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

Should you visit Kyoto or Mashiko?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Kyoto and Mashiko can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Kyoto

Kyoto is a traditional, historic, and cultural city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Mashiko

Mashiko is a traditional, rural, and quaint town. As this is a charming small town, visitors also come to explore the sights and local activities. This destination also has one of those special and quaint feelings. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and food.

Kyoto 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
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Small town charm
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Kyoto or Mashiko?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Kyoto. Although Kyoto and Mashiko are both popular with visitors, Kyoto has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Kyoto is more popular for its museums, food, nightlife, historical sights, big city activities, and impressive beauty, while Mashiko is known for its hiking, small town charm, and quaint atmosphere. Kyoto is popular for its Buddhist temples, cultural activities, and rich history. It is also home to Kinkaku-ji. Mashiko is popular for its local sake, rural farms, and longstanding tradition in pottery making.

How is Kyoto different from Mashiko?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Kyoto
Mashiko

Kyoto is a world-class destination for its historical sights. Also, Mashiko is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its sights and museums.

With plenty of landmarks, attractions, and museums, Kyoto has many famous sights for visitors. With its long-running history, there are many traditional buildings and temples in town. Nijo Castle is stunning to explore, but also make sure you visit the Fushimi-Inari Taisha Shrine, the Golden Pavilion, and Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

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 Kyoto or Mashiko? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Kyoto
Mashiko

Kyoto 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.

Kyoto has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. The local cuisine is as beautiful as it is delicious. There is a long running history to many of the dishes, and the recipes are expertly prepared by world class chefs at many of the restaurants. You can enjoy everything from a tea ceremony to multi-course meals, referred to as kyo kaiseki.

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 Kyoto or Mashiko Better for Nightlife?

Kyoto
Mashiko

Kyoto 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 Kyoto has a few options to choose from. While it isn't known for its wild nightlife scene, there is a relaxed and active energy in the evenings here. You can visit the beautiful Arashiyama Kimono Forest or explore some of the riverfront areas such as Kamo Riverside.

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 Kyoto or Mashiko Better for its Old Town?

Kyoto
Mashiko

Kyoto is a world-class destination for its historic old town charm. However, Mashiko does not have a historic old town.

The historic old town of Kyoto is revered around the world. This is among the most historic cities in Japan and there are many traditional buildings and temples. Higashiyama is filled with interesting districts and it has many UNESCO World Heritage temples.

Mashiko does not have a historic old town.


Is Kyoto or Mashiko Better for Hiking?

Kyoto
Mashiko

Mashiko is a town with good options for its hiking experiences. However, Kyoto is not a hiking destination.

Plenty of visitors go hiking around 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.

Kyoto is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Kyoto or Mashiko?

Kyoto
Mashiko

Shopping is a popular activity in both Mashiko and Kyoto.

Kyoto is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. There's a mix of modern shopping venues and traditional boutiques. Shijo Street is a popular shopping area, as is the area around JR Kyoto Station.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Mashiko. Local pottery is the main purchase in town, and there are many shops and local vendors who sell locally made pottery.

Is Kyoto or Mashiko Better for Families?

Kyoto
Mashiko

Both Kyoto and Mashiko are high quality to visit with kids.

Kyoto is a very kid-friendly city. Kids will enjoy exploring Nijo Castle as much as adults. If the weather isn't great, you can head to the Kyoto International Manga Museum which is a bit like a library and is perfect for Manga fans. There are also markets to explore such as the Nishiki Markets, which are lined with shops and restaurants.

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.


Is Kyoto or Mashiko Better for Couples?

Kyoto
Mashiko

Kyoto is a world-class destination for couples. Also, Mashiko is not as popular, but is still a nice town for romance.

Kyoto has so much to offer for a romantic couple's vacation. This is one of the most historic cities in Japan, and it has many romantic neighborhoods where you can enjoy the atmosphere. Visit Sanneizaka Slope for its traditional shops and restaurants or take a ride on the Sagano Romantic Train. Other romantic highlights include Kimono Forest, which is an art exhibit, and Suzumushidera Temple.

Mashiko is a very popular place to visit for couples. 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.

Is Kyoto or Mashiko Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Kyoto
Mashiko

Kyoto is a great city for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Mashiko is not known for backpackers.

Plenty of budget travelers and backpackers visit Kyoto. It's a popular destination in Japan and there are plenty of hostels and free activities that backpackers can enjoy.

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 Kyoto or Mashiko Better for Students?

Kyoto
Mashiko

Kyoto is a great city for its student-friendly activities. However, Mashiko is not popular with students.

Kyoto is a great city to visit as a student. It's a great student city with world class universities and a large student population.

Mashiko is not popular with students.


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

Kyoto
Mashiko

Kyoto is a great city for times when you don't have a car. Also, Mashiko is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its public transit.

Many visitors use the public transit system in Kyoto. The city has an extensive system of trains, subways, and buses that make it easy to get around.

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 Kyoto or Mashiko a more walkable city?

Kyoto
Mashiko

Kyoto is a world-class destination for its ease of walking around. Also, Mashiko is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its walkability.

Kyoto is a very easy city to get around on foot. It's one of the most walkable cities in Japan and there are many sidewalks and pedestrian-friendly areas.

Mashiko is very walkable. 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 Kyoto Worth Visiting? and Is Mashiko Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Mashiko or Kyoto?

How long in Kyoto or Mashiko?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Kyoto or Mashiko to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Kyoto than Mashiko because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Kyoto, and 1-2 days is enough time in Mashiko.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Kyoto 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 Kyoto.


  • How many days in Kyoto or Mashiko? Ideal Length of Stay
    Kyoto 2-3 
    Mashiko 1-2

One day in Kyoto or Mashiko?

In Kyoto, you'll find nightlife and food. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. One reason most visitors come is for the museums. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

Even though Mashiko is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Because of this, one day is usually enough time for a trip here.


A weekend in Kyoto or Mashiko?

In Kyoto, you'll find food and shopping. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Visiting the old town is also a must. One reason most visitors come is for the museums. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Kyoto has to offer.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Mashiko. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Five days in Kyoto or Mashiko?

Kyoto is a great place to explore. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. 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 fun place to experience. Mashiko is a small town, so it's a great destination if you're short on time. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

A week in Kyoto or Mashiko?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Kyoto. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Kyoto. One reason most visitors come is for the museums. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Mashiko is a small town, so you can explore the area with less time. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 10-Day Tours from Tokyo, The Best 2-Week Tours from Tokyo, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Japan, and The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Japan.


Which place is cheaper, Mashiko or Kyoto?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Kyoto is $97, while the average daily cost in Mashiko is $65. 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 Kyoto and Mashiko in more detail.



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

Looking for a hotel in Kyoto 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 Kyoto


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: Kyoto Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kyoto $7.64
    Mashiko $11

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kyoto

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Kyoto:

  • Chubu Centrair Airport to/from Kyoto Private Transfer: $577
  • Customizable Private Tour with Hotel Transfers: $504
  • From Private 1-Way Transfer to Kansai Airport: $330
  • One-Way Private Transfer to/from Itami Airport: $330
  • Kyoto Early Bird Half Day Private Tour with Transfer: $273
  • Kansai Int Airport to/from Kyoto City Private Transfer: $264
  • Kansai Intl. Airport KIX Private Transfer to/from Kyoto: $232
  • Osaka City to/from Kyoto City Private transfer: $231
  • Osaka (Itami) Airport ITM Private Transfer to/from Kyoto: $222
  • Kansai Airport (KIX): Private One-Way Transfer to/from Kyoto: $207
  • Osaka (Itami) Airport to/from Kyoto City Private Transfer: $204
  • Private departure transfer from Kyoto city to Kansai International airport: $111

Is it cheaper to fly into Kyoto or Mashiko?

Prices for flights to both Mashiko and Kyoto 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
    Kyoto $24
    Mashiko $23

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Kyoto

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Kyoto.

  • Private Cooking Class Udon in Kyoto Japan: $42
  • Japanese Washoku Bento Cooking Class with Lunch: $43
  • Nishiki Market Brunch Walking Food Tour: $47
  • Japanese Home Cooking Lesson with Local Hosts in Peaceful Kyoto Suburb Otsu: $49
  • Nishiki Market and Depachika Food Tour with a Local: $57
  • Private Guided Traditional Buddhist Cooking in Japan: $57
  • Kyoto Nishiki Market & Depachika: 2-hours Food Tour with a Local: $59
  • Morning Japanese Bento Cooking Class: $61
  • Afternoon Japanese Izakaya Cooking Class: $61
  • Japanese Cooking Class: $62
  • Sushi - Authentic Japanese Cooking Class - the best souvenir from Kyoto!: $64
  • Japanese Udon and Sushi Cooking Class {PM tour}: $65

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kyoto $13
    Mashiko $8.96

Tours and Activities in Kyoto

Here are a few actual costs in Kyoto for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 2 Hour Walking Historic Gion Tour in Kyoto Geisha Spotting Area: $300
  • Kyoto Private Full-day Walking Tour from Kyoto Station: $155
  • "Unlock Kyoto's Charm: Government-Certified Group Tour: $90
  • 1 Day Hiking Tour in the Mountains of Kyoto: $175
  • 1 Day Kyoto Tour with a Local Guide: $148
  • 1-Hour Japanese Archery Experience in Kyoto: $40
  • 1-Hour Japanese Archery Experience in Kyoto: $44
  • 10 Hrs Full day Kyoto Tour w/Hotel Pick-up: $594
  • 2 Hour Night Walking Tour Throughout Gion in a Small Group: $34
  • 2 Hours Shared Kendo Experience In Kyoto Japan: $121
  • 2-Hour Miko Small Group Experience at Takenobu Inari Jinja Shrine: $61
  • 2-Hour Shopping Tour Plan / private: $49

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kyoto $12
    Mashiko $5.19

Sample the Local Flavors in Kyoto

Also in Kyoto, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Japanese Sake Brewery and Fushimi Inari Sightseeing Tour: $19
  • Kyoto Local Bar Crawl in Kawaramachi Area: $40
  • Sake Brewery and Tasting Tour in Fushimi: $83
  • Insider Sake Brewery Tour with Sake and Food Pairing: $84
  • Rural Brewery Town Walk: Half-Day Private Tour Near Kyoto: $101
  • Kyoto Sake Brewery Tour: $160
  • Rural Villages & Brewery Town: Private 1-Day Cycling Near Kyoto: $189
  • Kyoto Sake Bar and Pub Crawl (Food & Sake Tour): $198
  • Kyoto Sake Bar and Pub Crawl (Food & Sake Tour): $202
  • Private Guided Local Bar Crawl Experience in Kyoto: $225
  • Kyoto Sake Brewery Tour with Lunch: $236
  • Kyoto Nightlife: Local Bar Crawl Experience: $441


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


Which is Bigger, Kyoto or Mashiko?

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

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Kyoto or Mashiko in the Summer?

Both Mashiko and Kyoto during the summer are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Kyoto for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Mashiko because of the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Kyoto is a little warmer than Mashiko. Typically, the summer temperatures in Kyoto in July average around 27°C (81°F), and Mashiko averages at about 24°C (75°F).

In the summer, Kyoto often gets more sunshine than Mashiko. Kyoto gets 183 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Mashiko receives 130 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 Kyoto. Kyoto usually gets more rain in July than Mashiko. Kyoto gets 236 mm (9.3 in) of rain, while Mashiko receives 117 mm (4.6 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Kyoto 27°C (81°F) 
    Mashiko 24°C (75°F)

Should I visit Kyoto or Mashiko in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Kyoto and Mashiko. The autumn months attract visitors to Kyoto because of the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the small town atmosphere are the main draw to Mashiko this time of year.

In October, Kyoto is generally a little warmer than Mashiko. Daily temperatures in Kyoto average around 18°C (64°F), and Mashiko fluctuates around 16°C (60°F).

Kyoto usually receives more sunshine than Mashiko during autumn. Kyoto gets 159 hours of sunny skies, while Mashiko receives 133 hours of full sun in the autumn.

Mashiko receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Kyoto gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, Kyoto usually receives less rain than Mashiko. Kyoto gets 111 mm (4.4 in) of rain, while Mashiko receives 145 mm (5.7 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Kyoto 18°C (64°F) 
    Mashiko 16°C (60°F)

Should I visit Kyoto or Mashiko in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Kyoto as well as Mashiko. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Kyoto this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Mashiko for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Mashiko. It's quite cold in Kyoto in the winter. Kyoto is much warmer than Mashiko in the winter. The daily temperature in Kyoto averages around 5°C (40°F) in January, and Mashiko fluctuates around 3°C (38°F).

In the winter, Kyoto often gets less sunshine than Mashiko. Kyoto gets 140 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Mashiko receives 181 hours of full sun.

Kyoto usually gets more rain in January than Mashiko. Kyoto gets 50 mm (2 in) of rain, while Mashiko receives 44 mm (1.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Kyoto 5°C (40°F) 
    Mashiko 3°C (38°F)

Should I visit Kyoto or Mashiko in the Spring?

Both Mashiko and Kyoto are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Kyoto for the activities around the city and the natural beauty. Also, many visitors come to Mashiko in the spring for the small town charm.

In the spring, Kyoto is a little warmer than Mashiko. Typically, the spring temperatures in Kyoto in April average around 14°C (58°F), and Mashiko averages at about 12°C (53°F).

Kyoto usually receives more sunshine than Mashiko during spring. Kyoto gets 176 hours of sunny skies, while Mashiko receives 160 hours of full sun in the spring.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Mashiko. It's quite rainy in Kyoto. In April, Kyoto usually receives more rain than Mashiko. Kyoto gets 153 mm (6 in) of rain, while Mashiko receives 118 mm (4.6 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Kyoto 14°C (58°F) 
    Mashiko 12°C (53°F)

Typical Weather for Mashiko and Kyoto

Kyoto Mashiko
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 5°C (40°F) 50 mm (2 in) 3°C (38°F) 44 mm (1.7 in)
Feb 5°C (41°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 4°C (38°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Mar 8°C (47°F) 110 mm (4.3 in) 6°C (44°F) 95 mm (3.7 in)
Apr 14°C (58°F) 153 mm (6 in) 12°C (53°F) 118 mm (4.6 in)
May 19°C (67°F) 154 mm (6 in) 17°C (62°F) 139 mm (5.5 in)
Jun 23°C (73°F) 251 mm (9.9 in) 20°C (68°F) 175 mm (6.9 in)
Jul 27°C (81°F) 236 mm (9.3 in) 24°C (75°F) 117 mm (4.6 in)
Aug 29°C (83°F) 146 mm (5.7 in) 26°C (78°F) 135 mm (5.3 in)
Sep 24°C (75°F) 196 mm (7.7 in) 22°C (71°F) 163 mm (6.4 in)
Oct 18°C (64°F) 111 mm (4.4 in) 16°C (60°F) 145 mm (5.7 in)
Nov 12°C (54°F) 68 mm (2.7 in) 11°C (51°F) 78 mm (3.1 in)
Dec 7°C (45°F) 40 mm (1.6 in) 6°C (42°F) 40 mm (1.6 in)