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KajoReviews: Sakuraco, Japanese premium snack box Flavours of Hakone edition

Even though you have never ordered this, you might have seen this snack box being promoted by your favourite influencer or Youtuber.

It was also featured on Forbes, BuzzFeed, Vice, Cosmopolitan and even The New York Times.

Sakuraco is a monthly curated Japanese snack box.

In each box, there are 20 authentic Japanese snacks and candy as well as the perfect tea to pair with them.

It also comes with a 24-page guide so you can read the stories of where your snacks come from.

To complete this unique experience, every box will have home goods such as ceramics, chopstick or furoshiki (traditional Japanese wrapping cloths) sourced from traditional makers.

The snack box that arrives to your home is different every month so you will never get tired of trying the same thing.

They work closely with many Japanese family-owned businesses who dedicated their lives to the art of snack making.

For the month of May 2024, Sakuraco collaborated with Kanagawa Prefectural Government to bring their customers Flavours of Hakone.

It is a snack box pay to tribute to Hakone, a historical place with breathtaking natural beauty which situated amidst the mountains of Kanagawa Prefecture.

Travellers have been dipping in Hakone’s revitalising onsen or hot springs for centuries.

Flavours of Hakone would bring any snack lovers a tour of this majestic place through their palate without having step out from their homes.

With 20 different snacks and candies to choose from, it is hard to pick your favourites.

After trying them all, here are KajoMag’s three favourite snacks from Flavours of Hakone courtesy from Sakuraco:

1.Strawberry Milk Almonds

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This simple, crunchy snack is made from almonds with strawberry milk coating.

Despite its rich coating, it is not too sweet and has the perfect balance tastes of nutty almond and fruity strawberry.

2.White Miso Financier

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Who would have thought that white miso would make a great ingredient for a financier?

A financier is a traditionally small French almond visitandine, flavoured with beurre noisette while white miso is a mild fermented Japanese soybean paste.

The saltiness of the miso surprisingly enhanced the sweetness of the cake, making it a perfect companion for a well-brewed tea.

Despite the fact it is packaged and travelled from Japan to Borneo, this White Miso Financier still retains its softness and delicate texture.

3.Seven Flavours of Arare

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For those who are unfamiliar, arare is a type of bite-sized Japanese cracker made from glutinous rice and flavoured with soy sauce.

The bag of arare which comes in Sakuraco’s Flavours of Hakone contains various kind of flavours including such as seaweed, green laver and seaweed.

We only wish it comes with a bigger bag because this is perfect to munch on while watching TV.

4.Yokohama Raisin Sandwich

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Who doesn’t love a snack with a unique twist in it?

This snack is made of plump raisins soaked in brandy syrup and mixed with cream filling that are nestled between two buttery cookies.

Alcohol? Checked. Something sweet? Checked. Something creamy? Checked. Something buttery? Checked. Do we need to say more why we loved this snack?

It is just one of those snacks that makes you crave for more.

5.Matcha Konjac Warabimochi

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When you thought that this snack box couldn’t further surprise you even more? They had to put this unusual snack in to the mix.

Basically, it is just konjac jelly with matcha green tea.

However, the soft texture of the jelly and the light flavour of the green tea is perfect for those who are looking something light (and healthy) to snack on.

So who do we think should purchase Sakuraco?

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1.If you are a snack lover

First of all, Sakuraco is catered those who loved all kinds of snacks.

Every snack inside the box has its own distinct taste and texture. There is no snack or candy that is similar to the other.

If you are the type of foodie unafraid to explore unfamiliar tastes, Sakuraco is definitely for you.

2.If you are a tea lover

The founder of Sakuraco, Ayumi Chikamoto started this unique subscription to focus on traditional Japanese snacks that provide a relaxing afternoon tea experience.

Thus, this snack box is for you if you are a tea lover looking for something light to munch while sipping on your favourite tea.

3.If you love Japanese culture

Some have purchased Sakuraco because it reminds them of the country they once visit while others have bought it out of curiosity the land they wish to visit.

It doesn’t matter if you have visited the Land of the Rising Sun or it is still on your bucket list, give Sakuraco a try. You might find yourself booking your next trip to Japan.

4.If you are looking for a one-of-kind gift

Not everyone has the knack for selecting gift. There are some people just struggle to choose the perfect gift for their friends or family.

Regardless you are looking for a personal present or corporate gift, we bet that a curated traditional snack box is not something common to receive.

Imagine the face of your loved ones as they open one snack after the other when they received their very first Sakuraco, it is like opening up presents within the present itself.

To know more about thi subscription snack box, click here.

#KajoReviews Pixelberry’s Choices: Stories You Play

For some light and interactive reading, Choices: Stories You Play by Pixelberry Studios offers up an addictive array of choose-your-adventure books.

At first glance, you may think that their book gallery features mostly Young Adult reading as there’s high school romances, and light fantasy stories like ‘The Elementalist’, but the steamy exclusive scenes in some of these stories are decidedly R-Rated.

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Choices may come off at first glance like YA lit, but there’s a genre for every mood.

If you’re more into mysteries or high-speed chases, you can opt for The Haunting of Braidwood Manor or The Heist: Monaco.

Meanwhile, if you’re missing some vampire fantasy, you can try out Blood Bound. For more more light adult reading that lean more towards Hallmark, you can try out Save the Date and Home for the Holidays. There’s something for every mood you’re in.

You can either play as a VIP member (you’ll get unlimited keys and 185 diamonds with your purchase) or you can play for free, and learn the art of patience and the true value of decision-making (especially when you use a bunch of diamonds you’ve been scrounging for on a dress which you could have saved for an exclusive scene instead).

VIP membership will also allow you access to books solely reserved for VIP members. On top of that, you will also get rewarded more diamonds at the end of the chapter compared to those who don’t opt for VIP membership.

How to play

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A cute outfit like this is going to make you wish you loaded up on diamonds.

You get to choose your character’s ethnicity, hair and outfit. Diamonds will help you purchase the more dynamic hairstyles and wardrobe, but you’ll still get by being a plain Jane.

You also get to choose your names, although I have been happy with the random names the game has provided. I personally liked the name Dr Casey Valentine for my character in ‘Open Heart’.

Some stories will also allow you to choose the appearance of the main love interest, making it even more interactive.

You need keys to open up chapters, and for those who are playing the games for free, your keys will typically regenerate after 2 or 3 hours, while diamonds help you open up exclusive scenes within those chapters which can help you deepen your relationship with that special someone or find out more of a character or event’s backstory.

You can Watch Ads or complete daily and one time challenges to score diamonds.

You can have several love interests going, and even though you have zoomed in one specific love interest or don’t choose the main love interest, the game will offer up an exclusive scene with another character. Sometimes there will be opportunities for threesomes, so spend your diamonds wisely.

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How to collect diamonds between chapters.

So far there are no terrible fallouts from not spending diamonds on exclusive scenes, but there are some events where a friend needs some proper counseling and you don’t have the diamonds to spend on an exclusive shoulder-to-cry-on scene. In those cases, you would just look like a jerk in real life.

Purchases are not necessarily limited to outfits and exclusive scenes, you can even purchase a pet or opt to live in a swankier place.

In others, like the vampire Blood Bound series, your selected outfit could impress an opponent or help you in a life-and-death situation.

Meanwhile, some stories like ‘The Crown and the Flame’ will challenge your patience and make you think that it wouldn’t hurt if you just purchased a few keys to find out what happens in the next chapter.

To download or not to download?

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What does your choice say about you? Bryce the surgeon from Open Heart.

What makes Choices addictive is that you feel the weight (and the satisfaction or regret) of your decisions. The artwork, from backdrops to character illustrations, are polished and immersive, allowing you a temporary getaway from the humdrum of daily life.

You will definitely feel the weight of your decisions and interaction with other characters in stories like ‘Courtesan of Rome’ where you play a Gallic princess bent on Julius Caesar’s downfall, making it a story that’s hard to put down.

Meanwhile, the cover for Open Heart may look cheesy at first glance, but if you like Grey’s Anatomy’s earlier seasons, you will enjoy the storyline.

The Nanny Affair and Save the Date’s steamy scenes were definitely worth a read-through. (Isn’t that why people download Choices in the first place?)

Blood Bound’s writing, especially the dialogue feels underdeveloped and cheesy by comparison, and your character will say things that make you look like a fly in a hurricane. But I still feel compelled to go through books 1 to 3.

What’s the verdict? Choices: Stories You Play is a definite download.

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There’s more reading under the VIP section.