Japan really knows how to take snacking to the next level, and both Bokksu and Sakuraco send subscribers delicious snacks from Japan in totally kawaii packaging (that’s “cute” in Japanese). At first glance, these two subscriptions look a lot alike, but things are not always as they first seem. Below, we’re going to toss these snack box heavyweights into the sumo ring, and let each rikishi (read: “wrestler”) battle it out for ultimate fame and glory. Who wins in my books in this high-stakes face-off? Read on to find out!
Round 1: Number of snacks. Bokksu wins!
Let’s get real: when you subscribe to a Japanese snack box, you want to get your hands (and mouth) on as many delicious snacks as possible. Both Bokksu and Sakuraco include a selection of delicious sweet and savory treats from The Land of the Rising Sun in every shipment, but I received a larger selection from Bokksu. Bokksu sends 22 items in every single box, while Sakuraco only sent me 20. Bokksu also includes a guide to help you navigate the contents of your box. You can learn more about each treat and where it’s made while tasting your way through the goodies.
Round 2: All treats and no filler. Bokksu wins!
I'm here for the mochi, senbei, cakes, cookies, chips, and tea– not inedible extras that take up precious box space that could be holding a bag of white peach gummies or strawberry milk marshmallows instead. With Bokksu, every single item you receive takes you on a flavor journey across Japan. Everything I received from Bokksu was edible. Sakuraco, on the other hand, includes items like chopsticks and bowls. To me, these did not seem like artisan items you need to travel to Japan to procure; they seemed a lot like the items you could find on the shelves of your local Asian grocery store.
Round 3: Pricing. Bokksu wins!
At the end of the day, the price of these boxes is almost identical when you pay month-to-month (they’re both around $50). However, I liked that Bokksu's price on their homepage included the shipping price, so I didn't have sticker shock when landing on the checkout page. With Sakuraco, I was a bit shocked when I hit the final page and had additional $12.50 in shipping fees.
You’ll also save with an annual subscription to Bokksu. Paying upfront for a 12-month membership lowers the price to $40 per month; an annual subscription to Sakuraco costs $45 per month.
Round 4: Travel to Japan without leaving your home. It’s a tie!
When you sign up for a subscription to a snack box that delivers Japanese snacks to your door, you’re ordering more than just treats. Each shipment is a vacation in a box. Both Sakuraco and Bokksu deliver tasty treats from artisan makers and family-owned businesses that are sourced all the way from Japan. You’ll sample chocolate and pastries from Hokkaido, candy and matcha from Kyoto, and so much more. I liked Bokksu’s Seasons of Japan box, which includes snacks from every season. Here are some highlights:
- White Strawberry: Japanese snacks are nothing if not surprising, and this freeze-dried, white chocolate-dipped strawberry is a revelation. It’s sweet, creamy, crunchy, and it melts in your mouth.
- 20th Century Pear Biscuit: This thin and crunchy sandwich cookie is flavored with Asian pear, mild cheese, and white chocolate. While this flavor combination may seem surprising to Western palates, the mild flavors blend together in perfect harmony.
- Shiro Ebi Senbei: If shrimp-flavored snacks seem scary, fear not! These crunchy rice crackers deliver a punch of umami that’s savory (but not too fishy) enough to make your lips smack.
- Mocchan Dango Mochi: These soft and sticky rice dumplings are dusted with sugar, and oh so tasty. If you’re a fan of gummy candy, these delicately flavored sweets should be right up your alley.
Round 5: Support when you need it. Bokksu wins!
While both boxes are professionally packed with care, there’s a lot that can happen in transit. Once a shipment leaves snack-packing headquarters, it’s in the hands of the shipping courier, and it’s an inconvenient fact that it may encounter speedbumps en route to your door. (If you’ve ever received a package from your mail carrier that looks like it was used as a soccer ball, you get it.) Should this happen with your Bokksu snack box, you’re protected; Bokksu offers a happiness guarantee to ensure you’re covered if your treats arrive in less-than-ideal condition. Bokksu’s customer service team was easier for me to reach. While both Sakuraco and Bokksu offer support via email, Bokksu takes customer care one step further by providing live chat through the website during business hours.
After facing off in five separate bouts, the winner in my books is clear: Bokksu takes home the trophy in this head-to-head matchup. While both Sakuraco and Bokksu deliver delicious treats from Japan, Bokksu's customer support, quantity, and quality of snacks make it my favorite.