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

Should you visit Kobe or Mashiko?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Kobe and Mashiko. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Kobe

Kobe is a under-rated, multicultural, and quaint city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. 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. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. It's also popular because of the museums, food, and hiking.

Kobe and Mashiko: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
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 Kobe or Mashiko?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Kobe. Although Kobe and Mashiko are popular destinations, Kobe has more sights and attractions for tourists. Kobe is very popular for its food, nightlife, and big city activities, while Mashiko attracts visitors for its hiking, small town charm, and quaint atmosphere. Mashiko is more touristy than Kobe and is known for its local sake, rural farms, and longstanding tradition in pottery making. Kobe is famous for its world renowned Kobe beef and its hot spring resorts. It is also well known for Kobe Harborland.

How is Kobe different from Mashiko?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Kobe
Mashiko

You'll find a number of nice museums and attractions in both Mashiko and Kobe.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Kobe. Check out the view from the top of the Kobe Port Tower and visit the high energy area of Kobe Harborland. The Disaster Reduction Museum and the nearby Human Renovation Museum are both fascinating to visit as well. Also check out the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art and Rokko Island.

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 Kobe or Mashiko? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Kobe
Mashiko

Kobe 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.

Kobe has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. Most people immediately think of Kobe beef when they think of this city, but there are also many other specialties around town. You'll find good sushi as well as akashiyaki, which are octopus dumplings. The city long served as a major port for Japan, so there is a strong Chinese influence over the cuisine. In particular, you should try the chuka ryori (a Chinese dumpling).

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 Kobe or Mashiko Better for Nightlife?

Kobe
Mashiko

Kobe 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 Kobe has a few options to choose from. The nightlife scene is a bit subdued, but that doesn't mean you won't find local bars, karaoke, and live music venues where you can hang out. Many visitors enjoy having a chill night out with a drink in a laid back setting.

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 Kobe or Mashiko Better for Hiking?

Kobe
Mashiko

Mashiko is a good destination for hiking. However, Kobe is not a hiking destination.

Mashiko offers some nice hiking trails. 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.

Kobe is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Kobe or Mashiko?

Kobe
Mashiko

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

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Kobe. It's fun and convenient to shop here, as the best shopping districts are easy to access from the train stations. Sannomiya is a hub of transportation and shopping in the city, but also check out Kobe Harborland for its diverse stores and high energy.

Mashiko is an extremely popular place for shoppers. Local pottery is the main purchase in town, and there are many shops and local vendors who sell locally made pottery.

Is Kobe or Mashiko Better for Families?

Kobe
Mashiko

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

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Mashiko. 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.

Kobe is a family-friendly place to visit. There are a number of kid-friendly attractions around Kobe Harborland including a ferris wheel, Anpanman Museum, and the Kobe Maritime Museum. Kids will also enjoy running around Meriken Park or Mount Rokko. Kids who like animals will enjoy a visit to Kobe Animal Kingdom.

Is Kobe or Mashiko Better for Couples?

Kobe
Mashiko

Mashiko is great for couples. Also, Kobe is not as popular, but is still a nice city for romance.

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.

Kobe is a nice destination for couples. There's a romantic view from the top of the Kobe Port Tower. There are also many parks and a waterfront promenade where you can take a stroll. If you enjoy hiking, you can take the Maya View Line Kikuseidai, which is particularly nice in the evening.


Is Kobe or Mashiko Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Kobe
Mashiko

Kobe 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 Kobe. Although many tourists and backpackers don't put Kobe on their itinerary, there are still a handful of hostels around the city.

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

Kobe
Mashiko

Kobe and Mashiko both offer nice public transit to get you around.

While Kobe offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. While there is a subway system, it's not particularly useful to tourists. There is a bus service that operates a line that targets tourists.

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 Kobe or Mashiko a more walkable city?

Kobe
Mashiko

Mashiko is great for its ease of walking around. Also, Kobe is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its walkability.

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

Kobe is somewhat walkable. It's relatively easy to walk around many parts of the city, although some areas are quite hilly. You can walk from Shin-Kobe Bullet Train Station to the water in about half an hour.


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

Should I spend more time in Mashiko or Kobe?

How long in Kobe or Mashiko?

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

Families should spend more time in Mashiko than Kobe. 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 Kobe. 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 Kobe 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 Kobe.


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

One day in Kobe or Mashiko?

In Kobe, 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 museums and food. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually enough time to experience most activities.

A weekend in Kobe or Mashiko?

In Kobe, 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 Kobe has to offer.

Mashiko is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Five days in Kobe or Mashiko?

Kobe 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 small town, so you can explore the area with less time. This town offers something for everyone. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


A week in Kobe or Mashiko?

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

Because Mashiko is a small town, it's easy to explore in a short amount of time. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week 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.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours from Tokyo, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Japan, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Japan, and The Best Historical Tours in Japan.


Which place is cheaper, Mashiko or Kobe?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Kobe 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 Kobe and Mashiko in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kobe $61
    Mashiko $33
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kobe $122
    Mashiko $66
Compare Hotels in Kobe and Mashiko

Looking for a hotel in Kobe 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 Kobe


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: Kobe Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kobe $13
    Mashiko $11

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kobe

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

  • Kansai Airport (KIX): Private One-Way Transfer to/from Kobe: $241
  • Osaka to Arima Hotel Transfer Service: $211
  • Itami Airport (ITM): Private One-Way Transfer to/from Kobe: $183
  • Osaka Kansai Airport to/from Kobe City Private Transfer: $167
  • Arrival Private Transfers from Kobe Airport UKB to Kobe City in Business Van: $165
  • Arima-Onsen Resort to Osaka Kansai Airport KIX-Departure Transfer: $135
  • Arrival Private Transfers from Kobe Airport UKB to Kobe City in Business Car: $134
  • Osaka (Itami) Airport to/from Kobe City Private Transfer: $109
  • Private departure transfer from Kobe City & Arima Onsen to Kansai Airport : $93
  • Kobe to Osaka Kansai Airport (KIX) - Departure Private Transfer: $86
  • Kobe Airport (UKB) to Kobe hotels - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $80
  • Private Arrival Transfer From Kobe Airport to Kobe City: $64

Is it cheaper to fly into Kobe or Mashiko?

Prices for flights to both Mashiko and Kobe 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
    Kobe $30
    Mashiko $23

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Kobe

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

  • Eat Like a Local Private & Personalized Food Tour: $211
  • One day in Kobe with beef dinner =premium=: $302

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kobe $23
    Mashiko $8.87

Tours and Activities in Kobe

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

  • 1-Day Kobe Highlights Tour including Sake Tasting: $171
  • 1-Day Walking Tour around Kobe : Mountains, Sea and Sake: $136
  • 4-Hour Multicultural Kobe Walking Tour with Genuine Kobe Beef : $170
  • A Tour to Learn all about the international port city, Kobe!: $152
  • Exploring Nada Sake Breweries Kobe Private Tour with Government-Licensed Guide: $138
  • Full Day Walking Tour Around Kobe Mountains Sea and Sake: $152
  • Himeji and Private Guided 1 Day Tour: $232
  • KOBE Sake Walking Tour in Japan's Top Sake Breweries: $80
  • KOBE Walking Tour [Customize Your Itinerary]: $261
  • KOBE, SHIOYA, a quaint fishing town walking tour : $97
  • Kobe : Private Custom Tour (Excursion to Osaka / Kyoto possible): $72
  • Kobe Custom Full Day Tour: $210

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kobe $8.57
    Mashiko $5.13

Sample the Local Flavors in Kobe

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Kobe:

  • KOBE Sake brewery & tasting walking tour with Local guide: $81
  • Sake Brewery and Japanese Life Experience Tour in Kobe: $87
  • Nada Sake Brewery District Private Walking Tour: $135
  • 5-Hour Nadagogo Sake Brewery Private Guided Experience: $177


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Kobe and Mashiko, we can see that Kobe 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 Kobe would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Kobe 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 Kobe Expensive? and Is Mashiko Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Kobe or Mashiko?

Kobe has a larger population, and is about 60 times larger than the population of Mashiko. When comparing the sizes of Kobe 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 Kobe 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 Kobe or Mashiko in the Summer?

Both Mashiko and Kobe are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Kobe in the summer for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Mashiko for the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

Kobe is a little warmer than Mashiko in the summer. The daily temperature in Kobe averages around 27°C (80°F) in July, and Mashiko fluctuates around 24°C (75°F).

Kobe usually receives more sunshine than Mashiko during summer. Kobe gets 183 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 Kobe. In July, Kobe usually receives more rain than Mashiko. Kobe gets 157 mm (6.2 in) of rain, while Mashiko receives 117 mm (4.6 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Kobe 27°C (80°F) 
    Mashiko 24°C (75°F)

Should I visit Kobe or Mashiko in the Autumn?

Both Mashiko and Kobe during the autumn are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Kobe for the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene during these months. Furthermore, the autumn months attract visitors to Mashiko because of the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the small town atmosphere.

In the autumn, Kobe is a little warmer than Mashiko. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Kobe in October average around 18°C (65°F), and Mashiko averages at about 16°C (60°F).

In the autumn, Kobe often gets more sunshine than Mashiko. Kobe gets 159 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 Kobe. Kobe usually gets less rain in October than Mashiko. Kobe gets 102 mm (4 in) of rain, while Mashiko receives 145 mm (5.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Kobe 18°C (65°F) 
    Mashiko 16°C (60°F)

Should I visit Kobe or Mashiko in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Kobe and Mashiko. The winter months attract visitors to Kobe because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Mashiko this time of year.

It's quite cold in Mashiko in the winter. In January, Kobe is generally much warmer than Mashiko. Daily temperatures in Kobe average around 5°C (42°F), and Mashiko fluctuates around 3°C (38°F).

Kobe usually receives less sunshine than Mashiko during winter. Kobe gets 140 hours of sunny skies, while Mashiko receives 181 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Kobe usually receives around the same amount of rain as Mashiko. Kobe gets 43 mm (1.7 in) of rain, while Mashiko receives 44 mm (1.7 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Kobe 5°C (42°F) 
    Mashiko 3°C (38°F)

Should I visit Kobe or Mashiko in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Kobe as well as Mashiko. The activities around the city are the main draw to Kobe this time of year. Additionally, many travelers come to Mashiko for the small town charm.

Kobe is a little warmer than Mashiko in the spring. The daily temperature in Kobe averages around 15°C (58°F) in April, and Mashiko fluctuates around 12°C (53°F).

In the spring, Kobe often gets more sunshine than Mashiko. Kobe gets 176 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Mashiko receives 160 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Mashiko. Kobe receives a lot of rain in the spring. Kobe usually gets more rain in April than Mashiko. Kobe gets 138 mm (5.4 in) of rain, while Mashiko receives 118 mm (4.6 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Kobe 15°C (58°F) 
    Mashiko 12°C (53°F)

Typical Weather for Mashiko and Kobe

Kobe Mashiko
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 5°C (42°F) 43 mm (1.7 in) 3°C (38°F) 44 mm (1.7 in)
Feb 5°C (42°F) 51 mm (2 in) 4°C (38°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Mar 9°C (47°F) 92 mm (3.6 in) 6°C (44°F) 95 mm (3.7 in)
Apr 15°C (58°F) 138 mm (5.4 in) 12°C (53°F) 118 mm (4.6 in)
May 19°C (66°F) 143 mm (5.6 in) 17°C (62°F) 139 mm (5.5 in)
Jun 23°C (73°F) 219 mm (8.6 in) 20°C (68°F) 175 mm (6.9 in)
Jul 27°C (80°F) 157 mm (6.2 in) 24°C (75°F) 117 mm (4.6 in)
Aug 28°C (83°F) 94 mm (3.7 in) 26°C (78°F) 135 mm (5.3 in)
Sep 24°C (76°F) 167 mm (6.6 in) 22°C (71°F) 163 mm (6.4 in)
Oct 18°C (65°F) 102 mm (4 in) 16°C (60°F) 145 mm (5.7 in)
Nov 13°C (55°F) 65 mm (2.5 in) 11°C (51°F) 78 mm (3.1 in)
Dec 8°C (46°F) 38 mm (1.5 in) 6°C (42°F) 40 mm (1.6 in)


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