Whenever my friends travel and ask what I would like as a souvenir, I always ask for snacks. I think food is one of the best ways to experience a different culture, and I’m totally guilty of being a hopeless snacker (my numerous failed diets can attest to this…), so it’s always the perfect gift for me. I love getting to try new flavor profiles! And let me tell you: nobody does snacks like Japan. They’re always so unique in taste, packaged beautifully, and super fun to eat. So when Tokyo Treat reached out and asked if I wanted to review a box, I was completely over the moon! I had some difficulty containing my excitement.
Tokyo Treat is a monthly food subscription service that sends you snacks and candies directly from Japan. They have three different subscription options: Small ($14.99/month), Regular ($24.99/month), and Premium ($34.99/month). The Small comes with 5-7 candies/snacks, Regular gets everything in the Small plus 3-5 more items including a DIY kit, and the Premium gets everything in the Small and Regular, plus 4-6 more items, a DIY kit, a beverage, and a special item. These prices include shipping, and I’m pretty sure they offer free worldwide shipping–good news for all my non-US friends!! I’ll be reviewing the Premium box today.
How fun is it to receive international mail? It was so exciting for me to come home and see this bright orange box with a foreign customs form sitting on at my front door. I almost never get packages from abroad so this was a neat experience! Good to know: there were no customs fees.
The team at Tokyo Treat recently redesigned the packaging, complete with amazing illustrations. I absolutely love it! It’s gorgeous and fun and really on-brand for them. It totally screams “Japan” to me!
Each box comes with a little booklet detailing all the snacks and some fun facts about the theme. Staying true to Japan, the booklet reads “backwards” from the perspective of a Westerner. The pages open up on the left side and you flip left to right.
Since all the packaging on the snacks are in Japanese, it’s really helpful to get a description of each item. It’s also a good booklet to keep around for reference, since you can then try to find some of the snacks you liked at a local Asian grocery store or online. I was able to locate three of these snacks locally–albeit for a pretty ridiculous price point. More on that later.
The booklet also includes some illustrated directions for the DIY kits, which proved to be pretty useful. I love that there are some pages dedicated to learning more about Japanese culture. This month there was a page about Yo-Kai Watch, a popular monster franchise that has its own video games, movies, toys, etc. There were also pages about Oshogatsu (New Year) and some famous places to visit in Japan.
First look! Almost died of excitement at this box of adorable goodies. Everything was packed very well. My box arrived damaged but all the contents looked perfect.
Fuku Fuku Tai Chocolate
Sea bream is a traditional fish to cook for the New Year celebrations in Japan, so this bream-shaped chocolate snack is a play on that. Love the festive red and gold packaging! It definitely reminded me of Lunar New Year celebrations with my family.
Look how cute it is! The wafer shell is pretty fragile, so I’m really impressed it arrived without any damage whatsoever.
The inside is aerated chocolate, which I love. It’s light and melts in your mouth and isn’t too sweet. The crispy wafer and chocolate combination is dangerously delicious. I’m dying to find more of these! If anyone knows where I can get them online, please let me know!
These wafers are similar to the Fuku Fuku Tai Chocolate: they’re both crispy wafers filled with chocolate. This one is Pokemon themed and comes with a collectible sticker.
I definitely preferred the aerated chocolate over this dense chocolate filling, but you really can’t go wrong with any form of chocolate. As expected, this was also quite tasty and went great with coffee!
Pokemon Ramune 5 Pack
I’m pleased that they were able to send 5 different flavors of this candy: pineapple, cola, ramune, melon, and grape. I had a lot of fun trying all of them. The texture is similar to Smarties, but less crumbly and more smooth. The flavors were all fantastic. I couldn’t even pick a favorite! I was able to find these at a local Asian grocery store in a non-Pokemon themed packaging. Definitely a candy that I’ll be purchasing in the near future.
Yokai-Watch Character Soft Serve Caramel Corn
Okay, how precious is this design? Almost too cute to open. The flavor is described as being vanilla soft serve ice cream, but I didn’t get much vanilla taste. It is more of a creamy sweet milk flavor. Imagine the taste of sweetened condensed milk, but not as rich.
Even though it’s called “caramel corn”, the texture is nothing like popcorn. The texture is more similar to those puffy cheetos. It’s very light and crispy and kind of melts in your mouth. I found these to be oddly tasty (as in I kept saying “I don’t know if I like this” but couldn’t stop eating them), but overall a little too sweet for me.
Tyrant Habanero Who Came Back!
I was pretty nervous eyeing this bag. Anything with a huge evil grinning pepper on it tends to make me wonder if I should even attempt to eat it, but eventually my curiosity (and snacking urges) got the better of me and I went for it.
I’m happy to report that I got through the entire bag! Maybe all those years of eating hot cheetos have desensitized me a little. It was definitely spicy, but nothing too extreme. The texture was phenomenal. Super crunchy with the perfect amount of flavor. I was really sad when I got to the bottom of the bag because these are so addictive. I’ve been searching for them in stores around me with no luck.
Neru Neru Nerune Soda Flavor DIY Kit
I love Japanese candy kits! They’re so much fun to make and usually the results are pretty tasty as well. This one has apparently been a favorite in Japan for a long time.
I somehow forgot to get a picture of the final product (possibly too busy eating it?), but it turned out successfully. The blue powder mixed with water becomes a puffy kind of texture and tastes like ramune. I then covered it with the little bits of hard candy.
Pocky “Melt In Your Mouth” Winter Limited Edition
Pocky was one of my favorite childhood treats, so I definitely have a soft spot for it. I know they release a lot of limited edition items throughout the year that are difficult to find in the US, so I’m very happy to get this. The Pocky is dipped in a creamy chocolate mix with cocoa powder and truly does melt in your mouth! The chocolate flavor is so rich and indulgent, I can see why this is a winter limited edition.
Pokemon Pineapple Chewing Candy
At first I thought this was a pack of gum, since the packaging looks just like chewing gum. It’s actually a very chewy (and I mean VERY chewy–my jaw kind of hurt afterwards!) pineapple candy that comes in strips. Each strip is wrapped in a Pokemon quiz and temporary tattoo. The pineapple flavor is excellent, the texture is just too hard for me though!
Pokemon Sticker Matching Chewing Gum
I would say that this is definitely more of a paper product than a candy product, since the gum is a very tiny piece and plays a fairly insignificant role. The main attraction is a Pokemon puzzle and card, which I assume can be collected. The cola gum was a nice little bonus. Great flavor, very soft and easy to chew texture. It’s too bad there was only one piece!
Yokai-Watch Fortune Seal Namaste Curry
Another crispy savory snack that is completely addictive! If you’ve ever had Asian ramen packets before, you probably know what this tastes like. I personally can’t get enough of ramen (secret addiction!) so this was perfect. I also adore the hexagon packaging. How come we never see snacks packaged like this in the US? It’s a very common shape in Asia!
Amazake: High Quality Sweet Sake
Definitely an acquired taste. It’s a fermented rice beverage that has a goopy texture, and a 1% alcohol content. Personally I kind of liked it, but that’s most likely because I had a lot of fermented rice growing up in an Asian household and knew what to expect. My boyfriend wasn’t thrilled with this. He really couldn’t get past the odd texture. He said it didn’t even feel like a beverage, but more like a mushy porridge. This beverage is supposed to be served warm, which I think would be even more off putting for your average American.
Oekaki Kyanland Candy
Yay, another DIY kit!
The main candy base is a soft white ramune flavored putty. It feels almost like playdough and is very easy to work with. You can take a small piece and push it into the mold to create the shape you want to color.
The “paint” came in three main colors and the palette gives you a lot of space to mix different combinations.
Ta da! Finished product. I had a lot of fun painting the candy and think this would have been a fun kit to try with kids. I had enough materials to make approximately 5 pieces of candy. The candy itself was delicious. It was a soft and chewy ramune flavor, and the paint didn’t have much taste so it wasn’t overly sweet.
Chocolate Ball “Chocoball” Peanut Candy
These are whole peanuts covered in chocolate, and my boyfriend loved them. He is already insisting that we buy more! Good new for him: I managed to find these locally. Bad news: they’re really expensive. I wish imported goodies weren’t so pricey from the Asian grocery stores.
Pokemon Moncolle 12 Species Assortment
This is the “special item” for all Premium boxes. I think their theme this month of Pokemon was a cute choice and probably quite popular with their customer base. I mean, who doesn’t like Pokemon? It brings back a lot of childhood memories for me. I was definitely obsessed with them in elementary school. I’m giving this to one of my friends who collects little Pokemon figurines, and I’m sure she’ll love it.
Whew, that was a lot of stuff! Overall I must say this is the most fun I’ve had with a subscription box in a very long time. All the items were unique and interesting and definitely authentically Japanese. It’s hard to place a retail value on these, since most of them can’t even be found in the US.
But I will say that for the few snacks I did find in local stores, they were pricey. I’m actually kind of amazed Tokyo Treat can send out all these items in a box with shipping for only $35! Just for reference, the three snacks that I did find: the Pikachu 5 Pack Candies were $3.99, the Chocoballs were $2.99, and the pineapple chews were $2.99. Just those three added together comes to almost $10.00, and they were some of the smaller snacks in this box. In my opinion, Tokyo Treat is a really great deal.
I know there are various other Japanese snack subscriptions out there, but I think this is the only one that has their headquarters in Japan. Their office is located in Tokyo and Ayumi (the founder) personally sources the snacks. I am thoroughly impressed with the range of products that I received, and think the curation was spot on. I loved the theme of Pokemon and New Year! The mix of sweet candies with savory snacks and DIY kits plus a beverage really made for a well rounded box.
The only thing I wish they would implement: a way to purchase more snacks directly from them! I would love for the chance to buy more of my favorites that I can’t find anywhere else. Otherwise, I think they have a near perfect product. I think I’ll be gifting a subscription to my boyfriend for his birthday coming up! And shhh I don’t think he reads this blog, so let’s keep it a surprise :)