A Travel Price Comparison for Japan Nagoya vs. Dewa Sanzan for Food, Attractions, Couples, and Backpackers

Should you visit Nagoya or Dewa Sanzan?

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

Should I visit Nagoya or Dewa Sanzan? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Nagoya

Nagoya is a under-rated, often overlooked, and under-the-radar city. Travelers will also find plenty of sights and attractions here, as it's a big city that attracts lots of visitors. Visitors also love the food, shopping, and museums.

Dewa Sanzan

Dewa Sanzan is a sacred, remote, and traditional religious site. It's also popular because of the hiking and museums.

Nagoya and Dewa Sanzan: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for hiking
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less family-friendly
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Nagoya or Dewa Sanzan?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Nagoya. Although Nagoya and Dewa Sanzan are both popular with visitors, Nagoya has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Nagoya is more popular for its museums, food, nightlife, shopping, and big city activities, while Dewa Sanzan is known for its hiking. Nagoya is popular for its local cuisine, historic shrines, and long running shipping industry. It is also home to the Nagoya Castle. Dewa Sanzan is popular for its traditional religion, three sacred mountains, and the Shukubo Pilgrim Lodges.

How is Nagoya different from Dewa Sanzan?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Nagoya or Dewa Sanzan?

Nagoya
Dewa Sanzan

Nagoya is an excellent place to visit for its museums and history. Also, Dewa Sanzan is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.

Many visitors head to Nagoya specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. There are shrines, temples, and other interesting sights in the city. Atsuta Jingu is an important Shinto shrine. Nagoya Castle is another interesting place to visit. If you're willing to head out of the city center a bit, the Meiji-mura Village Museum is an open air museum that has interesting Japanese architecture. There are also interesting museums in town such as the Nagoya City Art Museums and the Toyota Techno and Toyota Automobile Museums.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Dewa Sanzan. This is a sacred religious site that is at the heart of the Shugendo folk religion. The religion combines Buddhist and Shinto traditions and there are several temples in the area including the most sacred sights at Yudono-san, Haguro-san, and Gas-san, as well as the Churenji and Dainichibo Temples.


Is the Food Better in Nagoya or Dewa Sanzan? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Nagoya
Dewa Sanzan

Nagoya is an unbeatable place for its restaurants. However, Dewa Sanzan is lacking in options for its restaurant scene.

Nagoya has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. The city has a strong food culture that's referred to as Nagoya meshi. It's a popular destination for foodies to Japan, even though the city itself is often overlooked by tourists. The city's food uses a lot of local vegetables and its influenced by several international flavors. Important ingredients in the dishes include unagi (freshwater eel), Nagoya cochin (chicken), tamari (soy sauce), and mame miso.

Dewa Sanzan may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. In your guesthouse you'll be given "Shojin cuisine", which is the traditional cuisine that has been handed down through the generations. It is strictly vegetarian and is heavily influenced by whatever vegetable is currently in season in the area. Traditionally, the cuisine focused on sustenance and not taste, but for the purposes of hospitality, the dishes are more flavorful than is typical in the traditional cuisine.

Is Nagoya or Dewa Sanzan Better for Nightlife?

Nagoya
Dewa Sanzan

Nagoya is an excellent place to visit for nightlife and partying. However, Dewa Sanzan is lacking in options for its evening party scene.

Nagoya has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. There are many bars around town, many of which have an international theme. Later in the evening, many people head out to a nightclubs, most of which are concentrated in either Sakae and Shin-sakae.

Things get quiet in the evenings in Dewa Sanzan. This is a religious site that is remote and focused on mountain worship and devotion. Nightlife is non-existent in the area.

Is Nagoya or Dewa Sanzan Better for Hiking?

Nagoya
Dewa Sanzan

Dewa Sanzan is a very popular place for its hiking trails. However, Nagoya is not a hiking destination.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Dewa Sanzan. Experienced hikers can climb Mt. Gassan and Mt. Yudono in one day and do Mt. Haguro separately. For Mt. Gassan, you'll want to take the bus to the 8th station and climb from there.

Nagoya is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Nagoya or Dewa Sanzan?

Nagoya
Dewa Sanzan

Nagoya is an excellent place to visit for its shopping opportunities. However, Dewa Sanzan is lacking in options for its shopping areas.

Nagoya is well-known for its shopping. You'll find everything from large shopping malls to street markets and local vendors. Many people head to Nagoya Station for shopping, but Osu Shotengai is another interesting shopping area in the city's old town.

Dewa Sanzan has some shopping areas for those that seek them out. This is a sacred sight that is devoted to worship and a simple life. As such, shopping in not available in the area with the exception of a couple of convenience stores.

Is Nagoya or Dewa Sanzan Better for Families?

Nagoya
Dewa Sanzan

Nagoya is an unbeatable place for its kid-friendly activities. However, Dewa Sanzan is lacking in options for its family-friendly activities.

Nagoya is one of the most popular family destinations. There are a large number of attractions for families in the area. This city is where you'll find Legoland Japan, which is one of the most popular activities to do with kids. The city also has the Sea Life Aquarium, which is located in the Legoland Hotel. Next to Legoland you'll find the SCMaglev and Railway Park. Another great activity is a visit to the Nagoya Public Aquarium, which is one of the biggest aquariums in Japan. There are dolphins, orcas, and many different ecosystems to explore. Nearby is the Sea Train Land amusement park.

Dewa Sanzan is not such a family-friendly city. The remote location make this a challenging place to access. It's a religious destination and its sacred and historic past is often lost to children. Out of respect for the strict religion, this site is best visited as an adult.

Is Nagoya or Dewa Sanzan Better for Couples?

Nagoya
Dewa Sanzan

With fun activities for couples, both Nagoya and Dewa Sanzan make for a good place to visit.

Nagoya is a good city for couples to visit. Couples will enjoy visiting the Nagoya Castle or checking out the dolphin and orca shows at the Nagoya Public Aquarium. Noritake Garden is a nice place to explore. There are also many coffee shops in town as well as museums and temples.

Dewa Sanzan is a nice destination for couples. Couples who want to do something that's a bit different from mainstream Japan will appreciate a visit to this religious site.


Is Nagoya or Dewa Sanzan Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Nagoya
Dewa Sanzan

Nagoya and Dewa Sanzan are both good destinations for backpackers.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Nagoya. Although the city is often overlooked by tourists, there are a limited number of hostels in town, so they fill up quickly. You should make reservations well in advance if budget is a priority.

Dewa Sanzan is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. This is an off-the-beaten-path destination for backpackers, and it can be difficult to reach by public transit. Once you're there, if you want a traditional experience, you can stay at a Shukubo Pilgrim Lodge.

Is Nagoya or Dewa Sanzan Better for Students?

Nagoya
Dewa Sanzan

Nagoya is very good for its student-friendly activities. However, Dewa Sanzan is not popular with students.

Plenty of students visit Nagoya. Nagoya University has been working to grow its international population. This is a fun and dynamic city that makes a great place to study.

Dewa Sanzan is not popular with students.

Is Nagoya or Dewa Sanzan Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Nagoya
Dewa Sanzan

Nagoya is an excellent place to visit for times when you don't have a car. However, Dewa Sanzan is lacking in options for its public transit.

Nagoya has some very good public transit options. The city has both a subway and public buses. The main bus stations are at Nagoya Station and Sakae Station and there are six subway lines throughout the city.

Public transit is generally limited in Dewa Sanzan. There is public transit from Tsuruoka Station to Mt. Haguro and the accommodation in the area. There are also buses to the top of Mt. Haguro, Mt. Yudono, and Mt. Gassan 8th Station.


Is Nagoya or Dewa Sanzan a more walkable city?

Nagoya
Dewa Sanzan

Nagoya is an excellent place to visit for its high level of walkability. However, Dewa Sanzan is lacking in options for its ease of walking around.

Nagoya is a very walkable city. The downtown area, where you'll find many of the sights, is walkable. The distances vary, but many sights can be reached on foot.

Dewa Sanzan is generally not very walkable. Everything is very spread out so walking can be challenging. Experienced hikers will enjoy hiking to each of the three shrines.

For even more information, also check out Is Nagoya Worth Visiting? and Is Dewa Sanzan Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Dewa Sanzan or Nagoya?

How long in Nagoya or Dewa Sanzan?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Nagoya and Dewa Sanzan. In our opinion, Nagoya has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Nagoya than Dewa Sanzan. However, 2-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Nagoya than Dewa Sanzan 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 Nagoya.


  • How many days in Nagoya or Dewa Sanzan? Ideal Length of Stay
    Nagoya 2-3 
    Dewa Sanzan 2-3

One day in Nagoya or Dewa Sanzan?

Nagoya is a often overlooked city where you can fill many days. Most people visit for the food. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Many travelers enjoy the museums when visiting the destination of Dewa Sanzan. Hikers are also drawn to this area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Nagoya or Dewa Sanzan?

Nagoya is a under-rated big city where you can fill many days. This city offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Dewa Sanzan is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.


Five days in Nagoya or Dewa Sanzan?

The under-rated city of Nagoya offers shopping and museums. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Dewa Sanzan. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A week in Nagoya or Dewa Sanzan?

Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Nagoya. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most people visit for the food. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Travelers enjoy the museums when visiting the sacred destination of Dewa Sanzan. This religious site offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Luxury Tours to Japan, The Best Tours for Seniors to Japan, The Best Contiki Tours to Japan, and The Best G Adventures Tours to Japan.


Which place is cheaper, Dewa Sanzan or Nagoya?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Nagoya is $89, while the average daily cost in Dewa Sanzan 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 Nagoya and Dewa Sanzan in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nagoya $46
    Dewa Sanzan $28
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nagoya $92
    Dewa Sanzan $56
Compare Hotels in Nagoya and Dewa Sanzan

Looking for a hotel in Nagoya or Dewa Sanzan? 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 Nagoya


Hotels in Dewa Sanzan


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: Nagoya Hotel Prices and Dewa Sanzan Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Nagoya $11
    Dewa Sanzan $22

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nagoya

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

  • Private Transfer from Nagoya city hotels to Kanazawa Cruise Port : $130
  • Private Transfer from Nagoya Int Airport (ITM) to Shimizu Port: $163
  • Private Transfer from Nagoya Cruise Port to Nagoya hotels: $65
  • Private Transfer from Nagoya Airport NKM to Shimizu Cruise Port: $179
  • Private Transfer between Chubu Centrair Int'l Airport and Nagoya: $285
  • Private Transfer - Nagoya Cruise Port to Nagoya Int Airport (NGO): $93
  • Private One-Way Transfers to/from Suzuka Circuit: $276
  • Nagoya airport to/from LEGOLAND Private transfer: $191
  • Chubu Itn Airport to/from Nagoya City private transfer: $139
  • Chubu Airport (NGO): Private Transfer to/from Naign Shrine: $767
  • Chubu Airport (NGO) to/from Nagoya Private Transfer: $161
  • Chubu Airport (NGO) to/from Kyoto Private Transfer: $452

Is it cheaper to fly into Nagoya or Dewa Sanzan?

Prices for flights to both Dewa Sanzan and Nagoya 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
    Nagoya $27
    Dewa Sanzan $24

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Nagoya

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

  • gided japanese food tour in okazaki(aichi): $86
  • Market Tour and Authentic Nagoya Cuisine Cooking Class With a Local in Her Home: $92
  • Specialties of Nagoya Food Tour: $179

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Nagoya $13
    Dewa Sanzan $9.23

Tours and Activities in Nagoya

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

  • Cartoon experience course for travelers: $33
  • Day Tour with Ghibli Park Admission Ticket Round Trip from Nagoya: $179
  • Experience Japanese calligraphy & tea ceremony at a traditional house in Nagoya: $112
  • From Gujo, Hida Takayama, and Shirakawa-go Day Tour: $61
  • From Ise Grand Shrine Day Tour: $61
  • Full-Day Kisoji Nakasendo Trail Tour from Nagoya: $232
  • Ghibli Park Ticket and Accommodation 2 Days Package (No Guide): $183
  • Guided Half-day Tour(AM) to Nagoya Castle & Tokugawa Museum and Garden: $146
  • Guided Half-day Tour(AM) to Nagoya Castle & Toyota Commemorative Museum: $119
  • Guided Half-day Tour(AM) to Noritake Garden & Toyota Commemorative Museum: $113
  • Guided Half-day Tour(PM) to Toyota Commemorative Museum & SCMAGLEV Railway Park: $146
  • Half-Day Inuyama Castle and Town Tour with Guide: $132

Tours and Activities in Dewa Sanzan

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

  • Tsuruoka & Dewa-Sanzan Full-Day Private Tour with Government-Licensed Guide: $233

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Nagoya $12
    Dewa Sanzan $7.27

Sample the Local Flavors in Nagoya

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

  • Pub Crawl in Nagoya: $46


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

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



When is the best time to visit Nagoya or Dewa Sanzan?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Nagoya or Dewa Sanzan in the Summer?

Both Dewa Sanzan and Nagoya are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The city activities and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Nagoya this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Dewa Sanzan for the hiking.

In July, Nagoya is generally a little warmer than Dewa Sanzan. Daily temperatures in Nagoya average around 27°C (80°F), and Dewa Sanzan fluctuates around 23°C (74°F).

Nagoya usually receives more sunshine than Dewa Sanzan during summer. Nagoya gets 170 hours of sunny skies, while Dewa Sanzan receives 124 hours of full sun in the summer.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Dewa Sanzan. It's quite rainy in Nagoya. In July, Nagoya usually receives more rain than Dewa Sanzan. Nagoya gets 213 mm (8.4 in) of rain, while Dewa Sanzan receives 191 mm (7.5 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Nagoya 27°C (80°F) 
    Dewa Sanzan 23°C (74°F)

Should I visit Nagoya or Dewa Sanzan in the Autumn?

Both Dewa Sanzan and Nagoya during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Nagoya for the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene. Furthermore, many visitors come to Dewa Sanzan in the autumn for the hiking trails.

Nagoya is a little warmer than Dewa Sanzan in the autumn. The daily temperature in Nagoya averages around 18°C (64°F) in October, and Dewa Sanzan fluctuates around 13°C (56°F).

In the autumn, Nagoya often gets more sunshine than Dewa Sanzan. Nagoya gets 176 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Dewa Sanzan receives 149 hours of full sun.

Dewa Sanzan gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Nagoya. Nagoya usually gets less rain in October than Dewa Sanzan. Nagoya gets 114 mm (4.5 in) of rain, while Dewa Sanzan receives 152 mm (6 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Nagoya 18°C (64°F) 
    Dewa Sanzan 13°C (56°F)

Should I visit Nagoya or Dewa Sanzan in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Nagoya and Dewa Sanzan. Many visitors come to Nagoya in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, most visitors come to Dewa Sanzan for the museums and the cuisine during these months.

Dewa Sanzan can be very cold during winter. Nagoya can get quite cold in the winter. In the winter, Nagoya is much warmer than Dewa Sanzan. Typically, the winter temperatures in Nagoya in January average around 4°C (40°F), and Dewa Sanzan averages at about -1°C (30°F).

Nagoya usually receives more sunshine than Dewa Sanzan during winter. Nagoya gets 180 hours of sunny skies, while Dewa Sanzan receives 149 hours of full sun in the winter.

Dewa Sanzan receives a lot of rain in the winter. In January, Nagoya usually receives less rain than Dewa Sanzan. Nagoya gets 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain, while Dewa Sanzan receives 206 mm (8.1 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Nagoya 4°C (40°F) 
    Dewa Sanzan -1°C (30°F)

Should I visit Nagoya or Dewa Sanzan in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Nagoya as well as Dewa Sanzan. Most visitors come to Nagoya for the activities around the city during these months.

In April, Nagoya is generally much warmer than Dewa Sanzan. Daily temperatures in Nagoya average around 14°C (58°F), and Dewa Sanzan fluctuates around 9°C (47°F).

In the spring, Nagoya often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Dewa Sanzan. Nagoya gets 189 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Dewa Sanzan receives 188 hours of full sun.

Nagoya receives a lot of rain in the spring. Nagoya usually gets more rain in April than Dewa Sanzan. Nagoya gets 152 mm (6 in) of rain, while Dewa Sanzan receives 100 mm (3.9 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Nagoya 14°C (58°F) 
    Dewa Sanzan 9°C (47°F)

Typical Weather for Dewa Sanzan and Nagoya

Nagoya Dewa Sanzan
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 4°C (40°F) 42 mm (1.7 in) -1°C (30°F) 206 mm (8.1 in)
Feb 5°C (41°F) 65 mm (2.6 in) -1°C (30°F) 151 mm (6 in)
Mar 8°C (47°F) 110 mm (4.3 in) 2°C (35°F) 116 mm (4.6 in)
Apr 14°C (58°F) 152 mm (6 in) 9°C (47°F) 100 mm (3.9 in)
May 19°C (66°F) 157 mm (6.2 in) 15°C (59°F) 96 mm (3.8 in)
Jun 23°C (73°F) 213 mm (8.4 in) 20°C (67°F) 120 mm (4.7 in)
Jul 27°C (80°F) 213 mm (8.4 in) 23°C (74°F) 191 mm (7.5 in)
Aug 28°C (83°F) 145 mm (5.7 in) 25°C (77°F) 174 mm (6.8 in)
Sep 24°C (75°F) 204 mm (8 in) 20°C (68°F) 154 mm (6.1 in)
Oct 18°C (64°F) 114 mm (4.5 in) 13°C (56°F) 152 mm (6 in)
Nov 12°C (54°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 7°C (44°F) 207 mm (8.1 in)
Dec 7°C (45°F) 41 mm (1.6 in) 2°C (35°F) 231 mm (9.1 in)