A Travel Price Comparison for Japan Kyoto vs. Sendai for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Kyoto or Sendai?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Kyoto and Sendai can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Kyoto

Kyoto is a larger city of Japan, though it is very much set in the old ways. With quiet temples, sublime gardens, colorful shrines, and geisha walking amidst a city surrounded by stunning mountains, Kyoto feels like a world of another time and place. True to ancient Japanese tradition, most aspects of daily life are tied closely with the changing of the seasons.

Sendai

Sendai, Japan is located in the Toohoku region on the main Honshu island. It is often referred to as "Forest City" due to the large amount of green space throughout the city and the tree filled parks and public spaces. Sendai is a very pleasant city to visit; they are in close proximity to both mountains and the sea and have many large universities throughout the city, making it a popular college town.

Which city is cheaper, Sendai or Kyoto?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Kyoto is $96, while the average daily cost in Sendai is $117. 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 Kyoto and Sendai in more detail.



Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Kyoto is $114. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

The prices for places to stay in Sendai can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $66, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $132.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kyoto $57
    Sendai $66
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kyoto $114
    Sendai $132

Food

The price of a meal in Kyoto can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $27 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $11 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.

The price of a meal in Sendai can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $36 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $14 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
    Kyoto $27
    Sendai $36

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Kyoto

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

  • Online Cooking Experience ~ Vegan Taco rice!! ~ high protein and low carbohydrate: $35
  • Nishiki Market Breakfast Walking Food Tour: $43
  • Authentic Seasonal Japanese Home Cooking Lesson with a Charming Local in Kyoto: $62
  • Japanese Cooking Class: $70
  • Morning Japanese Bento Cooking Class: $70
  • Afternoon Kappo Class - Japanese Cooking Class: $70
  • Kyoto Cooking Class: $74
  • Sushi or Obanzai Cooking and Matcha with a Kyoto Native in her Home: $74
  • Ramen Cooking Class at Ramen Factory in Kyoto: $76
  • Private Japanese Cooking Class with a Local in a Beautiful Wooden House in Kyoto: $78
  • Ramen Cooking class: $81
  • Nishiki Market Food Tour in Kyoto: $83

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sendai

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

  • Private Tour - Japanese Meal in a Historic Port Town! Enjoy the Food Tour!: $138

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Kyoto is $9.70 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.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Sendai than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $20 on transportation in Sendai on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kyoto $9.70
    Sendai $20

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kyoto

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Kyoto:

  • Shared Departure Transfer: Kyoto City to Osaka Itami Airport: $101
  • Shared Departure Transfer : Kyoto City to Kansai International Airport: $101
  • Private departure transfer from Kyoto city to Osaka Itami International airport: $112
  • Private departure transfer from Kyoto city to Kansai International airport: $148
  • Private Departure Transfer : Kyoto City to Kansai International Airport: $364
  • Osaka Private Transfer from Itami Airport (ITM) to central Osaka: $314
  • Osaka ITM Airport to Kyoto Center door to door Private Transfer 6 seats Alphard: $334
  • KIX Airport to Kyoto Center Arashiyama door to door Private Transfer Alphard: $393
  • KIX Airport Transfers (to or from KYOTO) by Toyota ALPHARD 2019: $430
  • KIX Airport Transfers (to or from KYOTO) by Minivan Toyota HIACE 2019: $430
  • KIX Airport Transfers (to or from KYOTO) by Land Rover Discovery Sport 2018: $376
  • Japan Railway Station Shared Arrival Transfer : Kyoto Station to Kyoto City: $25

Is it cheaper to fly into Kyoto or Sendai?

Prices for flights to both Sendai 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.





Entertainment

Kyoto's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $18 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.

Sightseeing expenses in Sendai, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $20 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kyoto $18
    Sendai $20

Tours and Activities in Kyoto

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

  • (Day Time) Fushimi Inari & Nara Highlights Tour: $113
  • (Early Bird) Fushimi Inari & Nara Highlights Tour: $113
  • 1 Day Character Private Kyoto Tour - English Speaking Driver: $776
  • 1 Day Hiking Tour in the Mountains of Kyoto: $162
  • 1-Day Bus Tour from Osaka/Kyoto to Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe (with Halal Meals): $125
  • 1-Day Hiroshima & Miyajima Tour (Round-trip from Kyoto): $379
  • 1-Day Kyoto Cherry Blossom Tour: $118
  • 1-Day Kyoto Private Custom Tour from Osaka by Chartered Vehicle: $831
  • 1.5 Hours Kyoto Insider Sake Experience: $62
  • 10 Must-see Spots in Kyoto One Day Private Tour: $393
  • 12-Hour Sightseeing Trip from Osaka/Kyoto to Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe: $94
  • 2-Hour KENDO Experience in Kyoto: $59

Tours and Activities in Sendai

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

  • Private Tour - Everything good in Sendai! Find goods in craftsmanship town: $79
  • Private Tour - Glossy Sendai Night, Taste the sake and Food of Tohoku!: $89
  • Explore the Ice Monster Forest in Zao! Snow Vehicle Tour to See the Snow Rime: $96
  • A Special Tour to Visit the Ice-clad Crater-Lake and the Frost-covered Shrine: $96
  • Sendai / Matsushima Half-Day Private Tour with Nationally-Licensed Guide: $98
  • Private Tour - Fill your Stomach with Must-Eats of Sendai, a Gourmet City!: $98
  • Private Tour - Scenary beyond imagination, a temple into the Sky in Sendai: $108
  • Private Tour - Leap Time Back to Know Sendai by Visiting All Must Sees: $108
  • Private Tour - Feel the Sea Breeze in an adventurous island: Urato: $113
  • Private Tour - A Tour to Get Luck Through Three Bridges and an Island!: $113
  • Private Tour - Energy charge with a trip around power spots in Sendai!: $118
  • Private Tour - Great Views and Foods, Explore Matsushima to your Fullest!: $118

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Kyoto may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $13 per day on alcoholic beverages.

Typically, people visiting Sendai spend on average $12 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kyoto $13
    Sendai $12

Sample the Local Flavors in Kyoto

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

  • Kyoto Small-Group Sake Brewery Tour with Sake Tasting: $61
  • Sake Brewery Tour: $81
  • Kyoto Sake Brewery & Tasting Walking Tour: $93
  • Kyoto Sake Brewery Tour with Lunch: $191
  • Fushimi Private One Day tour/ Sake brewery & Geisha lunch: $1,210


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

Budget Your Trip

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Kyoto vs. Sendai Travel Comparison

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