A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Kuala Lumpur vs. Tokyo for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Kuala Lumpur or Tokyo?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo. 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.

Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, often referred to as KL, is the cosmopolitan capital of Malaysia. It is also the largest city in the country, having grown out of a small Chinese mining village. Today Kuala Lumpur is a microcosm of the country of Malaysia. The population is split between the Malay, Chinese, and Indian cultures which you can see reflected in the city's neighborhoods, cuisine, and entertainment. It's also an incredibly affordable city, even if you're looking for the comforts of a five star hotel or a luxury restaurant. Prices are almost always a fraction of what you would pay in Europe or the United States.

Tokyo

Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is by far the most populous city in the world with a staggering 37 million people. As a worldwide hub for technology and business, it hosts millions of visitors annually. But Tokyo is not just a place for business trips. With its incredible mixture of historical temples and shrines, remarkably beautiful parks, endless shopping malls, and genuinely wonderful people, Tokyo is a terrific place to visit and to explore.

Which city is cheaper, Tokyo or Kuala Lumpur?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Kuala Lumpur is $52, while the average daily cost in Tokyo is $171. 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 Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo in more detail.



Accommodation

For a normal double-occupancy room in Kuala Lumpur, $64 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Kuala Lumpur, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $32, such as in a hostel.

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $160 in Tokyo For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kuala Lumpur $32
    Tokyo $80
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kuala Lumpur $64
    Tokyo $160

Food

The average traveler spends about $11 per day in Kuala Lumpur 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.

The price of a meal in Tokyo can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $40 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $16 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Kuala Lumpur $11
    Tokyo $40
Typical Food prices in Kuala Lumpur

For Kuala Lumpur, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Dinner at Ding Tai Fung
    $9.64
  • Roti Bread
    $0.24
  • Food Court Lunch
    $3.47
  • Dinner at Indian Restaurant (for Two)
    $5.18

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Kuala Lumpur

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

  • Bachelor's Pizza Co. at EPiC Food Hall: $1.75
  • US PIZZA in Malaysia: $3.70
  • US PIZZA in Malaysia: $3.70
  • US PIZZA in Malaysia: $3.70
  • Pizza Mansion in Klang Valley: $19
  • Amazing Local Food Tour in Kuala Lumpur: $29
  • Cooking Class With Garden Tours in Penang: $38
  • Discover the Best Local Food Tour by Night in Kuala Lumpur: $39
  • Local Evening Food Tour in Kuala Lumpur: $40
  • Malaysian Ramadhan Buffet Dinner Cultural Show - nearby KLCC: $40
  • Bayu Balau Beach Resort 2D1N Stay at Standard Room with Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner: $41
  • Kota Kinabalu City Night Tour with Seafood Dinner: $43

Typical Food prices in Tokyo

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Tokyo:


  • Late Night Noodles
    $7.04
  • Conveyor Belt Sushi Snack
    $7.04
  • Meal at Airport
    $9.18

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Tokyo

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

  • Lunch or Dinner with Maiko Experience in Kyoto : $14
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Miso-balls): $23
  • Yokohama Lunch, Tea, and Dinner Cruise with Royalwings: $25
  • Japanese Rolled Sushi cooking in Tokyo: $27
  • Online character lunch box cooking class: $27
  • Tokyo West Side Walking and Street Food Tour: $34
  • Hakodate's Famous Ikameshi Cooking Class: $36
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Casual): $41
  • West-Side Walking & Street Food Tour: $45
  • Okinawa Home Cooking Experience: $45
  • Moby Dick Dinner Cruise in Naha: $53
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Special): $59

Local Transportation

To get around in Kuala Lumpur, the average visitor spends $5.49 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.

Tokyo's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $21 per person, per day on transportation in Tokyo.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kuala Lumpur $5.49
    Tokyo $21
Typical Local Transportation prices in Kuala Lumpur

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Kuala Lumpur are as follows:


  • Taxi Ride
    $3.61
  • Metro Ride (for Two)
    $0.77
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $3.61
  • Taxi From Airport
    $22
  • Bus from Airport
    $1.93
  • Train & Boat to Pulau Ketam
    $2.89

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kuala Lumpur

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

  • Private Snorkeling Tour with Transfers to Pulau Payar in Langkawi: $743
  • Hired And Drive - Transfer: $730
  • KLIA Group Perway Private Transfer with VIP Meet and Greet: $375
  • Private Land Transfer from KL Hotels and KLIA to Taman Negara: $361
  • Private Transfer to Singapore with sightseeing in Putra Mosque and Malacca: $353
  • Land Transfer from Kuala Lumpur to Redang Island (Merang Jetty): $348
  • Chauffeur: Kuala Lumpur to Singapore Transfer [Car]: $335
  • Kuala Lumpur To Singapore Transfer: $309
  • Kuala Lumpur City Hotel to Penang Island (One Way Private Transfer): $290
  • Chauffeur: Kuala Lumpur to Kuantan Transfer [Car]: $289
  • KUL Hotel to Singapore(One Way Transfer): $270
  • Cameron Highlands One Way Transfer: $259

Typical Local Transportation prices in Tokyo

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Tokyo:


  • Metro from Airport
    $18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tokyo

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

  • [5%OFF] Ferry Transfers from Ishigaki Island by Yaeyama Kanko Ferry: $6.09
  • Yokohama Private Arrival Transfer : Tokyo Hotels to Yokohama Port or Hotels: $230
  • Yokohama Port Shared Transfer : from Yokohama Port to Tokyo Hotels: $133
  • Yokohama Port Shared Transfer : from Tokyo Hotels to Yokohama Port: $133
  • Shared Transfer to/from Narita Airport: $48
  • Shared Transfer to/from Haneda (HND) Airport: $57
  • Private transfer to/from Yokohama Osanbashi Port: $261
  • Private Transfer to/from Haneda Airport (HND): $159
  • Haneda Airport Transfer w/ a Private Van: $260
  • Haneda Airport Private Transfer: $123
  • Tokyo to Tokyo Narita Airport (NRT) - Departure Private Car Transfer: $141
  • Tokyo to Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND) - Departure Private Car Transfer: $80

Is it cheaper to fly into Kuala Lumpur or Tokyo?

Prices for flights to both Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur 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.





Entertainment

In Kuala Lumpur, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $12 per person, per day.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Tokyo can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $77 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kuala Lumpur $12
    Tokyo $77
Typical Entertainment prices in Kuala Lumpur

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Kuala Lumpur's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • KL Tower Admission (for Two)
    $11
  • Canopy Walk at FRIM Forest Reserve
    $1.20

Tours and Activities in Kuala Lumpur

For Kuala Lumpur, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Adventure Waterpark Desaru Coast Ticket in Johor: $12
  • Binsuluk River Cruise Tour: $40
  • Dinawan Island Experience from Kota Kinabalu: $46
  • Heritage Staycation at Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion with Breakfast & Guided House Tour: $100
  • Historical Klang & Orchard City of Selangor Walking Tour: $64
  • Ice Skating Experience with Blue Ice Skating Rink in Johor: $4.85
  • Langkawi Private Guided Mangrove River Cruise Tour: $116
  • Little India & Mah Meri Cultural Village Tour: $126
  • Private Island Adventure at Paradise 101 in Langkawi: $49
  • Putrajaya Islamic Walking Tour from Kuala Lumpur: $64
  • Sepanggar Island Diving Experience: $67
  • The Sheep Sanctuary Admission Ticket at Cameron Highland: $1.95

Tours and Activities in Tokyo

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

  • Art Aquarium Museum Ticket in Tokyo: $21
  • Beppu Tower Admission Ticket: $3.65
  • Chiba Mother Farm Ticket Tokyo: $12
  • Hakodate-Onuma Segway Tours: $82
  • Hakone Kamakura 3-Day Ticket Pass: $63
  • Hakone Kowaki-en Yunessun Hot Spring Theme Park One Day Ticket : $21
  • Hakone Segway Tours: $82
  • Izu Teddy Bear Museum Admission Ticket: $13
  • Japanese Culture Experience at Kanda Myoujin Shrine EDOCCO Cha-ya in Tokyo: $27
  • Kanda Myoujin Rakugo Show Ticket in Tokyo: $7.29
  • Kanda Myoujin Shrine Experience Ticket in Tokyo: $45
  • Kouri Ocean Tower Observation Deck Ticket in Okinawa: $6.99

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Kuala Lumpur spend on average $5.71 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Tokyo, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $35.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kuala Lumpur $5.71
    Tokyo $35
Typical Alcohol prices in Kuala Lumpur

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Kuala Lumpur are as follows:


  • Bottle of Wine
    $11

Typical Alcohol prices in Tokyo

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Tokyo:


  • Sake
    $5.28

Sample the Local Flavors in Tokyo

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

  • Hiroshima Sake Brewery Guided Tour in "Saijo", one of the three largest Japanese Sake spot: $12
  • Tokyo Pub Crawl: $22
  • Sake Brewery Tour with Sake Tasting: $307


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo, we can see that Tokyo is more expensive. And not only is Kuala Lumpur much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Kuala Lumpur would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Kuala Lumpur 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 Tokyo would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Tokyo than you might in Kuala Lumpur.

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Kuala Lumpur vs. Tokyo Travel Comparison

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