Should you visit Koyasan or Sado?
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Koyasan and Sado. 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. So, let's dig into it.
Mount Koya, Japan is a mountain city located just south of Osaka in the Wakayama prefecture. The area is known as the headquarters of the Shingnon sect of Japanese Buddhism and was first settled in 816. Over time, it has developed into the small town of Koya that is now home to a religious studies university and over 100 temples, many of which offer accommodation.
Sado Island, Japan is located just off the coast of Niigata and is an old gold mining town that has since developed into a quiet summer holiday destination. The island is home to two mountain ranges, O-Sado in the north and Ko-sado in the south, with the popular Kuninaka plain in between the mountain ranges. With the remoteness of the island, it has become a popular destination for tourists to experience old Japan and get away from the busy mainland.
Which city is cheaper, Sado or Koyasan?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Koyasan is $75, while the average daily cost in Sado is $59. 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 city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Koyasan and Sado in more detail.
Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $76 for a double occupancy room in Koyasan.
If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $28. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Sado the cost is $56 on average.
The average price of local transportation around Koyasan is $32 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.
The cost of a taxi ride in Sado is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $13 per person, per day, on local transportation in Sado.
Is it cheaper to fly into Koyasan or Sado?
Prices for flights to both Sado and Koyasan 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.
The average traveler spends about $18 per day in Koyasan for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.
In Sado travelers spend around $22 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.
Meals for one day
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sado
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Sado.
Cooking the finest rice balls using salt and rice from Sado:
Picking up bamboo shoots and cooking, Mt. Donden spring walk:
Koyasan's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $13 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.
Entertainment and activities in Sado typically cost an average of $8.08 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.
Tours and Activities in Sado
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Sado are as follows:
Bike Tour in Sado with a Local Guide:
Unique tour of picking up Bamboo shoots, taste experience:
SADO ISLAND private cycling tour in Shukunegi and Ogi:
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Koyasan may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $4.69 per day on alcoholic beverages.
The average person spends about $63 on alcoholic beverages in Sado per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Koyasan and Sado, we can see that Koyasan is more expensive. And not only is Sado much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Sado would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Sado 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 Koyasan would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Koyasan than you might in Sado.
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