Holiday Gift: Bokksu’s Enjoy the Seasons of Japan

When I received a Bokksu box filled with artisanal Japanese snacks and tea, I couldn’t wait to show my teenage daughter, because she loves anything Japanese! I knew she would admire the colorful packaging and open each one to taste the exotic flavors.

In my box was sent a personal note by founder Danny Taing thanking me for my interest in Bokksu. “Since my early days of living in Japan, I’ve loved discovering delicious snacks from local Japanese snack makers,” said Danny. “I’m thrilled to present to you this first box curated across the culturally rich regions and seasons of Japan.”

Danny takes subscribers on an adventure, from Kyoto, Tokyo, Okinawa and Osaka with snacks as rich in culture as the people who make them.

Founder of Bokksu, Danny Taing

Each beautiful box includes a ‘Seasons of Japan’ booklet and cultural guide, over 20 snacks, and even a specially curated tea to experience.

It all started when Danny dreamed of moving to Japan and landed a job at Rakuten, a Japanese electronic commerce and online retailing company based in Tokyo. While in their Tokyo office, and learning Japanese, he discovered the richness of Japanese culture, food and snacks. Every trip back to America, Danny packed his suitcase with beautifully designed and tasty treats to share with his friends at home. They loved them!

When he returned back to Tokyo, his mission was to become an expert on hard-to-find Japanese snacks, treats and tea to share with others.

Mocchan Dango Mochi

Next, when he made some good connections with purveyors, he created Bokksu, a subscription based online shop filled with beautiful treats. Danny and his team have doubled their subscriptions in 2020 to over 20,000, and over 400,000 boxes have been delivered around the world with free worldwide shipping.

Bokksu in English is translated to ‘vegetarian’ and many of his snacks will appeal to vegetarians. Each box arrives with an informative ‘Seasons of Japan’ booklet, filled with names and a photo of each item, the name of the snack maker, a story about the treat, its flavor profile, if it’s Bokksu (vegetarian), and common allergens.

It’s not the same as wandering the streets of Tokyo in search for the quintessential treat, however with COVID-19, it’s the next best thing. While being stuck at home during the holidays, experience Japan through Bokksu to titiaate your senses.

Puku Puku Tai: Chocolate

One of the first things you notice is the beautiful packaging. Next when you open one of the Japanese snacks, the aroma will awaken your other senses. Feel the texture, take a bite and try todetest if its sweet, salty or savory.

Most subscription services use mass-produced mainstream snacks that can be readily found in most Asian markets outside of Japan. Bokksu directly sources its artisanal snacks from local snack makers in Japan (some of whom have been around for over 200 years). Bokksu is also the only service that hand selects a tea pairing for each box to complement that month’s flavors. 

Bokksu has a specialty grocery section, the Bokksu Market, where you can purchase individual hard to find snacks including limited edition Kit Kats in flavors like Sakura Nihonshu Sake, Otono No Amasa Citrus Mint, and Salt Lychee.

Send a Bokksu box to a loved one or enjoy Bokksu treasures monthly.

10 Reasons to Go To The LA Travel & Adventure Show

FullSizeRender-197The Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show returns this weekend February 27 -28 to the Long Beach Convention Center. Since 2004, it’s the premier travel industry and consumer show helping over 1.1 million travelers connect with 2,800 travel brands.

This year there are more than 500 exhibitors, keynote speakers, culinary delights, giveaways, entertainment and innovative travel products. I attended the show this morning early and discovered some “must-see” booths. I also participated in an informative game of “Know Your Nevada – Family Feud” and won two show tickets to see Rock of Ages at the Rio All-Suite Hotel.

Here were my favorite 10 experiences at the 2016 LA Travel & Adventure Show:

  1. Learning about Yosemite and taking a campy photo with props next to a campfire overlooking Yosemite Valley. California and Yosemite booths (with a Rock Wall) are located near the entrance to the enormous room. Go to Booth 323. IMG_4220
  2. Eating chocolate from Los Angeles based Marco Paolo Chocolates at Booth 129. They are some of the most beautiful chocolates I’ve even seen.FullSizeRender-198
  3. Attend a cooking demonstration and taste authentic Japanese cuisine from the Japan National Tourism Organization – Booth 723. Samples are handed out at the OtaJoy by Otafuku. On 2/28 at 1:15 p.m. at the Taste of Travel Theater, learn how to make Japanese Rice Ball, Onigiri and Japanese local Eki Bento and Wagyu Beef Nigiti sushi with Chef Andy Matsuda.
  4. Chat with Royalty at the United Kingdom booth 829 to plan a trip to the UK this year.

    Photo by Jill Weinlein
    Photo by Jill Weinlein
  5. Watch Fijian dancers from Tourism Fiji at 10:45 a.m. both days at the Global Beats Stage. Afterwards talk to them about the recent Cyclone Winston and how they have been cleaning up, repairing and recovering to reopen many properties by March 1, 2016. On Sunday at 3 p.m. Richard Akhtar leads a discussion on Fiji – The Untouched South Pacific at the Destination Theater. Visit Booth 713 to enter and possibly win a trip.

    Photo by Jill Weinlein
    Photo by Jill Weinlein
  6. Get a pair of cool shades and learn about the softest white sand by visiting the nice people at the Turks & Caicos Islands booth 1131.
  7. Sit in an airplane chair and have the GoSleep representatives put one of their patented upright sleep system masks over your eyes. You will want to bring one of these on your next red-eye or International flight to sleep restfully and not bob your head or get a stiff neck. Igenious! Booth 242.

    Photo by Kate Weinlein
    Photo by Kate Weinlein
  8. Visit Costa Rica’s Booth 1330 to book a special vacation at a discounted price of $1,649.
  9. Learn what’s new at LEGOLAND and their new 4D LEGO Adventure Movie. Pick up a pen and discount ticket flyer.

    Photo by Jill Weinlein
    Photo by Jill Weinlein

10. Visit Hawaii and learn about Maui, Moloka’i. On Sunday see a Hawaiian Hula and Polynesian Dance. Talk to some of the friendly folks and you may get a box of Macadamia chocolates.

Photo by Jill Weinlein
Photo by Jill Weinlein

Be sure to arrive early at 10 a.m. to avoid big crowds. Tickets are available at the door for $16, cash only. Visit http://www.LATravelShow.com. The Long Beach Convention Center is at 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach.