May is an interesting time for Japanese snacks! The rich and sweet sakura snacks of March and April are usually coming to an end, while the refreshing summer snacks of June onwards are yet to be created.
Culturally, May is an important time for relaxing and enjoying one’s self, thanks to the extended public holiday of Golden Week. During this time, Shincha, or the new spring tea that has recently been harvested is a popular drink to enjoy during the season known for its mild weather and climate.
Creating authentic Japanese snack boxes during this time can be difficult, so we wanted to take a look at how Sakuraco and another Japanese snack box, Bokksu, create unique and delicious Japanese snack and tea experiences.
As mentioned above, Shincha is a wonderful element of Japanese tea culture. It involves drinking young tea leaves while they are at their freshest, for the highest quality Japanese tea experiences.
This month Sakuraco wanted to share this cultural experience with the Sakuraco family through the delicious and elegant flavor of matcha, paired perfectly with mochi. What is mochi? A chewy rice-cake based wagashi (or traditional Japanese sweet) that has been enjoyed with matcha for centuries.
Bokksu instead opted for a fun and colorful party theme, celebrating their 6th anniversary. Although it is less Japanese culturally focused, it features a fun selection of Japanese snacks you might enjoy at a party.
Snack Variety and Quality
Both Sakuraco and Bokksu contain a range of unique snacks sourced directly from Japan. Bokksu contains 15 varieties of Japanese snack, and Sakuraco features 14 but with a total of 19 snacks, some being doubled up so that they can be shared with friends and family over tea.
Sakuraco has a heavy focus on a variety of textures that all center around a tea theme, from tea and matcha mochi products, matcha cakes, bread, manju and cookies. Additionally for a bit of a crispy crunch, karinto and arare crackers have also been included for a well rounded experience.
An additional product that we are excited to highlight is our Sakura Sencha tea product. Made in collaboration with one of our partners, Takayanagi Seicha, this floral and elegant tea is exclusive to the Sakuraco service.
Finally, Sakuraco rounds up our selection with Japan-made chopsticks featuring an auspicious Japanese Shippo pattern. We hope that you can take something away from this box as a memento, which you can continue to use and love for years to come.
Bokksu on the other hand uses a mixture of box products, featuring snacks from both small family owned makers and large Japanese producers, including Frito Lay Japan, Bourbon, Fujiya and Calpis. Additionally they include some Dagashi (popular childhood snacks) such as Potato Snack Curry Flavor, mixed in with their more traditional snacks such as Kanagawa Fujino Yuzu Jelly.
Your May 2022 Bokksu box does not contain any Bokksu original items or any additional Japanese home or kitchen goods.
Taking a look at the quantity and variety of snacks in both boxes, we can see a wider range of snack types in Sakuraco, solely sourced from smaller, family-owned businesses. Bokksu on the other hand is opting to offer smaller snacks, sourced from popular makers in Japan.
Small Family Owned Makers vs Popular Makers
As mentioned above, Bokksu’s May box features a wide mixture of snacks from both popular and smaller, family owned Japanese makers. This box contains snacks from makers Frito Lay Japan, Bourbon, Fujiya and Calpis. While these popular makers are beloved in Japan and create very delicious snacks, this is a bit out of line with Bokksu’s message of supporting smaller local makers.
Given the importance of supporting local makers, Sakuraco is dedicated to highlighting and elevating our home-grown makers and sharing hidden snack gems with our Sakuraco family. This box is crafted by our in-house Tokyo-based Japanese snack experts who are able to create bonds with our makers, which companies like New York based Bokksu might struggle to do.
And thanks to the bonds built, we were able to secure original items. We are dedicated to providing more of these authentic experiences by partnering with our local makers and creating original snacks with them. Please keep a look out for more treats like this coming in our upcoming box!
Cost and Shipping
If you were based in the US, your monthly Bokksu box would cost $49.95 while your Sakuraco box would cost $37.50 (with a shipping cost of $12.50, making your total $50.00). The cost difference between the two boxes is only $0.05, making them very comparable.
Where the two services differ however is in their shipping times. Your Bokksu box will take between 1-3 weeks after shipping to arrive (but could take up to 6 weeks). Sakuraco on the other hand will take on average 5-7 days to arrive in the US, along with a tracking number. As snacks in transit can be very delicate and easy to spoil, quick delivery is imperative for snack freshness.
When comparing the two services, we can see two very different Japanese snack experiences. Sakuraco opts to focus more on a traditionally inspired experience rooted in Japanese culture while Bokksu offers a celebration with a selection of fun Japanese snacks. Depending on your taste and preferences, your Japanese snack experience can be totally different.
Why not join authentic Japanese snack box Sakuraco this month for a new look into Japanese culture and seasonal Japanese snacks? Take a look at what’s coming this month!
Want to see the differences between Sakuraco and Bokksu at a glance? Check out our comparison page where we’ve put together the information just for you!