TokyoTreat Review – 2022 is a matter of days away and with that, do you have any plans to visit Japan?
If you don’t, or can’t because of travel restrictions, no worries! There are so many other ways to experience Japan, aren’t there? You could binge on Japanese movies and drama series. You could play some of Japan’s legendary open-world video games. Or, you could give yourself a sweet treat by ordering a Japanese snack subscription box.
TokyoTreat is one such subscription service and two days ago, I received my sponsored box from them. One positively packed to the brim with delicious snacks and sweets.
To cut to the chase, did I enjoy this curated collection? As someone who has been to Japan numerous times and who lives in a country where Japanese snacks are widely sold, was I satisfied with the selection I received?
More importantly, did I find this Japanese snack subscription box service worthwhile? Read on to find out!
What is TokyoTreat? How much does it cost?
Before all else, what is TokyoTreat?
Very simply, it’s a snack subscription box service established by Tokyo native Ayumi Chikamoto. One that handpicks Japanese snacks, candies, and drinks, and delivers them worldwide every month.
Boxes, in turn, are often themed according to the months they are dispatched. For example, October 2021 was all about Halloween. December 2021 is, expectedly, a boxful of Christmas treats.
If not, they showcase an aspect of Japanese culture or a famous travel location. To give yet another example, the curated snacks for September 2021 featured the flavors of sunny Okinawa.
The summary of it, it’s a yummy mystery box to get excited about every month!
Coming to prices, TokyoTreat subscriptions are reasonable, especially if you subscribe for several months at one go or live at a location where there are no Japanese foodstuff shops around. As for actual prices, as of Dec 2021, each individual box is USD 37.50/-, while a six-month subscription drops the monthly price to USD 33.50/-. (Shipping is included when I “tested” the subscription process)
Last but not least, TokyoTreat claims to be the biggest Japanese snack subscription box around. At over 1300g, there are 15 to 20 items in each box. The goodies themselves will include:
- Japan-Exclusive Drinks
- Instant Ramen
- KitKat Party Packs
- Japanese Savoury Snacks
- Unusual Candies
- Bakery Goods
And oh, each box contains a glossy 24-page info booklet too. In this, important Allergen and Vegetarian information are stated.
Delivery and unboxing
Delivery for my TokyoTreat box was handled by DHL and it was surprisingly fast! My “order” was confirmed on Dec 14. Two days later, I received a notification from DHL stating that my box would arrive before the end of Monday, Dec 20.
It came on the afternoon of Friday, Dec 17. A full three days earlier. Take about efficiency!
I like to give a special mention to this.
TokyoTreat describes this as a “culture guide.” I’d say it’s that as well as a guidebook for the snacks in the box. With all descriptions accompanied by beautiful pictures, and allergen and vegetarian information.
It’s a great read, beginning with how item descriptions frequently include Japanese culture trivia. Needless to say, the booklet also ensures you know what you’re eating if you do not read a word of Japanese.
2022 Tokyo snack revolution!
Onto the actual snacks I’ve received! And how I felt about them, overall.
Before I begin, let me highlight that I live in Singapore at the moment. We were one of the first countries to have Japanese supermarkets. At the moment, J-retail chains like Daiso and Donki are still all over the country.
In other words, it’s not exactly tough for me to get my hands on Japanese snacks or candies, as long as I’m willing to head to the malls. In view of that, do I find TokyoTreat worthwhile?
Well, I feel it is, and I’d say the main attraction is the curation aspect. I mean, shopping for snacks is fun and all that, but having a whole box of it hand-delivered to your doorsteps? With specially written descriptions for each? That’s on another level.
It’s like having your own Japanese butler, or maid, attend to your snacking needs. Your own Sebastian and Remu.
As for the box I received, it’s titled 2022 Tokyo Snack Revolution! and according to the info booklet, this collection reflects improvements to TokyoTreat boxes for the upcoming year. For example, how the boxes will now contain 20 percent more goodies.
With Snack Revolution! being my first TokyoTreat snack box, I can’t fairly comment about these upgrades. But going through the colorful snacks, I do notice the following:
- There’s a sensible mix of classic and modern snacks. You get to try the best of both worlds.
- With the exception of the KitKat party pack and rice crackers, the rest of the snacks are in small packages. This allows for a wider assortment in each box but you’d also “run out” of something really fast. I guess the whole point is sampling, though.
- Going through what I received, and examining the item lists for earlier boxes, I feel TokyoTreat is “safe” for most people. There is usually a couple of unusual items but in general, nothing is too exotic or adventurous. (You know, the likes of preserved smelly sushi candy … or something) In other words, I think it would be very rare for anyone to be appalled by what’s delivered.
- This is worth highlighting. Out of the 15 items in my Snack Revolution! box, 12 are described as suitable for vegetarians. To me, this reflects a conscious effort to cater to the vegetarian community.
Sampling my TokyoTreat snacks
A TokyoTreat review is incomplete without some taste reports of the snacks, yes?
Clockwise from top left: Fuwatto Edamame Crackers, Fluffy Custard Taiyaki, KitKat Café au Lait, Cabbage Taro.
KitKat Café au Lait
This is one of the star items. Hands-down, one of the best treats in my box too.
It’s one word, heavenly. The coffee taste is intense. The sweetness level is just right too. Paired with an actual cup of milk coffee, the bite-size chunks are just so, heavenly?
Note: KitKat Café au Lait is only available outside of Japan through TokyoTreat.
Fluffy Custard Taiyaki
Compared to actual freshly baked Taiyaki, these packed ones taste more like mini cakes. As in, they are softer, much more sponge-cake-like, and with a custard filling that is substantially rich?
I thought I tasted alcohol in the filling too, but that’s probably me imagining things.
Fuwatto Edamame Crackers
The biggest pack in my snack box and described as made with premium rice from Niigata Prefecture. On the whole, they are crunchy but somewhat on the light side as far as taste is concerned. To be honest, I didn’t find the Edamame flavor very pronounced too.
On the other hand, they could go well with drinks. They aren’t excessively salty as well, so most folks would be able to enjoy them.
I couldn’t stop once I started on this! The crunchiness aside, I loved the sweet and sour, Tonkatsu sauce-like flavor.
It might be a little too salty for some folks, though. Interestingly, there’s also very little cabbage flavor. I do wonder where the name comes from.
Mr. Tanuki’s Spicy Tonkotsu Flavour Cup Ramen
Compared to other cup ramen/noodles that I’ve recently eaten, I’d say this is a cut above the usual; the soup is flavorsome after cooking. My only “complaint” is that as a whole, it’s not exactly spicy, despite the name and the chili-paste alike soup base.
But that’s not what’s most important. According to the info booklet, this cup ramen is made using vegetarian-friendly ingredients.
Yes, you read right. The Tonkotsu, i.e., pork marrow flavor is prepared with vegetarian-friendly ingredients. With me quite unaware till I read the booklet after eating. Don’t you think that deserves a thumbs-up?
TokyoTreat review conclusion: A fun, curated treat. Great as a gift too
I’ll cut to the chase and address the question of, is a TokyoTreat snack box worth its price?
To be honest, a couple of the items in my box are sold by supermarkets in my country, although I have not gone down to any to do a consolidated price comparison/check. I’m also quite certain some of the items aren’t available where I am and so such comparisons wouldn’t be wholly possible.
In view of the above, I feel a TokyoTreat subscription is in all, a fun way to stock up on Japanese snacks. A great way to get to try new foodstuff and to learn a little bit about Japan along the way too. Naturally, the way the boxes are packed and delivered, they also make for wonderful gifts. Not just for friends and family but for smaller companies as well.
As for logistical aspects such as delivery, I have no complaints at all; my box did arrive three days early.
Lastly, were I to suggest any improvements, I’d say, perhaps future boxes could include non-food items?
Not really a complaint here, to be clear, but it would have been great had there been some sort of miniature or collectible. Doing so, IMO, would complete the sensation of bringing Japan into one’s home.
A devoted solo traveler from Singapore who has loved Japan since young. His first visits to the country were all because of video game and Manga homages. Today, he still visits for the same reasons, in addition to enjoying Japan’s culture, history, and hot springs.