The Japanese Subscription Box I’m Ordering on Repeat Until We Can Travel Again

updated Dec 21, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
woman sitting on her sofa and eating potato crisps while using her laptop
Credit: PeopleImages/Getty Images

My very first friend in college was a Japanese exchange student. We met in Eco 101 and quickly bonded over a common obsession with Mangas and Bollywood. Over the course of our friendship, she introduced me to many cultural nuances, but the one I’m most grateful for has to be the fascinating world of Japanese snacks. Unlike American or even Indian snacks, there’s something intriguing and irresistible about the flavors and textures. On my first trip to Japan two years ago, I ended up buying so many snacks to bring back home that I eventually had to purchase a carry-on suitcase from a local market just to fit my haul! So last year when I booked tickets to Tokyo for August 2020, I was already planning on carrying two suitcases home with me.

Of course, this was all before the pandemic hit and flung everyone’s travel plans out the window. And while regular Zoom coffee chats have been making up for in-person hangouts with my friends, Bokksu has been my go-to for Japanese snacks.

Here’s How Bokksu Works

These aren’t the kinds of snacks you’ll find at your local Asian supermarket. Shipped straight from Japan, every single goodie is unique and something you likely haven’t tasted before, since most of the snacks are directly sourced from family-run businesses. To get started, simply select your preferred delivery frequency: a single box ($49.95), a three-month subscription of one delivery per month ($44.95/month), or a full year’s worth ($39.95/month). Then sit back, put on some J-pop, and wait for your first box to arrive.

What to Expect in Your Bokksu Box

My first Bokksu box was packed to the brim with more than 20 artisanal snacks and candies — everything from savory to crunchy to sweet. Each box usually has a theme, and my box, Seasons of Japan, celebrated all Japanese seasons. I got to sample an assortment of delicious springtime flavors like sakura and cherry blossom, summery citrus flavors like yuzu, autumn apples, and wintry sweet potatoes. The box also had lots of treats inspired by matcha, an ingredient that’s popular year-round in Japan.

The portions are individual-sized and beautifully packed, and everything was absolutely delicious. But the edamame-coated senbei, seaweed tempura, Taiyaki-shaped wafer stuffed with chocolate, rich Hokkaido red bean doughnuts, mochi balls, and freeze-dried strawberries with white chocolate are all tied for my favorite! The box also included a genmaicha tea that I sipped while leisurely browsing the helpful cultural guide that detailed each product’s origin, flavors, and common allergens. For instance, I discovered that one of my favorite crackers from the lot was actually coated in an umami flavor derived from sea urchins!

So, Should You Subscribe?

If you’re a perennial snacker who enjoys exploring new flavors, then you definitely won’t regret signing up for a Bokksu box. And if you’re looking for a last-minute thoughtful gift, it’s a great pick for anyone on your list who misses traveling or simply enjoys exploring new cultures through food. As for me, I’ll be patiently waiting for my Bokksu boxes to arrive at the start of every month — or at least until I can finally fly again and dig into those tasty treats in their homeland.

Sign up for your first Bokksu subscription box.