Tokyo Treat and Sakuraco are two of our favourite Japanese snack boxes, and as snack connoisseurs, we’ve subscribed to both boxes many times. Both boxes have pros and cons, so here’s our take to help you pick which one is worth it.
Depending on your preferences, budget, and taste, Tokyo Treat and Sakuraco are great value in their own way. As the most popular Japanese snack box subscriptions on the market, you’ll find all kinds of snacks, from sweet, savoury, crunchy to chewy. Every bite will transport you to Japan. These packages are an excellent way to immerse yourself in Japanese culture and flavours without leaving the comfort of your home. They're also a fun and easy way to explore different delicacies and discover new favourites.
Our Sakuraco vs Tokyo Treat review evaluates the packages according to variety, quality, and value. Please note that the munchies you receive may vary from month to month. Therefore, our comparison provides a general idea of what to expect based on our experiences.
Sakuraco vs TokyoTreat Video Review
It’s hard to directly compare Sakuraco vs Tokyo Treat snack boxes because their target audience and offerings differ. However, if we had to pick between them, Sakuraco is our favourite Japanese snack box.
In our Sakuraco vs Tokyo Treat review, the former is our favourite because it offers the best combination of quality treats, variety, and value. Their packages include sweet and savoury nibbles that pair well with artisan tea. Furthermore, their dedication to promoting Japanese culture through local snack makers is remarkable. As a result, you get high-quality treats at an accessible price. Additionally, every purchase comes with good quality kitchenware, making it an excellent value for money.
What is the difference between TokyoTreat and Sakuraco?
Although both services offer unique Japanese snacks, Sakuraco focuses more on authenticity, while Tokyo Treat focuses on the latest trends. Tokyo Treat includes some of the trendiest junky snacks in Japan, while Sakuraco will consist of traditional wagashi that will pair well with tea. The difference in snack offerings comes down to the fact that both brands target different audiences.
Tokyo Treat box aims to share the coolest and craziest Japanese snacks and candy every month and give you a taste of modern life in Japan. Meanwhile, the Sakuraco box aims to provide an authentic Japanese tea time experience at home. Furthermore, they work with local Japanese snack makers to curate unique packages unavailable elsewhere.
What's inside the boxes?
On average, a Sakuraco box has around 20 treats, while the Tokyo Treat box has 15 to 20 full-size Japanese treats.
For Sakuraco, we typically get 20 items every month, including 1 kitchenware and 2 artisanal tea bags. We usually get about 15 snacks each month for the Tokyo Treat box, including 1 drink.
Here’s what you can expect inside Tokyo Treat:
- 1 exclusive Japanese drink
- 1 rare KitKat flavour
- Traditional candy
- 1 Instant ramen
- 1 pack of crunchy chips/crisp or popped snack
- Some kind of cake, cookie or pastry
Here’s what you can expect inside Sakuraco:
- Authentic Japanese snacks that are primarily traditional Japanese sweets or ones with a modern twist.
- 2 Japanese artisan tea blends
- 1 souvenir or home goods
- A postcard with Japanese art
Additionally, both Sakuraco and Tokyo Treat boxes will come with a useful 24-page English booklet explaining the theme of the month and snacks. Some noteworthy details they’ll describe will include the theme, snacks, history, and customs related to the month’s theme. The names of the treats are listed in romanised Japanese or English.
They also include a brief introduction of the bites with pictures, a list of common allergens and mention whether the product is vegetarian-friendly. For Sakuraco, their guide will also list the manufacturer and the prefecture of origin.
One thing exclusive to Sakuraco in our Tokyo Treat vs Sakuraco review is that they include a traditional souvenir in all their monthly packages. This is usually some kitchenware, including everything from Yunomi cups and chopsticks to beautiful ceramic bowls.
Based on our Sakuraco vs Tokyo Treat review, the former has more traditional Japanese sweets, while the latter offers more trendy and seasonal snacks. Both contain a variety of sweet and savoury munchies and drinks based on a monthly theme. While both provide a delectable range of treats, they have distinct qualities that distinguish them.
Sakuraco curates a selection centred on the spirit of traditional Japanese sweets, so you’ll get items like mochi, dorayaki, hard candy and rice crackers. However, when we compare the size of the Japanese snacks in both boxes, the ones in Sakuraco are much smaller. A lot of items inside Sakuraco will come in 2, which makes it suitable for sharing between 2 people. But you won't be able to share some singular items like bread and kitchenware. Check out our Sakuraco review for more in-depth details.
Meanwhile, Tokyo Treat presents a diverse range of innovative and seasonal snacks. This makes them a go-to option for keeping up with Japanese snack fads. The nibbles inside are larger and more filling, generously feeding 3-4 people. There’s always a family pack of KitKat and some sort of crisps, which is always a treat. However, you’ll also get several singular items like ramen and the drink, so similar to Sakuraco, not everything can be shared.
Similar to our Sakuraco vs Bokksu review, what differentiates these two boxes is their beverage collection. You will receive two packs of quality Japanese tea blends for the former. Typically, regional flavours like Genmaicha from Hokkaido and Mugicha are included inside. On the other hand, Tokyo Treat includes limited-edition Japanese drinks like soda and juice.
Compared to Tokyo Treat, Sakuraco’s snacks cater to a more mature palate. None of the snacks are overly sweet and focus on bringing out the subtle flavours of the ingredients used. But this also means it’s more likely to appeal to adults with a mature palate than younger kids.
Meanwhile, for Tokyo Treat, we can see the taste of snacks appealing to adults and kids mainly because the snacks are usually much richer in taste and junkier than Sakuraco. However, none of these alone are too salty and make you thirsty. The snacks are almost always moreish and easy to finish in one sitting without you even noticing.
We don’t have a huge sweet tooth, so we’re pretty happy to see that the sweet nibbles are smaller for a nice little burst of sweetness now and then. The snacks inside the Tokyo Treat box will appeal to many people.
Both of these companies specify whether their snacks are suitable for vegetarians and list the most prevalent allergies. However, they don't determine whether vegan snacks are included. According to Sakuraco vs Tokyo Treat reddit forums, Japanese manufacturers typically state that animal product residues may exist because other products are also made in the same factory. So, some treats can be vegan or halal Japanese snacks, but neither company explicitly mentions that their products are vegan.
Some reviewers on the Sakuraco vs Tokyo Treat Reddit forums will complain about snack quality. However, it’s hard to compare the quality directly between Sakuraco and Tokyo Treat because the snacks they choose to include and the experience they’re trying to give are different from each Japanese snack box.
For Tokyo Treat, you might occasionally get dagashi or typical snacks that you can get in the supermarket. Still, they balance this well with many seasonal items you can’t get your hands on unless you’re based in Japan.
Meanwhile, for Sakuraco, most of the snacks are made by local snack makers from different regions, making these hard to find even within Japan, as some are only sold within certain prefectures.
Overall, the quality of snacks in Sakuraco is better than Tokyo Treat as they focus on selecting quality snacks produced in smaller batches by local Japanese businesses. Although Tokyo Treat may include more mass-produced snacks, it doesn’t change the fact that Japanese snacks taste great. The focus for the Japanese snacks here is more on showing you Japan's relaxed and fun side.
Another point from one of the reviews is the easy availability of these treats in Japanese convenience stores. Some even say that the snacks are available on platforms like Amazon and Western supermarkets. However, to our knowledge, both services offer unique and exclusive Japanese nibbles that are only available in Japan.
Finally, there have been complaints in Sakuraco reviews regarding the homeware items. Some say that they are plastic and inexpensive. It's important to note that this company primarily concentrates on Japanese snacks, with homeware items being an added benefit. While the quality of these items may vary, they often correspond to the box's thematic backdrop. These cultural pieces provide subscribers with an insight into Japanese traditions and craftsmanship.
Sakuraco vs Tokyo Treat monthly theme
Tokyo Treat and Sakuraco will have a unique theme for each monthly Japanese snack subscription box. Both boxes will have themes based on Japan's seasonal and cultural events or regions.
Tokyo Treat’s monthly theme
For Tokyo Treat, you’ll see a good mix of Western and Japanese festivities like Halloween, Christmas to Cherry Blossom and Moon viewing popping up as a theme. Meanwhile, for Sakuraco, you’ll see fewer Western ones. Instead, they’ll have more themes in partnership with different Japanese prefectures to showcase that region’s events, culture and snacks.
Both boxes do a great job of giving you a themed experience from the very moment you receive the box. For Tokyo Treat, the box is usually bright orange but will change depending on the month’s theme to give you a sneak peek of what will be inside. The theme is generally self-explanatory, from just looking at the snacks. The guide inside is a fun and simple read with cool facts and events happening around the month in Japan.
Check out our full Tokyo Treat review to see more.
Sakuraco’s monthly themes
While for Sakuraco, the box is usually different depending on the theme. Sometimes, it’s based on a region, while other times, they keep you guessing. But the theme is prominent when you open the box and see the postcard and the front of the booklet. The guide inside is more detailed compared to Tokyo Treat. It delves into the stories behind the local snackmakers and why events come to be in Japan. Once you read why they’ve picked specific snacks, every element of the box starts to link, making it an even more immersive experience while you savour each bite and sip on the tea, which always pairs so well. We also love how there’s always some sort of kitchenware inside that we can keep as a memory of the box.
Both businesses provide a glimpse into Japanese culture. Overall, you can see that Sakuraco themes tend to be more traditional and seasonal. In contrast, Tokyo Treat themes tend to be more modern and trendy.
We love Tokyo Treat and Sakuraco’s monthly theme box, but if we had to choose one, we’d pick Sakuraco’s monthly theme box.
Price and Subscriptions
In 2023, both services cost $32.5 per box for a 12-month plan and $37.50 per package for a monthly plan. Both companies offer monthly memberships. However, you can also pay in advance for three, six, or twelve months. We recommend purchasing an annual subscription if you intend to stay and enjoy these Japanese nibbles for a long time.
When compared to monthly subscriptions, opting for a combined annual subscription to both companies will save you money overall. All subscription plans from the Sakuraco, and Tokyo Treat boxes include the same number of snacks. So, the only differences are cost savings and length of commitment. Both brands allow you to cancel your subscription anytime. However, you must do it with at least 48 hours' notice before the next renewal date.
You don't have to worry about shipping because both brands provide worldwide shipping. They don’t offer free shipping at the moment but when we compare it to other Japanese snack boxes on the market that are an extra 10-20 USD, they come out at a similar price range to each other.
They also don’t cover customs fees, so you may have to pay them if your nation levies them. However, this is the same with most other Japanese snack boxes.
The total time it takes for your shipment to arrive varies depending on your location. However, once processed, the packages are typically packed and shipped within 3 to 5 business days.
Although some reviews on Reddit mention that shipping could take up to six weeks, both boxes have always arrived within 1-2 weeks for us in the UK.
The packaging and snack condition of both packages are very similar. Both companies use sturdy cardboard boxes. However, Sakuraco will typically arrive in an extra layer of bubble wrap. In terms of snack conditions, they arrived in good condition. We don’t remember receiving any cracked or damaged snacks for Tokyo Treat, but we’re not surprised if there are small cracks, as both boxes are usually packed to the brim with treats.
The same corporation in Tokyo, Japan, owns both services. This offers them access to a diverse choice of snacks and suppliers. Therefore, they can provide greater quality and value for money than other snack box businesses.
From different Sakuraco vs Tokyo Treat Reddit forums, these companies have a sizable customer base that includes people from all over the world. However, their consumer base is more centred in Western countries like the US, Canada, and the UK. The fact that they are so popular in Western countries affects the snacks they offer. Both companies want to ensure that their customers enjoy the treats that they receive, so they tend to curate their selections based on Western taste preferences.
Despite occasional issues with customer service and delivery times, both services have received mostly excellent reviews on Reddit and Google.
Sakuraco vs Tokyo Treat Verdict
Both subscription services are among the best Japanese snack boxes. However, they cater to distinct audiences. Depending on what kind of person you are or who you’re buying this for, Sakuraco or Tokyo Treat could be worth it.
If you like cool and trendy things from Japan and love junkier, more satisfying snacks with lighthearted playfulness, then Tokyo Treat will be worth it for you. It’s an excellent option for anyone interested in Japanese popular culture and fashionable delicacies.
If you like learning about Japanese culture and enjoy light but quality sweet bites that pair well with calming tea for a quiet afternoon, then Sakuraco will be worth it.
When comparing the two brands, the Sakuraco box is our preferred Japanese snack box subscription service because it provides a typical Japanese tea time experience. Everything in the package feels authentic and high-quality, from the guidebook to the flavour of each item to the inclusion of housewares. It's more than just a snack subscription. It's a meaningful learning experience that connects you to the people and vibes of Japan.
If you’re still undecided, why not check out our Zenpop review or Tokyo Treat vs Bokksu review? Or, if you're more of a watcher than a reader, check out our YouTube channel @honestfoodtalks for our ultimate Bokksu vs Tokyo Treat vs Sakuraco review video.