (USD)
The sweet spot is a 6 month subscription which will set you back roughly AUD $300 plus monthly shipping costs.
Shipping and Delivery Costs
It’s not surprising to know that shipping to Australia is reasonably expensive. Each monthly box will incur a shipping cost of USD $12.50.
That’s around $19 AUD, roughly another 30% on top of the cost of the box itself.
The all-in cost for a single box is therefore between $72 – $75 AUD.
Is Sakuraco good value?
Considering the cost of each individual item alone, you could reasonably conclude that Sakuraco does not provide great value.
However, that would definitely not be fair to Sakuraco.
Each of the items provided aren’t easy to buy in Australia. You might find some similar items at specialty Japanese supermarkets to curate a partial box, but it wouldn’t be possible to replicate a full Sakuraco experience.
If you wanted to import all the products yourself from Japan, you’d most certainly have problems with shipping and import charges.
That means Sakuraco provide fantastic value because there’s no alternative way to get this Japanese experience.
It’s also significantly cheaper than return flights and accommodation to Japan.
Other things you should consider
Earn Rewards with Streaks
To reward loyal subscribers, Sakuraco offer a loyalty program called ‘Streaks’.
With every snack guide, there’s a QR code that can be scanned to add another ‘streak’ on your online account.
These ‘streak’ points can then be saved up for spending on Sakuraco’s partner site, JapanHaul. Spending these ‘streak’ points gets you discounted (or even free) items.
This is a nice bonus for maintaining a subscription, although if you skip a single month your points will reset to zero. I wouldn’t personally be subscribing just to earn points for my streak.
My Overall Thoughts on Sakuraco
If you’re looking for an authentic Japanese discovery box experience, look no further than Sakuraco.
The whole experience from the website to the individual products is incredibly sleek and well-curated. Each box is packed full of exciting snacks (and homewares) that truly reflect a new region of Japan for you to explore.
The price is likely to be a problem for many people, however it’s simply the reality of getting genuine produce from Japan directly to your house. Considering that, Sakuraco doesn’t seem expensive at all.
I had a wonderful evening with my partner trying all the snacks, reading the booklet, and falling further in love with Japanese culture.
Sakuraco is highly recommended.
I’d love to hear about other people’s experiences with Sakuraco – were they similar to mine? Did you find my Sakuraco review useful? Let me know in the comments section below!