A Travel Price Comparison for Japan Mashiko vs. Sado for Attractions, Food, Hiking, and Families

Should you visit Mashiko or Sado?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Mashiko or Sado, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Mashiko

Mashiko is a quaint, charming, and traditional town. This is a great small town that is just waiting to be explored. This is a quaint and attractive place to visit, too. It's also known for food, hiking, and shopping.

Sado

Sado is a off-the-beaten-path, traditional, and cultural island. It's also popular because of the museums, food, and hiking.

Mashiko and Sado: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Small town charm
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Mashiko or Sado?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Mashiko than Sado, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Mashiko is better known for its nightlife, shopping, small town charm, and quaint atmosphere, while Sado is more popular for its museums, food, and hiking. Mashiko is more touristy than Sado and is popular for its local sake, rural farms, and longstanding tradition in pottery making. Also, Mashiko is famous for Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art. Sado is well known for its beautiful scenery, traditional culture, and population of endangered crested ibis.

How is Mashiko different from Sado?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Mashiko
Sado

Sado is a great island for its historical sights. Also, Mashiko is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its sights and museums.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Sado can be an interesting and educational experience. The former gold mines are open to the public and fascinating to explore. For a traditional town, head to Shukunegi, which has narrow alleys and historic homes. Also worth a visit is the Sado History Museum.

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 Mashiko or Sado? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Mashiko
Sado

Sado is a great island for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Mashiko is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Sado has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. You'll find great seafood including crab, tuna, and prawns. There are also fresh vegetables, rice, and other typical Japanese ingredients in the area.

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 Mashiko or Sado Better for Nightlife?

Mashiko
Sado

Mashiko is a moderate town for nightlife. However, Sado is a mediocre island for nightlife and partying.

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.

Sado doesn't offer many options. This is a quiet island and doesn't have much in the form of nightlife.

Is Mashiko or Sado Better for Hiking?

Mashiko
Sado

Sado is a great island for hiking. Also, Mashiko is not as popular, but is still a nice town for the nearby hiking options.

Many visitors go to Sado for the hiking trails. There is wonderful hiking on the island. Head to the Osado Mountain Range for wildflowers and spectacular views and scenery.

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.


Is the Shopping Better in Mashiko or Sado?

Mashiko
Sado

Mashiko is notable for shopping. However, Sado is a mediocre island for its shopping opportunities.

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.

If you're looking to go shopping, Sado has some nice offerings. You'll find shops where you can pick up any necessities that you may have forgotten. There are also souvenir shops where you can find local items to remember your trip.

Is Mashiko or Sado Better for Families?

Mashiko
Sado

Mashiko is notable for its family-friendly activities. Also, Sado is not as famous, but is still a good island to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Mashiko is a very family-friendly place to visit. 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.

Sado is a family-friendly town. The former gold mines are fascinating and open to the public. There are also parks and interesting wildlife such as the Japanese ibis that you can see.

Is Mashiko or Sado Better for Couples?

Mashiko
Sado

Mashiko is notable for romance. Also, Sado is not as famous, but is still a good island to visit for its romantic activities.

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.

Sado makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. The area's history and nature make it a unique place for a couple's trip. There are museums, and outdoor spaces that you visit as well as the interesting mines.


Is Mashiko or Sado Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Mashiko
Sado

Sado 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 Sado. There are a couple of hostels as well as guesthouses that backpackers can stay at while they're in town.

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

Mashiko
Sado

Mashiko is a popular place for its public transit. However, Sado is a mediocre island for times when you don't have a car.

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.

Public transit is quite limited in Sado. There are no trains on the island and the bus routes are infrequent and slow. You really must have a car to explore the area.

Is Mashiko or Sado a more walkable city?

Mashiko
Sado

Mashiko is notable for its walkability. However, Sado is a mediocre island for its high level of walkability.

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

Sado is not a very walkable town. The island isn't particularly walkable, so you'll want to have a vehicle to explore.


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

Should I spend more time in Sado or Mashiko?

How long in Mashiko or Sado?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Mashiko and Sado. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Sado than in Mashiko. Usually, 1-2 days is a good amount of time for Mashiko, and 2-3 days is enough time in Sado.

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

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


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

One day in Mashiko or Sado?

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.

In Sado, you'll find food and museums. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. This island offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

A weekend in Mashiko or Sado?

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.

In Sado, you'll find museums and food. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Sado has to offer.

Five days in Mashiko or Sado?

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.

Sado is a great place to explore. Hikers are also drawn to this area. 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.


A week in Mashiko or Sado?

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.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Sado. Many people enjoy the museums and food when visiting Sado. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Coach Bus Tours in Japan, The Best Adventure Tours to Japan, The Best Sightseeing Tours in Japan, and The Best Cultural Tours in Japan.


Which place is cheaper, Sado or Mashiko?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Mashiko is $64, while the average daily cost in Sado is $62. 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 Mashiko and Sado in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Mashiko $33
    Sado $30
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Mashiko $66
    Sado $60
Compare Hotels in Mashiko and Sado

Looking for a hotel in Mashiko or Sado? 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 Mashiko


Hotels in Sado


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: Sado Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Mashiko $11
    Sado $14

Is it cheaper to fly into Mashiko or Sado?

Prices for flights to both Sado and Mashiko 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
    Mashiko $23
    Sado $23

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Mashiko $8.87
    Sado $8.44

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Mashiko $5.13
    Sado $66


When comparing the travel costs between Mashiko and Sado, we can see that Mashiko is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Asia, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Mashiko Expensive? and Is Sado Expensive?.



When is the best time to visit Mashiko or Sado?

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 Mashiko or Sado in the Summer?

Both Sado and Mashiko during the summer are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Mashiko in the summer for the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, most visitors come to Sado for the hiking and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In the summer, Mashiko is around the same temperature as Sado. Typically, the summer temperatures in Mashiko in July average around 24°C (75°F), and Sado averages at about 23°C (74°F).

In the summer, Mashiko often gets less sunshine than Sado. Mashiko gets 130 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Sado receives 198 hours of full sun.

Sado gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Mashiko. Mashiko usually gets less rain in July than Sado. Mashiko gets 117 mm (4.6 in) of rain, while Sado receives 161 mm (6.3 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Mashiko 24°C (75°F) 
    Sado 23°C (74°F)

Should I visit Mashiko or Sado in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Mashiko and Sado. Most visitors come to Mashiko for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the small town atmosphere during these months. Furthermore, the autumn months attract visitors to Sado because of the hiking trails and the shopping scene.

In October, Mashiko is generally around the same temperature as Sado. Daily temperatures in Mashiko average around 16°C (60°F), and Sado fluctuates around 16°C (60°F).

Mashiko usually receives less sunshine than Sado during autumn. Mashiko gets 133 hours of sunny skies, while Sado receives 155 hours of full sun in the autumn.

Sado receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Mashiko gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, Mashiko usually receives more rain than Sado. Mashiko gets 145 mm (5.7 in) of rain, while Sado receives 127 mm (5 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Mashiko 16°C (60°F) 
    Sado 16°C (60°F)

Should I visit Mashiko or Sado in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Mashiko as well as Sado. The winter months attract visitors to Mashiko because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Additionally, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Sado this time of year.

It's quite cold in Sado in the winter. The weather in Mashiko can be very cold. Mashiko is a little warmer than Sado in the winter. The daily temperature in Mashiko averages around 3°C (38°F) in January, and Sado fluctuates around 3°C (37°F).

In the winter, Mashiko often gets more sunshine than Sado. Mashiko gets 181 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Sado receives 65 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Sado. Mashiko usually gets less rain in January than Sado. Mashiko gets 44 mm (1.7 in) of rain, while Sado receives 138 mm (5.4 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Mashiko 3°C (38°F) 
    Sado 3°C (37°F)

Should I visit Mashiko or Sado in the Spring?

Both Sado and Mashiko are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. The small town charm are the main draw to Mashiko this time of year.

In the spring, Mashiko is a little warmer than Sado. Typically, the spring temperatures in Mashiko in April average around 12°C (53°F), and Sado averages at about 10°C (51°F).

Mashiko usually receives less sunshine than Sado during spring. Mashiko gets 160 hours of sunny skies, while Sado receives 194 hours of full sun in the spring.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Sado. It's quite rainy in Mashiko. In April, Mashiko usually receives more rain than Sado. Mashiko gets 118 mm (4.6 in) of rain, while Sado receives 102 mm (4 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Mashiko 12°C (53°F) 
    Sado 10°C (51°F)

Typical Weather for Sado and Mashiko

Mashiko Sado
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 3°C (38°F) 44 mm (1.7 in) 3°C (37°F) 138 mm (5.4 in)
Feb 4°C (38°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 3°C (37°F) 102 mm (4 in)
Mar 6°C (44°F) 95 mm (3.7 in) 5°C (41°F) 90 mm (3.5 in)
Apr 12°C (53°F) 118 mm (4.6 in) 10°C (51°F) 102 mm (4 in)
May 17°C (62°F) 139 mm (5.5 in) 15°C (59°F) 99 mm (3.9 in)
Jun 20°C (68°F) 175 mm (6.9 in) 19°C (66°F) 125 mm (4.9 in)
Jul 24°C (75°F) 117 mm (4.6 in) 23°C (74°F) 161 mm (6.3 in)
Aug 26°C (78°F) 135 mm (5.3 in) 25°C (78°F) 137 mm (5.4 in)
Sep 22°C (71°F) 163 mm (6.4 in) 21°C (70°F) 161 mm (6.3 in)
Oct 16°C (60°F) 145 mm (5.7 in) 16°C (60°F) 127 mm (5 in)
Nov 11°C (51°F) 78 mm (3.1 in) 11°C (51°F) 159 mm (6.3 in)
Dec 6°C (42°F) 40 mm (1.6 in) 6°C (43°F) 162 mm (6.4 in)


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