A Travel Price Comparison for Japan Nagoya vs. Mashiko for Food, Families, Attractions, and Nightlife

Should you visit Nagoya or Mashiko?

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

Should I visit Nagoya or Mashiko? 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 often overlooked, under-the-radar, and under-rated city. As it's a big city, visitors will find plenty to do, too. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Mashiko

Mashiko is a charming, traditional, and rural town. It offers plenty of small town charm along with sights and activities, too. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. It's also popular because of the hiking, shopping, and museums.

Nagoya and Mashiko: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Big city activities
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Small town charm
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Nagoya or Mashiko?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Nagoya. Although Nagoya and Mashiko are popular destinations, Nagoya has more sights and attractions for tourists. Nagoya is very popular for its museums, food, nightlife, and big city activities, while Mashiko attracts visitors for its hiking, small town charm, and quaint atmosphere. Mashiko is more touristy than Nagoya and is known for its local sake, rural farms, and longstanding tradition in pottery making. Nagoya is famous for its local cuisine, historic shrines, and long running shipping industry. It is also well known for the Nagoya Castle.

How is Nagoya different from Mashiko?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Mashiko 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 Mashiko?

Nagoya
Mashiko

Nagoya is a great city 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 Nagoya can be an interesting and educational experience. 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.

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 Nagoya or Mashiko? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Nagoya
Mashiko

Nagoya is a world-class destination for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Mashiko is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Known for it's food and restaurant scene, Nagoya is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. 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.

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 Nagoya or Mashiko Better for Nightlife?

Nagoya
Mashiko

Nagoya is a great city for its evening party scene. However, Mashiko is not known for nightlife.

The nightlife in Nagoya has something for everybody. 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.

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 Nagoya or Mashiko Better for Hiking?

Nagoya
Mashiko

Mashiko is a popular place for its hiking trails. However, Nagoya is not a hiking destination.

Mashiko is a good destination for hiking. 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.

Nagoya is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Nagoya or Mashiko?

Nagoya
Mashiko

Shoppers can find a variety of very good stores in both Nagoya and Mashiko.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Nagoya. 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.

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.

Is Nagoya or Mashiko Better for Families?

Nagoya
Mashiko

Nagoya is a world-class destination for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Mashiko is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its family-friendly activities.

Nagoya is an amazing family-friendly city to visit. 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.

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.

Is Nagoya or Mashiko Better for Couples?

Nagoya
Mashiko

Mashiko is a very popular place for couples. Also, Nagoya is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for romance.

Mashiko makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. 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.

Nagoya is a nice destination for couples. 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.


Is Nagoya or Mashiko Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Nagoya
Mashiko

Nagoya 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 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.

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 Nagoya or Mashiko Better for Students?

Nagoya
Mashiko

Nagoya is a nice place to visit for its student-friendly activities. However, Mashiko is not popular with students.

It's common for students to 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.

Mashiko is not popular with students.

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

Nagoya
Mashiko

Nagoya 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 Nagoya. 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.

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 Nagoya or Mashiko a more walkable city?

Nagoya
Mashiko

Nagoya and Mashiko are very good when it comes to walkability.

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

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 Nagoya Worth Visiting? and Is Mashiko Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Mashiko or Nagoya?

How long in Nagoya or Mashiko?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Nagoya or Mashiko to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Nagoya 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 Nagoya, and 1-2 days is enough time in Mashiko.

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

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


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

One day in Nagoya or Mashiko?

Because Nagoya is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. One reason most visitors come is for the food. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

Mashiko might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. One day is often enough time to do most activities.

A weekend in Nagoya or Mashiko?

Because Nagoya is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. One reason most visitors come is for the food. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Nagoya has to offer.

Mashiko 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 Mashiko?

Nagoya is a great place to explore. 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.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Mashiko. 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 Mashiko?

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

Mashiko is a small town, so it's a great destination if you're short on time. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from. 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, Mashiko or Nagoya?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Nagoya is $86, while the average daily cost in Mashiko 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 Nagoya and Mashiko in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nagoya $45
    Mashiko $32
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nagoya $90
    Mashiko $64
Compare Hotels in Nagoya and Mashiko

Looking for a hotel in Nagoya 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 Nagoya


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: Nagoya Hotel Prices.

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nagoya

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

  • Chubu Airport (NGO): Private Transfer to/from Naign Shrine: $769
  • Chubu Airport (NGO) to/from Kyoto Private Transfer: $444
  • Private Transfer between Chubu Centrair Int'l Airport and Nagoya: $279
  • Private One-Way Transfers to/from Suzuka Circuit: $276
  • Private Transfer from Nagoya Airport (NKM) to Toyama Cruise Port: $240
  • Chubu Itn Airport to/from Nagoya City private transfer: $197
  • Nagoya airport to/from LEGOLAND Private transfer: $188
  • Private Transfer from Nagoya Airport NKM to Shimizu Cruise Port: $180
  • Private Transfer from Nagoya Int Airport (ITM) to Shimizu Port: $164
  • Chubu Airport (NGO) to/from Nagoya Private Transfer: $158
  • Private Transfer from Nagoya City Hotels to Kanazawa Cruise Port: $144
  • LEGOLAND Japan Resort Ticket with Private Transfer: $109

Is it cheaper to fly into Nagoya or Mashiko?

Prices for flights to both Mashiko 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
    Mashiko $22

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Nagoya

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

  • Grandma’s Traditional Cooking Class: $66
  • Grandma’s Home Cooking Cute Bento Workshop: $66
  • Grandma’s Nagoya Specialties Cooking Class: $66
  • Market Tour and Authentic Nagoya Cuisine Cooking Class With a Local in Her Home: $92
  • Specialties of Nagoya Food Tour: $123

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Nagoya $13
    Mashiko $8.62

Tours and Activities in Nagoya

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

  • 1 Day Private Tour in Nagoya Hotspots Using Local Bus: $208
  • Authentic Samurai Experience: Discover Japanese Sword-smith Town: $227
  • Autumn Leaves Private Tour in Nagoya: $161
  • Day Tour with Ghibli Park Admission Ticket Round Trip from Nagoya: $175
  • Experience Japanese calligraphy & tea ceremony at a traditional house in Nagoya: $110
  • Explore Holy Mt Horaiji Private Tour: $208
  • Explore Your Ultimate PRIVATE One-Day Adventure: $1,017
  • From Gujo, Hida Takayama, and Shirakawa-go Day Tour: $60
  • From Shirakawa-go Bus Ticket with Hida Beef Lunch: $49
  • Full-Day Kisoji Nakasendo Trail Tour from Nagoya: $227
  • Full-Day Small-Group Tour in Ise Jingu: $227
  • Ghibli Park Ticket and Accommodation 2 Days Package (No Guide): $180

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Nagoya $12
    Mashiko $4.99

Sample the Local Flavors in Nagoya

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

  • The Nagoya Restaurant and Bar Crawl: $30
  • Pub Crawl in Nagoya: $39


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Nagoya and Mashiko, we can see that Nagoya 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 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 Mashiko.

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


Which is Bigger, Nagoya or Mashiko?

Nagoya has a larger population, and is about 80 times larger than the population of Mashiko. When comparing the sizes of Nagoya 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 Nagoya or Mashiko?

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 Mashiko in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Nagoya and Mashiko. Many travelers come to Nagoya for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, many visitors come to Mashiko in the summer for the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences.

Nagoya is a little warmer than Mashiko in the summer. The daily temperature in Nagoya averages around 27°C (80°F) in July, and Mashiko fluctuates around 24°C (75°F).

Nagoya usually receives more sunshine than Mashiko during summer. Nagoya gets 170 hours of sunny skies, while Mashiko receives 130 hours of full sun in the summer.

Mashiko receives a lot of rain in the summer. Nagoya gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Nagoya usually receives more rain than Mashiko. Nagoya gets 213 mm (8.4 in) of rain, while Mashiko receives 117 mm (4.6 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Nagoya 27°C (80°F) 
    Mashiko 24°C (75°F)

Should I visit Nagoya or Mashiko in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Nagoya as well as Mashiko. Many visitors come to Nagoya in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene. Additionally, most visitors come to Mashiko for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the small town atmosphere during these months.

In the autumn, Nagoya is a little warmer than Mashiko. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Nagoya in October average around 18°C (64°F), and Mashiko averages at about 16°C (60°F).

In the autumn, Nagoya often gets more sunshine than Mashiko. Nagoya gets 176 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Mashiko receives 133 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Mashiko. Nagoya receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Nagoya usually gets less rain in October than Mashiko. Nagoya gets 114 mm (4.5 in) of rain, while Mashiko receives 145 mm (5.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


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

Should I visit Nagoya or Mashiko in the Winter?

Both Mashiko and Nagoya are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Nagoya for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Mashiko because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

The weather in Mashiko can be very cold. Nagoya can be very cold during winter. In January, Nagoya is generally a little warmer than Mashiko. Daily temperatures in Nagoya average around 4°C (40°F), and Mashiko fluctuates around 3°C (38°F).

Nagoya usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Mashiko during winter. Nagoya gets 180 hours of sunny skies, while Mashiko receives 181 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Nagoya usually receives around the same amount of rain as Mashiko. Nagoya gets 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain, while Mashiko receives 44 mm (1.7 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Nagoya 4°C (40°F) 
    Mashiko 3°C (38°F)

Should I visit Nagoya or Mashiko in the Spring?

Both Mashiko and Nagoya during the spring are popular places to visit. The spring months attract visitors to Nagoya because of the activities around the city. Also, the small town charm are the main draw to Mashiko this time of year.

Nagoya is a little warmer than Mashiko in the spring. The daily temperature in Nagoya averages around 14°C (58°F) in April, and Mashiko fluctuates around 12°C (53°F).

In the spring, Nagoya often gets more sunshine than Mashiko. Nagoya gets 189 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Mashiko receives 160 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 Nagoya. Nagoya usually gets more rain in April than Mashiko. Nagoya gets 152 mm (6 in) of rain, while Mashiko receives 118 mm (4.6 in) of rain this time of the year.


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

Typical Weather for Mashiko and Nagoya

Nagoya Mashiko
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 4°C (40°F) 42 mm (1.7 in) 3°C (38°F) 44 mm (1.7 in)
Feb 5°C (41°F) 65 mm (2.6 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) 152 mm (6 in) 12°C (53°F) 118 mm (4.6 in)
May 19°C (66°F) 157 mm (6.2 in) 17°C (62°F) 139 mm (5.5 in)
Jun 23°C (73°F) 213 mm (8.4 in) 20°C (68°F) 175 mm (6.9 in)
Jul 27°C (80°F) 213 mm (8.4 in) 24°C (75°F) 117 mm (4.6 in)
Aug 28°C (83°F) 145 mm (5.7 in) 26°C (78°F) 135 mm (5.3 in)
Sep 24°C (75°F) 204 mm (8 in) 22°C (71°F) 163 mm (6.4 in)
Oct 18°C (64°F) 114 mm (4.5 in) 16°C (60°F) 145 mm (5.7 in)
Nov 12°C (54°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 11°C (51°F) 78 mm (3.1 in)
Dec 7°C (45°F) 41 mm (1.6 in) 6°C (42°F) 40 mm (1.6 in)