Japanese monthly snack boxes are becoming more and more popular nowadays and sometimes it’s hard to know which one to choose.
I’ve talked before about my experience with one of Sakuraco’s snack boxes and what I enjoyed most about it. Today I am going to try out another Sakuraco box and compare it to one of their competitors: Bokksu.
I’ll talk about the things they both do great, what they have in common as well as what they do differently from one another.
Let’s take a look at Sakuraco vs Bokksu and see which one is better!
Getting the Boxes
Both boxes arrived at my place quickly and in great condition. And it turns out that both of them are celebrating this time of year with a sakura (cherry blossom) themed box and snacks!
Of course the timing is perfect as we enter April which is the beginning of the hanami (flower viewing) season in Japan.
Both boxes contained a thank you card with a heartfelt note from the founder of each respective company. On the other side of the card is a picture:
Bokksu’s was of a cherry blossom, while Sakuraco went with a ukiyo-e style picture that I absolutely adore!
There was also a beautifully illustrated booklet in each box that highlighted all of the treats and tea contained within, as well as additional information such as the candy makers, festivals during this time of year, and notable historical events.
The Bokksu booklet had a section that taught a few Japanese words such as 桜 (sakura) and 花見 (hanami) mentioned earlier. I thought this was pretty neat and it was fun to go through them.
The Sakuraco booklet spent more time talking about the cultural and historical significance of sakura in Japan, as well as how it is depicted in art and poetry.
After reading and learning so much about it, I felt that I had a deeper understanding and appreciation of what the cherry blossom means to the people of Japan.
I also enjoyed the maker highlights where it talked about how Sugiura Confectionery turned making candy into an art form. The snacks don’t just taste great, the look great too!
One final thing to note on these two booklets that I found interesting was that the Sakuraco booklet read from right to left, very much the style of Japanese reading, while the Bokksu booklet read from left to right in the style of most Western reading material.
There were a ton of snacks from both boxes!
I say “were’ because I’ve pretty much eaten them all by this point (^_^)
This month the Sakuraco box contains a total of 20 authentic Japanese snacks, candy, and tea. Plus it also includes a Japanese home goods item (more on that later).
The Bokksu box contains a total of 21 treats and tea, so the overall amount of goodies received was equal between both boxes, but the breakdown of said items was different.
Let me share with you my top three favorite snacks from each box and what I thought of them.
All the snacks from Sakuraco this month
Sakuraco Snack #1: Sakura Shortbread Cookies
The first thing I loved about these cookies is that I got two of them! One light and one dark, as they were expertly kneaded with margarine and cocoa.
The texture had a wonderful crunch and a lightness to it that was the perfect complement to each cookie’s pink colored sakura jam.
Sakuraco Snack #2: Ume Shio Rice Cracker
Again I was blessed with receiving not one, but two snacks of this delicious cracker.
These were rice crackers that had a nice crispy texture throughout.
They contained Seto Island salt which was a nice contrast from the sweetness of the previous snack.
There was also a bit of plum flavor to it which was very nice!
Sakuraco Snack #3: Sakura Soft Chew
This third sweet is a traditional Japanese sweet that is crafted in the shape of a cherry blossom (you can see them in the picture below).
One of the things I’ve always loved about Japanese snacks is the artistic style of the candy itself.
The Maker Highlight section in the booklet talks about Sugiura Confectionery who made this delicious treat. I thought that was great because as soon as I was done reading about them, I wanted to try out their stuff – and I did! 🙂
Bokksu Snack #1: Strawberry Cake Gummy
I’ve never had a strawberry cake gummy before, but it was love at first bite!
They are so good, from the fluffy texture, to the sweet taste, all the way to the cute design.
I know I mentioned it before, but it’s worth saying again: I love the artistic nature of Japanese candy!
These gummies look like mini-slices of a strawberry shortcake, which is already super cute, but then the booklet recommends lining up eight slices to form a complete cake.
I totally did it! This is one of those rare times when it’s good to play with your food.
Bokksu Snack #2: Kyoto Sable: Ume
This crispy French butter cookie melted in my mouth immediately and made me wonder where it had been all my life.
The sweetness level was just right for it, and even though I don’t eat plums all that often, after snacking down on this delight I’m thinking about changing that.
Bokksu Snack #3: Hana Iroiro Hatsune Okaki
These rice crackers were great and combined a nice crunchy texture along with a delicious soy sauce flavor and some lovely sugar-sweetness.
Once I started eating them, I knew I was in trouble as I couldn’t keep myself from grabbing the next one, and the next one, and the next one!
Before I knew it, I had gone through the whole bag. My sadness was soon forgotten as I moved onto the next Bokksu treat.
Overall Thoughts On The Treats
I have to be honest, I really enjoyed all of the treats I ate from both boxes.
Even though I haven’t made my way through each and every snack, I can confidently say that they are both winners and really hit it out of the park this month.
One thing that Sakuraco does that sets them apart from other Japanese snack boxes is that they provide a Japanese Home Good in addition to the treats and tea.
This authentic home good could be ceramics, chopsticks, bowels, or something else sourced from traditional Japanese makers.
This month I received a Sakura Springtime Dish. There are two possible colors that you can get: pink and black.
As you can see from the above picture, I received the black one which has a nice sleek look to it and really highlights the white and pink pedals floating across the dish’s surface.
I have to admit that I went through nearly all of the snacks from both boxes rather quickly (they are so good!) and it won’t be long before I have completely emptied both boxes!
That’s why I think its nice to have a non-edible gift or souvenir that I can keep with me for many years to come. Every time I pull it out, I am reminded of the enjoyment I had with that month’s box.
Due to its uniqueness it really stands out from my other dishes and therefore typically gets chosen first when friends or family are visiting and need a plate or bowl to use.
The pricing of each box depends on a couple of factors, so let’s talk about them briefly.
As you would expect of any subscription service, the longer you sign up for, the lower the price you will receive.
Sakuraco lists $37.50 per box at the 1-month level (shortest) and $32.50 per box at the 12-month level (longest).
Bokksu lists $49.99 per box at the 1-month level (shortest) and 39.99 per box at the 12-month level (longest).
We also have to take shipping costs into account. Bokksu offers free shipping to the United States where I am located (nice!) but if you don’t live in the USA then depending on the country and the shipping method the cost could be anywhere from $4.99 to $22.99.
For Sakuraco, again it kind of depends on what country it’s shipping to and what method is used. The two prices I saw listed were $10.50 and $12.50 depending on where the box was heading.
Which One is Better?
To be perfectly honest, I really liked and enjoyed both boxes.
I think that anyone who loves Japan and Japanese culture like I do will really like and have fun with either of these two options. This is one of those cases where there is no wrong answer.
That being said, there are differences between the two that are worth pointing out.
Bokksu provides more snacks on just a numbers basis, so if you’re looking to get as many as possible, then they are more in line with that.
But since it was only a 1 snack difference I didn’t really feel like they provided that much more than Sakuraco did.
Sakuraco also had the special gift that I love so much and will keep with me for (hopefully) the rest of my life.
I also felt more immersed in the Japanese culture with Sakuraco than I did with Bokksu.
Maybe it’s the little things like the booklet reading from right to left, Japanese style.
Or the thank you card with woodblock print in ukiyo-e style that I will keep and possibly use as a bookmark.
With Bokksu, I enjoyed the snacks but will forget about it as time continues on.
Sakuraco has given me tea and treats to enjoy now, while also providing me with gifts that I will keep with me as I continue through life.
And as the days go by and I use my Sakura Springtime Dish while enjoying dinner, or when I glance at art on the front of the thank you card, I will be reminded of my enjoyment with Sakuraco and the time they brought the Arrival of Sakura into my home.
For me, the clear winner is Sakuraco.
Check them out at sakura.co to learn more about them and their wonderful monthly boxes.
They are the ones I pick and would recommend first to anyone looking to get into Japanese monthly snack boxes.
If you’ve got any questions or comments, please feel free to let me know by posting them in the section below.
Or if you’ve tried out one of these Japanese snack boxes, be sure to share your experience as well.
Further Resources for Learning Japanese: