Those who regularly watch anime have all at some point wanted to try the delicious Japanese snacks and treats eaten by numerous characters. But unfortunately for many, including myself, all they see in the snack aisle of their local grocery stores are generic potato chips and chocolate bars. A decent variety of Japanese snacks is hard to find in many areas, and eventually you get tired of the same old red container of Pocky. But when Sakuraco sent us a mystery box with tons of traditional Japanese snacks, many of which I’d never seen before, I realized there is a possible solution to our cravings. Typing this live as I try everything, I’ll share my thoughts along with some favorites. So without further ado, let’s dig in!
What is Sakuraco?
Sakuraco, sister to TokyoTreat, is a subscription service that offers themed mystery boxes containing a variety of traditional and authentic Japanese snacks, candy, and more. Each box contains 20 treat samples that can only be found in Japan. The price ranges from $32.50-$37.50 per month, plus shipping.
Sakuraco’s Kyoto Moon Festival Box
This month, Sakuraco’s theme is Kyoto moon-viewing festivals! We’ve all seen anime characters enjoy the view of the full moon as they indulge in fun festival activities and concession stands. Sakuraco does a great job of bringing these moments to life, and they included a helpful booklet with interesting information about the origins and unique cultural aspects of these festivals. The guide, in the traditional Japanese right-to-left-style, also contains details about each of the goodies in the box so you know exactly what you’re eating.
Cookies and Crackers
First, let’s dig into the many different types of cookies and crackers included in the box. Here’s a list of all of them along with the names and pictures:
- Soy Sauce Cashew Komamehan
- Kyoto Moon Viewing Gaufrette
- Kinako Mochi
- Mangetsu Pon Ama-Kara Soy Sauce
- Soba Boro
- Tanba Black Bean Arare
- Retro Animal Yochi Cookie
- Wasabi Pistachio Komamehan
While I liked almost all of these, the Wasabi Pistachio Komamehan is my personal favorite – who knew these two green ingredients would make such a great flavor combo? If you enjoy nuts and spicy food, you will love them as well. Another one is the Kyoto Moon Viewing Gaufrette, which has sweet matcha cream sandwiched between two crunchy wafers. No wonder it’s so good, because, according to the guide, this specific matcha grown in Uji, Kyoto has been prized and loved since 1860.
The Retro Animal Yochi Cookies, on the other hand, had too much sugar for my grandma taste buds – but I’m sure they make a perfect snack for kids or anyone with a sweet tooth.
Pastries and Sweets
Next, let’s move on to pastries and sweets. After seeing anime characters fight in the school cafeteria for the last available sweet bread, you can’t help but want to try it yourself. Luckily, this month’s Sakuraco box comes with 2 different kinds, as well as candy, pudding, and more to satisfy our sugar cravings. Here’s a list of all included:
- Yuzu Dorayaki
- Kyoto Houjicha Latte Pudding
- Kyoto Candy
- Satsumaimo Bread
After having a bite of all of them, the Yuzu Dorayaki is definitely my favorite – heavenly soft and with one-of-a-kind flavors, it’s just as good as it looks. If you aren’t already familiar, yuzu is an Asian citrus that tastes kind of like a hybrid between lemon, lime, and grapefruit. Referenced from the guide, this rich snack by Suzuya is carefully created in Kyoto with the finest ingredients around – and it certainly walks the walk!
The Satsumaimo bread is another great choice. Satsumaimo is Japanese sweet potato, known for being sweeter than most other varieties. You can certainly taste the difference! If you’re looking for a simple, fluffy snack to hold you down between meals, this makes the perfect option.
The only item in this group I’m not a big fan of is the Kyoto Houchija Latte Pudding. While it had the perfect smooth and slippery texture we can expect from pudding, the latte taste was quite weak and one would be unable to determine the intended flavor without reading about it first. Thank God for the guide!
Along with savory snacks and tasty treats, Sakuraco includes a couple of miscellaneous goodies to truly make us feel like we are enjoying a moon festival in Kyoto. One of them is Gion Tsujuri Houjicha, which is Japanese green tea “gently roasted from the inside through a hand oven”. The aroma is certainly strong, but to my surprise, the flavor is quite light and pleasant, and pairs perfectly with the Soba Boro and Matcha Cream Senbei.
The second miscellanerous goodie is this exclusive Tsukimi Plate made by Dibajon from Kanagawa. Pictured at the center is Kyoto’s Yasaka pagoda, one of the area’s most iconic landmarks where Tsukimi festivals take place. It’s a nice quality plate with an interesting meaning behind it, and I’ve already put it to good use by using it to hold the tea mentioned above.
After doing a full Sakuraco box review, I can say I’m heavily pleased by the high variety of delicious snacks. They definitely nailed the theme; I now know so much more about moon-viewing festivals in Japan than ever before. Sakuraco delivers more than just yummy treats – they provide a ton of interesting information about Japanese culture and give a taste of what it’s like to really be there (pun intended). Of course, you may not love every single item you get, as personal food preferences vary – but if you have an open mind and want a hands-on experience with traditional Japanese culture, Sakuraco makes a wonderful start. I hope you enjoyed this Sakuraco box review!
Also read: Trying TokyoTreat: Japanese Snack Box Review
DISCLAIMER: Anime Corner received a Sakuraco box in an exchange for an honest review.
Feature image: ©2017 Sankaku Head/Shueisha/”Himouto! Umaru-chan R” Production Committee