Bokksu Review – My First Month, Seasons of Japan

For my 32nd birthday, Peter of Andsobegins gifted me a three month Bokksu subscription since I’ve always been a little curious about it, and I do enjoy a nice subscription box! For reference, I have previously had a TokyoTreat subscription, and about three years of a GlossyBox subscription.

A snack filled cardboard box with a welcome card and booklet of contents

Three months seems like a really nice place to start since I’ll get to try the very first box, which is always the ‘Seasons of Japan’ selection everyone gets to try, and then I’ll get to see what a few normal seasonal boxes are like over September and October. All boxes come with a booklet covering the theme, each item (including allergens) and has a map so you can see where things are from. Bokksu really wants you to feel like you’re exploring and experiencing Japan.

A map showing where all the snacks contained within the box are from

As the name suggests, the ‘Seasons of Japan’ starter box contains a selection of snacks for each season. Spring is full of sweet, pink floral flavours and even the one mostly savoury snack is still relatively sweet. Summer is almost entirely salty and savoury with a lot of citrus to enjoy. Autumn is back to being mostly sweet with warm caramel, apple and chocolate flavours that are practically universal to the season. Finally the box ends in Winter with some savoury, some sweet and even some green tea to try. I suppose as a sort of comparison, the actual box is smaller than say, a TokyoTreat box, but really is jam packed with items, while each season has four different items, you get multiple of a lot of these for a total of 22 items in the box.

A double page spread explaining what flavours typify each season in Japan

A lot of the value of this box as well again over something like TokyoTreat is that I do feel that not only does it have a more mature snack selection, but it’s a more unique selection too! A lot of the snacks aren’t things I can just grab from my local Asian Supermarket. So while you can certainly break the monetary value of the box down over the number of snacks, I suppose that feels like it’s missing the point – you’re paying for a new and interesting experience which is a lot of fun after a year and a half of…not having a lot of new experiences due to the pandemic.

Onto the Snacks!

The four snacks of Spring were Mocchan Dango Mochi (x2), Stick Potato: Suppa Mucho Plum (x1), 20th Century Pear Langue de Chat (x2) and finally White Strawberry (x2) for a snack total of seven.

Mocchan Dango Mochi – There are two packs, each containing a trio of pink, white and green coloured mochi – a rice cake made from glutinous rice and then dusted with sugar. These were not flavoured at all – it’s all about that soft, pillow-y mochi texture! Otherwise they’re just a nice sweet treat. Each little pack has fun, simple and cute packaging and weighs 30 grams, ten for each mochi. The map shows these are from Aichi.

Two packets of mochi next to a leaflet describing them
A packet of pink potato chips next to a leaflet describing it

Stick Potato: Suppa Mucho Plum – This is a single large snack pack, weighing 40 grams, of thin fry shaped crisps or potato chips. They’re very small and thin chips, much thinner than any UK chip shaped crisps. These had such a very cool, interesting flavour – they manage to be savoury and salty and sweet and sour all at once, just entirely delicious and unique! The packaging is cute and pink and the flavours are citrus and floral. The map shows these are from Tokyo.

20th Century Pear Langue de Chat – You get two packs of single individually wrapped sandwich biscuits. Each sandwich is two super thin slightly crisp biscuits around a cream filling. The whole thing feels very grown up and classy, with a nice pear and white chocolate flavour, and an extremely subtle hint of cheese flavour and scent. The map shows these are from Tottori.

Two packs of biscuits next to a leaflet describing them
Two wrapped white chocolate strawberries next to a leaflet describing them

White Strawberry – These are a made just for Bokksu item and are just amazing. There are two packs of individually wrapped white chocolate infused strawberries. The strawberries are normal sized, with no weight on the packet. It is a very ‘must try for yourself’ experience – it’s like each strawberry has been freeze dried and then all the space that contained water has absorbed white chocolate instead. The strawberry isn’t chocolate coated – it IS the chocolate. I could eat 50 easily. Extremely dangerous. The map shows these are from Nagano.

The four Summer snacks were Edamame Senbei (x2), Seaweed Tempura: Setouchi Sudachi (x1), Yuzu Sake Candy (x1), and Dondon Yaki (x2) for 6 snacks in total.

Edamame Senbei – There are two packs of a single large cloud and/or pea pod shaped cracker, with no weight on the packet. These crackers are puffed with a small empty pocket in the middle, very crunchy and satisfying. Each cracker has large edamame bits baked in and the whole thing is coated in an addictive soybean powder – very unassuming looking but actually delicious. Very savoury, salty and a little sweet. The map shows these are from Saitama.

Two packed of baked edamame crackers next to a leaflet describing them
One packed of battered fried seaweed chips next to a leaflet describing it

Seaweed Tempura: Setouchi Sudachi – A single large snack pack, weighing 100 grams, of tempura battered and fried seaweed squares. These are very deliciously seaweed-y, briny, salty, crunchy goodness. I could easily eat my own body weight in these things. The map shows these are from Hiroshima.

Handmade Yuzu Sake Candy – This is a small resealable pack of hard sugar candy flavoured with Yuzu and Sake. The total weight is 30 grams and the bag I received contained seven candies. They are a very subtle and enjoyable hard candy, with a mild citrus and pear like flavour if you have no frame of reference for Yuzu or Sake. The map shows these are from Kyoto.

A packet of yuzu and sake hard candy next to a leaflet describing it
Two packets of baked teriyaki flavoured snacks next to a leaflet describing them

Dondon Yaki – Summer wraps up with two small 12 gram each packets of fried puffed snacks. The art on the packet is super cute. This snack has the same irresistible savory, sweet and salty combination as many of the other snacks included in Bokksu that makes them so very dangerous – it’s easy to eat all of it before you know it. I’m not sure I’d describe the teriyaki flavour as that strong but they were still a delight. The map shows these are from Ibaraki.

Autumn‘s snacks are Kobocha Pumpkin Anpan (1x), Matcha Chocolate Stick Cake (1x), Black Sesame Taiko Kumamon Design (x1), and Aomori Apple Caramel Sable (x1) for the smallest snack season total of four.

Kabocha Pumpkin Anpan – A single small – with no weight given, but it’s about small cookie sized – bread/cake pastry filled with white bean paste and pumpkin. It was very tasty, and autumnal, while not too sweet. and just a nice simple comforting snack all round. The map shows these are from Hokkaido.

A wrapped pumpkin and white bean paste cake next to a leaflet describing it
A wrapped matcha green tea and dark chocolate cake slice next to a leaflet describing it

Matcha Chocolate Stick Cake – Another single wrapped cake slice, this time it’s a small finger sized slice of matcha green tea and chocolate cake. It was surprisingly soft and moist for something sealed and shipped around the world. The matcha favour is more subtle than the chocolate but is still definitely there, I feel like I get it mostly in the after taste when the chocolate flavour has faded. Otherwise it was very chocolate-y and also not super sweet. The map shows these are from Osaka.

Black Sesame Taiko Kumamon Design – A single pack weighing 25 grams of pressed seed and nut disc. The most savoury snack this season but it does still have some sweetness. It’s like a sesame seed rice cake – with a very nutty, mildly bitter savoury flavour and a little sweetness from the sugar to hold it together. Very interesting as a not sweet, sweet treat, and the packaging was super cute. The map shows these are from Kumamoto.

A wrapped black sesame seed snack cake next to a leaflet describing it
A wrapped apple caramel cookie next to a leaflet describing it

Aomori Apple Caramel Sable – A single 100 gram wrapped toffee apple cookie like biscuit. It has a soft uniform texture with a slightly squidgy centre that is a darker toffee colour. The whole biscuit had a subtle apple flavour, backed up by toffee/caramel – a very lovely comforting autumnal experience. The map shows these are from Aomori.

And finally Winter contained Funwari Meijin Mochi Puffs: Kinako (x1), Ashigara Green Tea Aranami Kurofuji (x2), Puku Puku Tai: Chocolate (x1), and Uni Rice Cracker (x1) for a snack total of five.

Funwari Meijin Mochi Puffs: Kinako – A single large bag of sort of dehydrated mochi? Like a lot of things in this box, this snack is a strange and interesting new experience. They are soft puff balls that seem a little crisp at first but basically dissolve and disintegrate as soon as they come into contact with your mouth/saliva. Subtly sweet, and with a heavy, heavy coating of roasted soybean powder that gives them an extra nutty and savoury dimension. The map shows these are from Niigata.

A single packet of dehydrated mochi next to a leaflet describing them
Two packets of green tea next to a leaflet describing them

Ashigara Green Tea Aranami Kurofuji – Two individually wrapped pyramid style green tea bags with a brew time of 40 seconds up to personal preference. As a not massive fan of green tea, I actually quite enjoyed this tea. The flavour is pleasant, light and kind of savoury but in a mild way. The brewed tea is a very pretty vibrant green and was wholly enjoyable to drink. The map shows these are from Kanagawa.

Puku Puku Tai: Chocolate – A single wrapped chocolate wafer in the shape of a red snapper weighing 16.5 grams. It smells deliciously chocolate-y as soon as you open the packet. While the leaflet describes it as airy chocolate mousse, mine had sadly been smushed flat in shipping so it was just a thin layer of chocolate more like a chocolate bar than a mousse. It had a lovely chocolate flavour with the nice contrasting texture of the wafer on either side. Like a lot of Japanese confections it isn’t actually super sweet, but this is to its credit. The packaging is super cute with striking orange, white and gold colours. The map shows these are from Aichi.

A single wrapped chocolate wafer treat next to a leaflet describing it
A single packet of rice treats next to a leaflet describing it

Uni Rice Cracker – And finally, a single large packet of savoury rice crackers. There were about eight or so large round crackers meant to evoke a sea urchin. Flavour wise they’re salty, savoury and mildly fishy/seafoody. Overall a light and simple snack. The map shows these are from Osaka.

A few words on Cost/Price

Bokksu comes in a variety of price points, like a lot of subscription services that all depend on how much money you can put up right away. If you can pay up front each box only costs $39.99 – this is £28.90 per box at time of writing – but you have to be able to pay the full twelve month $479.40 (£346.44) sum up front to get that per box price. There is a six month option of $42.95 (£31.04) per box which is $257.70 (£186.23) up front. There is a three month option of $44.95 (£32.48) per box which is $134.85 (£97.45) up front. These two options could be the most popular, as they seem like fairly reasonable gifts for close loved ones. And finally, you can pay $49.95 (£36.10) rolling each month if you like the month to month flexibility. I can absolutely see saving $10 or about £7.20 per box being really worth it if you really liked the service or were sure the person you were getting really liked the service. You’re saving £86.40 a year, which is pretty close to the cost of a three month subscription, and definitely covers a free box a year even just using the full monthly cost. This makes it pretty comparable to other subscription service savings for getting a whole year.

The other important thing to note cost wise against Bokksu’s main competition TokyoTreat is that during the pandemic they removed the free shipping option for most and then I think all countries, meaning that while their box on face value is cheaper on every tier – their per month rolling is $35 (£25.29) and a whole year is $378 (£273.16) up front, that doesn’t include shipping, which is either $10.50 (£7.59) or $12.50 (£9.03) a month extra, every month. You can find the shipping information on ( Important! Major Shipping Method Updates!).

For me in the UK the shipping is $12.50 meaning really the rolling box price is $47.50 (£34.32) making them pretty comparable in price. I don’t know how fair it is to judge TokyoTreat for their shipping policy, I do assume they’re a bigger company than Bokksu so maybe they should be able to absorb that extra cost themselves but who knows. Bokksu has no hidden extra shipping cost that displays after you sign in – you CAN pay for extra insurance, and like TokyoTreat used to do, this extra cost is entirely optional. I didn’t pay it, and got my box fine.

Final thoughts for now

I really enjoyed this first month of Bokksu, I do think you get a more mature premium snack experience with snacks I couldn’t really access outside of just…being in Japan. Whatever your feelings on the cost, it is a new and interesting experience, I loved everything in the box. I liked that a lot of the sweet snacks were not overly sweet, and the interesting range in products. It also has that greyer area in terms of value in that as this was a gift, I don’t think I can make a fair or fairer call on is it good value. I do think gifts can be nice in that it’s something you wouldn’t get yourself or feel like you could justify getting yourself. If you wanted a cheaper monthly treat in the UK there are so many options out there, it all really depends on your budget, and what you want.

I am definitely looking forward to the next box!

GlossyBox Unboxing & Catch Up May 2018 – Daydreamer Edition/2021 Update

Note: I wrote this draft post to be released when I actually got this box, in May 2018, and then in June of 2018 my partner’s son died, which was understandably devastating. I had already cancelled the subscription, but because of this I went full radio silent online – it just wasn’t as important. But at some point I have to put down what happened, and this draft has been sitting here for nearly three years – the contents are not important, it’s just the…cleaning things up finally.
Love, M

So, this is finally going to be my last GlossyBox. The May Daydreamer limited edition box contained five items (plus bonus tea bag) – a shampoo and conditioner set, jelly foot soak, makeup remover, and a lovely little eyeshadow palette from Trifle Cosmetics.

And here is the Catch Up:

I had originally planned to do a year four review, but two to three years after the fact I definitely don’t have the enthusiasm for it now, and at some point you just have to draw a line so you can move on – I don’t actually want to just mothball StudiousOctopus – I’ve used to for all sorts of things for years. I do think I’m done with my stab at being a “Beauty Youtuber” – I do still like skincare and to a lesser extent makeup as much as I used to, I just want to do other things! I’ll probably go back to posting about our Let’s Play/Gaming channel, And So Begins – which is something creative we’ve managed to keep up.

Until Next Time.

Video Round Up Round Up

I do videos that aren’t GlossyBox Unboxings or Catchups occasionally – though that really is the bulk of the content – so here is a little catchup of those!

First up is my third Year Long Review of GlossyBox; I look at how much real value the box is, how much it cost, all the stuff I got, is it worth it and lots of other good things. It’s a really good long term look at the service – as opposed to the month to month shiny and new unboxings!

I was actually a little late getting this one up, so it’ll only be about 5 months or so until the fourth yearly review of the service, if I have it at that point!

And I also got around to recording an end-of-the-year cleaning-out-all-of-this-junk empties video! It always feels fun and relaxing to do these, it’s nice to look back and see what things I really liked and used them all up, what I want to rebuy, and what really didn’t stand up to use in the long term.

That’s it for now,

Until Next Time

Glossybox Unboxing and Catchup January 2018 – First Box of the New Year

Just a quick catchup round up post again; this time of the January 2018 UK GlossyBox videos from YouTube, this was a regular pink box with a very ‘New Year, New You’ theme. I had another major dislike with this box in the form of overpriced and not very safe feeling beauty supplements, but other than that disappointment – the box was actually a lovely, high value and well curated set. Hopefully we won’t see another supplement style item again, otherwise I feel like I really would have to cancel the service!

The initial Unboxing:

And then the Catchup, yo:

The February Galentines Day box is here, and you can head on over to my YouTube channel StudiousOctopus if you want to see it right away!

Until Next Time

GlossyBox’s November & December!

Back again with another update and upkeep post! So I am pretty much fully recovered now illness wise. Both me and my other half ended up having that quite bad flu that has been going around this year. We were sick really badly for about a week, and then kind of just an annoying lingering light sickness for pretty much a whole month now, whoosh! I am glad to be feeling a little better, and glad that it is just starting to lighten up again at night – 2017 is over, January 2018 is almost over too. Could warmer weather get here now?

November’s Unboxing and Catchup:

And then the December Unboxing and Catchup:

Out of the two boxes, December’s box really was my favourite. It was a nearly perfect box; the only downside being a Lypsyl lip balm with a really weird aftertaste but as the lowest value item in the box, it really wasn’t that upsetting! I loved everything else there though.

I have a few other recent bits and pieces up on YouTube, including the first GlossyBox of 2018 but I’ll add them in later posts…

Until Next Time!

Belated ANIMAL CROSSING update

I have it, it’s awesome. I haven’t played an Animal Crossing since the one I have on the original DS, which would have probably been in College in about 2005-2006…

I have acquired Ketchup! Which was goal one. I now want all the cat characters, and Stella. Yas.

Friend ID: 7044 4497 867