A Travel Price Comparison for Japan Kanazawa vs. Mashiko for Attractions, Food, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Kanazawa or Mashiko?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Kanazawa and Mashiko can help you decide which place is right for you.

Kanazawa

Kanazawa is a well-preserved, historic, and cultural city. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Mashiko

Mashiko is a rural, quaint, and charming town. With plenty of activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. This is a quaint and attractive place to visit, too. Other reasons to visit include museums, food, and hiking.

Kanazawa and Mashiko: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Small town charm
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Kanazawa or Mashiko?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Kanazawa than Mashiko, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Kanazawa is better known for its museums, food, nightlife, and historical sights, while Mashiko is more popular for its hiking, small town charm, and quaint atmosphere. Kanazawa is well known for its history, preserved architecture, and classically landscaped gardens. Also, Kanazawa is famous for Kenroku-en Garden. Mashiko is well known for its local sake, rural farms, and longstanding tradition in pottery making.

How is Kanazawa different from Mashiko?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Mashiko and Kanazawa. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Kanazawa or Mashiko?

Kanazawa
Mashiko

Kanazawa is a great city for its historical sights. Also, Mashiko is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its sights and museums.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Kanazawa can be an interesting and educational experience. The city is filled with history and you can visit the Kanazawa Castle, the Higashi Chaya Area with preserved Geisha houses, and the Nagamachi Samurai House Area. There are also museums such as the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art and the D.T. Suzuki Museum.

Mashiko is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. There are a couple of museums around town that are focused on the local activities such as pottery. You can check out the Shoji Hamada Memorial Mashiko Sankokan Museum, the Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art, and the Entsuji Temple.


Is the Food Better in Kanazawa or Mashiko? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Kanazawa
Mashiko

Kanazawa is a great city for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Mashiko is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Kanazawa has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. There's a long history to the city's cuisine and you'll find many diverse dishes that combine traditional ingredients with international fusion. The cuisine uses a lot of seafood, but you'll also find the one pot meal of Hanton Rice, Oden (hot pot), and Jibu-ni (made with duck and vegetables).

Mashiko offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants around town that serve udon, soba, and other Japanese favorites that use local ingredients.

Is Kanazawa or Mashiko Better for Nightlife?

Kanazawa
Mashiko

Kanazawa is a nice place to visit for its evening party scene. However, Mashiko is not known for nightlife.

If you're looking for night time activities Kanazawa has a few options to choose from. The town has everything from international style bars to local theaters that let you experience the traditional Japanese culture.

Most people don't head to Mashiko specifically for the nightlife scene, but you can find a few options. There are a couple of bars and pubs around town, but not a huge nightlife scene.

Is Kanazawa or Mashiko Better for its Old Town?

Kanazawa
Mashiko

Kanazawa is a nice place to visit for its historic old town charm. However, Mashiko does not have a historic old town.

Kanazawa has an old town worth visiting. It's fascinating to visit both the Higashi Chaya Area with preserved Geisha houses and the Nagamachi Samurai House Area which has preserved samurai houses that line two canals. You can enter a few of the houses to see the traditional way of life.

Mashiko does not have a historic old town.


Is Kanazawa or Mashiko Better for Hiking?

Kanazawa
Mashiko

Mashiko is very good for hiking. However, Kanazawa is not a hiking destination.

Many people include a hike when visiting Mashiko. There are three mountains in the area with hiking trails that let you experience the Japanese countryside and natural beauty. These mountains are Mt. Amamakisan, Mt.Mitsudoyasan, and Mt. Takadateyama.

Kanazawa is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Kanazawa or Mashiko?

Kanazawa
Mashiko

If you're looking to go shopping, Kanazawa and Mashiko both offer plenty of excellent spots.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Kanazawa. The city has many shopping districts that include department stores, traditional stores, and large markets. This is a great place to do some souvenir shopping.

Mashiko is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. Local pottery is the main purchase in town, and there are many shops and local vendors who sell locally made pottery.

Is Kanazawa or Mashiko Better for Families?

Kanazawa
Mashiko

Mashiko is great for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Kanazawa is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its family-friendly activities.

Mashiko is a very family-friendly destination. Pottery is the claim to fame in this small town, and kids will thoroughly enjoy taking a children's pottery class. Its the perfect way to immerse them in the local culture in a fun and hands-on way. Farm life, and fruit picking are also popular here.

Kanazawa is a family-friendly place to visit. Myouryuji Temple is a fun temple for kids where they can play ninja and discover the hidden spaces. When the kids are burned out of history, head to Tedori Fish Land which is a theme park in the area or check out the slides at Kenmin Seaside Park. There's also the Dolls Museum and the beautiful coastline.


Is Kanazawa or Mashiko Better for Couples?

Kanazawa
Mashiko

Mashiko is great for romance. Also, Kanazawa is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its romantic activities.

Mashiko is a great town if you're traveling as a couple. It's a charming town with local farms, pottery, and sake. Many couples enjoy spending a few days soaking up the local atmosphere and enjoying the simple pleasures.

Kanazawa makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. The city has markets, museums, and gardens that are fun to explore as a couple. You can visit the Kanazawa Castle or sample one of the many restaurants around town.

Is Kanazawa or Mashiko Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Kanazawa
Mashiko

Kanazawa is a nice place to visit for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Mashiko is not known for backpackers.

It's common for backpackers to visit Kanazawa. There are a handful of hostels and affordable accommodation options that backpackers can choose from.

Mashiko is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. Most backpackers don't venture to this community, but its seeped in quaint culture and small town atmosphere.

Is Kanazawa or Mashiko Better for Students?

Kanazawa
Mashiko

Kanazawa is a nice place to visit for its student-friendly activities. However, Mashiko is not popular with students.

It's common for students to visit Kanazawa. It has a good educational environment with high quality educational institutions that appeal to international students.

Mashiko is not popular with students.


Is Kanazawa or Mashiko Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Kanazawa
Mashiko

Kanazawa and Mashiko both offer notable public transit to get you around.

While Kanazawa offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There are two main buses that tourists use in town. The Kenrokuen Shuttle goes between the Kanazawa Station and Kenrokuen Gardens and the Kanazawa Loop Bus runs from Kanazawa Station via the Teramachi area, the Higashi Chaya District, and Omicho Market.

Mashiko has a few public transit options. There are local trains that stop by the strawberry picking farms. There are also local buses in the area.

Is Kanazawa or Mashiko a more walkable city?

Kanazawa
Mashiko

Kanazawa and Mashiko are excellent when it comes to walkability.

Kanazawa is very walkable. The city is relatively walkable with some rolling hills. It's possible to walk to Kanazawa Castle from Kanazawa Station in about 35 minutes.

Mashiko is a very walkable city. Many people choose to walk around town and the pottery area is about a 20 minute walk from Mashiko Station.

For even more information, also check out Is Kanazawa Worth Visiting? and Is Mashiko Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Mashiko or Kanazawa?

How long in Kanazawa or Mashiko?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Kanazawa or Mashiko to fill your time. In our opinion, Kanazawa has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Kanazawa than Mashiko. However, 1-2 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Mashiko than Kanazawa. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Mashiko, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Mashiko than Kanazawa. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Mashiko that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Kanazawa than Mashiko if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Kanazawa.


  • How many days in Kanazawa or Mashiko? Ideal Length of Stay
    Kanazawa 1-2 
    Mashiko 1-2

One day in Kanazawa or Mashiko?

In Kanazawa, you'll find nightlife and food. This city offers something for everyone. This would be the perfect place to spend one day, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Mashiko is a small town where visitors enjoy the food and shopping. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


A weekend in Kanazawa or Mashiko?

In Kanazawa, you'll find food and shopping. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Kanazawa has to offer.

Mashiko is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this town makes for a great vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Mashiko, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Five days in Kanazawa or Mashiko?

Kanazawa is a great place to explore. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

Mashiko is a popular choice for travelers. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A week in Kanazawa or Mashiko?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Kanazawa. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Kanazawa. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Mashiko is a great place to explore. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This town offers something for everyone.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Japan, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Japan, The Best Historical Tours in Japan, and The Best 10-Day Tours in Japan.


Which place is cheaper, Mashiko or Kanazawa?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Kanazawa is $103, while the average daily cost in Mashiko is $64. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Kanazawa and Mashiko in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kanazawa $64
    Mashiko $33
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kanazawa $128
    Mashiko $66
Compare Hotels in Kanazawa and Mashiko

Looking for a hotel in Kanazawa or Mashiko? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Kanazawa


Hotels in Mashiko


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Kanazawa Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kanazawa $9.32
    Mashiko $11

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kanazawa

Also for Kanazawa, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Noto Airport to/from Kanazawa City Private Transfer: $315
  • Kanazawa City to/from Wakura City Private transfer: $253

Is it cheaper to fly into Kanazawa or Mashiko?

Prices for flights to both Mashiko and Kanazawa change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Kanazawa $32
    Mashiko $23

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Kanazawa

For Kanazawa, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Sneaking into a Cooking Class for Japanese: $58
  • Private Japanese Cooking Classes in Kanazawa: $71
  • Private Japanese Cooking Classes in Kanazawa: $73

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kanazawa $9.74
    Mashiko $8.85

Tours and Activities in Kanazawa

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Kanazawa.

  • “Be a Local” Kanazawa Izakaya Hop Tour: $79
  • 1 Day Tour from Kurobe Gorge and Unazuki Onsen: $228
  • 1-Day Shirakawago & Takayama Tour (Round Trip from Kanazawa): $169
  • 4 Hour Unique Kanazawa Cherry Blossom Sakura Private Experience: $217
  • Afternoon Round Trip Tour from Kanazawa: $89
  • E-Bike Cycling with Guided Tour of Kanazawa Main & Kenrokuen: $84
  • E-Bike Cycling with Guided Tour of Kanazawa Main and Ninja Temple: $79
  • Full-Day Tour from Samurai, Matcha, Gardens and Geisha: $152
  • Guided Night Tour to Feel the Samurai Culture in Kanazawa: $57
  • Hidden Gems Of Private & Personalized Walking Experience: $101
  • Kanazawa ⇒ Takayama (one way) Including Shirakawago (Private Tour): $273
  • Kanazawa Custom Full Day Tour: $212

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kanazawa $12
    Mashiko $5.13


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Kanazawa and Mashiko, we can see that Kanazawa is more expensive. And not only is Mashiko much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Mashiko would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Mashiko and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Kanazawa would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Kanazawa than you might in Mashiko.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Kanazawa Expensive? and Is Mashiko Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Kanazawa or Mashiko?

Kanazawa has a larger population, and is about 20 times larger than the population of Mashiko. When comparing the sizes of Kanazawa and Mashiko, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Kanazawa or Mashiko?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Kanazawa or Mashiko in the Summer?

Both Mashiko and Kanazawa are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Kanazawa this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Mashiko for the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Kanazawa is generally around the same temperature as Mashiko. Daily temperatures in Kanazawa average around 26°C (78°F), and Mashiko fluctuates around 24°C (75°F).

Kanazawa usually receives more sunshine than Mashiko during summer. Kanazawa gets 180 hours of sunny skies, while Mashiko receives 130 hours of full sun in the summer.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Mashiko. It's quite rainy in Kanazawa. In July, Kanazawa usually receives more rain than Mashiko. Kanazawa gets 251 mm (9.9 in) of rain, while Mashiko receives 117 mm (4.6 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Kanazawa 26°C (78°F) 
    Mashiko 24°C (75°F)

Should I visit Kanazawa or Mashiko in the Autumn?

Both Mashiko and Kanazawa during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Kanazawa for the shopping scene. Furthermore, many visitors come to Mashiko in the autumn for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the small town atmosphere.

Kanazawa is around the same temperature as Mashiko in the autumn. The daily temperature in Kanazawa averages around 17°C (62°F) in October, and Mashiko fluctuates around 16°C (60°F).

In the autumn, Kanazawa often gets more sunshine than Mashiko. Kanazawa gets 155 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Mashiko receives 133 hours of full sun.

Mashiko gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Kanazawa. Kanazawa usually gets more rain in October than Mashiko. Kanazawa gets 203 mm (8 in) of rain, while Mashiko receives 145 mm (5.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Kanazawa 17°C (62°F) 
    Mashiko 16°C (60°F)

Should I visit Kanazawa or Mashiko in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Kanazawa and Mashiko. Many visitors come to Kanazawa in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, most visitors come to Mashiko for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Mashiko can be very cold during winter. Kanazawa can get quite cold in the winter. In the winter, Kanazawa is around the same temperature as Mashiko. Typically, the winter temperatures in Kanazawa in January average around 3°C (38°F), and Mashiko averages at about 3°C (38°F).

Kanazawa usually receives less sunshine than Mashiko during winter. Kanazawa gets 67 hours of sunny skies, while Mashiko receives 181 hours of full sun in the winter.

Kanazawa gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In January, Kanazawa usually receives more rain than Mashiko. Kanazawa gets 294 mm (11.6 in) of rain, while Mashiko receives 44 mm (1.7 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Kanazawa 3°C (38°F) 
    Mashiko 3°C (38°F)

Should I visit Kanazawa or Mashiko in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Kanazawa as well as Mashiko. Additionally, the spring months attract visitors to Mashiko because of the small town charm.

In April, Kanazawa is generally around the same temperature as Mashiko. Daily temperatures in Kanazawa average around 12°C (54°F), and Mashiko fluctuates around 12°C (53°F).

In the spring, Kanazawa often gets more sunshine than Mashiko. Kanazawa gets 183 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Mashiko receives 160 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Mashiko. Kanazawa receives a lot of rain in the spring. Kanazawa usually gets more rain in April than Mashiko. Kanazawa gets 149 mm (5.9 in) of rain, while Mashiko receives 118 mm (4.6 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Kanazawa 12°C (54°F) 
    Mashiko 12°C (53°F)

Typical Weather for Mashiko and Kanazawa

Kanazawa Mashiko
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 3°C (38°F) 294 mm (11.6 in) 3°C (38°F) 44 mm (1.7 in)
Feb 3°C (38°F) 192 mm (7.6 in) 4°C (38°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Mar 6°C (43°F) 156 mm (6.1 in) 6°C (44°F) 95 mm (3.7 in)
Apr 12°C (54°F) 149 mm (5.9 in) 12°C (53°F) 118 mm (4.6 in)
May 17°C (63°F) 150 mm (5.9 in) 17°C (62°F) 139 mm (5.5 in)
Jun 21°C (70°F) 202 mm (8 in) 20°C (68°F) 175 mm (6.9 in)
Jul 26°C (78°F) 251 mm (9.9 in) 24°C (75°F) 117 mm (4.6 in)
Aug 27°C (81°F) 171 mm (6.7 in) 26°C (78°F) 135 mm (5.3 in)
Sep 23°C (73°F) 248 mm (9.8 in) 22°C (71°F) 163 mm (6.4 in)
Oct 17°C (62°F) 203 mm (8 in) 16°C (60°F) 145 mm (5.7 in)
Nov 11°C (52°F) 266 mm (10.5 in) 11°C (51°F) 78 mm (3.1 in)
Dec 6°C (43°F) 306 mm (12 in) 6°C (42°F) 40 mm (1.6 in)


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