• SHARE

We’re all missing travel these days — getting to explore new places, see new sights and try new foods. Good thing there’s a wealth of subscription boxes that bring the best of Japan to you. So whether you’re looking for something wacky and wild, or more focused on artisanal craftsmanship, one of these subscription boxes is sure to fit the bill.

Treat yourself: TokyoTreat’s Classic and Premium boxes have a good mix of sweet and savory options from well-known brands such as Calbee and KitKat. | COURTESY OF TOKYOTREAT
Treat yourself: TokyoTreat’s Classic and Premium boxes have a good mix of sweet and savory options from well-known brands such as Calbee and KitKat. | COURTESY OF TOKYOTREAT

TokyoTreat

TokyoTreat is a monthly subscription box stuffed with Japanese snacks, sweets and drinks. Each month has a different theme — past ones include “Time Travel Treats,” “Summer Vacation” and “Sakura Snacktime!” — that takes advantage of the constant rotation of limited-edition, seasonal flavors available in Japan. (Keep an eye out for some treats — and tricks — in next month’s “Hungry, Hungry Halloween” box!)

The Premium box comes with a whopping 17 full-sized items, including a drink, anime-themed snack and playful DIY candy. But both Classic and Premium have a good mix of sweet and savory options from well-known brands such as Calbee, KitKat and Glico, so there will be something to suit whatever you’re craving. The full-color booklet breaks down everything in the box, and each month there’s a themed photo contest you can enter for the chance to win prizes.

Visit tokyotreat.com for more information. Classic from $22.50 (~¥2,400)/month, Premium from $31.50 (~¥3,300)/month. International shipping only, additional charges apply for the expedited DHL Shipping Plan.

Heartfelt and healthy: Kokoro Care Packages offers premium, all-natural Japanese ingredients and foods in each of its thoughtful boxes. | COURTESY OF KOKORO CARE PACKAGES
Heartfelt and healthy: Kokoro Care Packages offers premium, all-natural Japanese ingredients and foods in each of its thoughtful boxes. | COURTESY OF KOKORO CARE PACKAGES

Kokoro Care Packages

Founded by Lillian Hanako Rowlatt and Aki Sugiyama, Kokoro Care Packages offers premium, all-natural Japanese ingredients and foods, with an emphasis on supporting regional farmers and producers. Whether you choose one of Kokoro’s two fixed, order-anytime collections — Creative Beginnings: Redefining “Wa” Care Package” or Zuru Zuru Noodles: “Yui” Care Package — or themed subscriptions — either the monthly Nourishing Essentials Care Package or quarterly Seasonal Delights Care Package — you’re guaranteed an expertly curated box you can feel good about.

What sets Kokoro apart is the fact that the majority of its offerings are ingredients you can cook and experiment with, rather than ready-to-eat snacks. Each Care Package comes with an English pamphlet containing product descriptions, producer stories and suggested recipes. The shichimi tōgarashi spice mix from Yohgado in the Creative Beginnings box is particularly good — full of citrusy zing and just the right amount of heat, it pairs perfectly with everything from noodles to scrambled eggs — as is the umami-rich soy sauce from Marunaka Shoyu.

Visit kokorocares.com for more information. Collection boxes from $45/$60 (¥4,784/¥6,378) domestic/international; monthly Nourishing Essentials from $50/$55 (¥5,315/¥5,847) domestic/international; quarterly Seasonal Delights $85/$95 (¥9,036/¥10,099) domestic/international. Some international shipments may take longer than normal due to COVID-19.

Seasons of snacks: Bokksu’s mission is to “connect people and sustain culture through food and media.” | COURTESY OF BOKKSU
Seasons of snacks: Bokksu’s mission is to “connect people and sustain culture through food and media.” | COURTESY OF BOKKSU

Bokksu

Bokksu’s mission is to “connect people and sustain culture through food and media,” which it does by expertly curating a range of snacks from both major producers and small, 100-plus-year-old family makers.

When you subscribe to Bokksu, the first box you receive is Seasons of Japan, which is full of treats from across the archipelago that allow you to get a taste of a year in the country. The Seaweed Tempura Setouchi Sudachi citrus-flavored chips from “summer” are addictively crispy and tangy, while the exclusive Bokksu “spring” white chocolate-infused, freeze-dried strawberries are oh-so luscious and indulgent. Subsequent boxes come packed with 20 to 25 snacks centered around themes such as “Sunny Okinawa” or “Rainbow Birthday.” And if there’s something you just can’t get enough of, you can purchase it a la carte from the Bokksu Market.

Visit bokksu.com for more information. Bokksu is $44.99 (~¥4,700)/month. You can also order three-, six- and 12-month subscriptions at bundled prices. Subscriptions auto-renew unless skipped or canceled; shipping is free.

Culture-driven: (From left) Peko Peko Box's Charles Beny, Koichi Maehara of sweets maker Kunihiroya and Aline Schneider meet to discuss Kunihiroya's castella cake for Peko Peko Box. | LUKASZ PALKA
Culture-driven: (From left) Peko Peko Box’s Charles Beny, Koichi Maehara of sweets maker Kunihiroya and Aline Schneider meet to discuss Kunihiroya’s castella cake for Peko Peko Box. | LUKASZ PALKA

Peko Peko Box

Peko Peko Box (pekopeko is an onomatopoeia meaning “very hungry”) just debuted its first box, Senses of Japan, and aims to “help you travel to Japan from home.” Each bimonthly box comes with six to nine regional craft items and confections, and it really feels like you’ve traveled to Japan and come back with omiyage (souvenirs). Peko Peko emphasizes quality — nothing is mass-produced. Highlights from this first box include two coasters made with fragrant rushes grown in Kumamoto Prefecture and origami paper from Yamaki Tatami; yuzu citrus face soap made in partnership with a temple in Kyoto; and a traditional daruma doll from Gunma Prefecture.

When you subscribe to Peko Peko Box, you also get online access to exclusive videos featuring interviews with the producers, behind-the-scenes footage of how the products are made and even tips on how to best use some of the less-familiar items. November’s box will feature products from Joge, Hiroshima Prefecture, which is known for its retro-looking shops, antiques and white-walled houses.

Visit pekopekobox.com for more information. Peko Peko Box is $45 (~¥4,700) every two months, bundles are available for three- or six-box plans; subscriptions auto-renew unless canceled. Shipping cost varies by location.

RELATED PHOTOS

Coronavirus banner