A Travel Price Comparison for Japan Nara vs. Dewa Sanzan for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Nara or Dewa Sanzan?

Should I visit Nara or Dewa Sanzan? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Nara

As Japan's first capital, Nara offers a world of tradition and culture second only to the city of Kyoto. It is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which are largely concentrated in the area of Nara Park. Here, it is also common to see many deer wandering freely amongst the temples and shrines.

Dewa Sanzan

Dewa Sanzan, Japan is a picturesque city in the Tohoku region which consists solely of the three sacred mountains: Mount Haguro, Mount Gassan, and Mount Yudono. The mountains are considered holy to the Japanese Shinto religion and are a popular pilgrimage site, especially since many ascetic pilgrims live in the mountains and are occasionally spotted throughout the various hiking trails.

Which city is cheaper, Dewa Sanzan or Nara?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Nara is $96, while the average daily cost in Dewa Sanzan is $73. 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 Nara and Dewa Sanzan in more detail.



Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $58. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Nara the cost is $116 on average.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $62 in Dewa Sanzan For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nara $58
    Dewa Sanzan $31
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nara $116
    Dewa Sanzan $62

Food

Nara food costs typically run travelers around $31 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.

In Dewa Sanzan travelers spend around $27 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Nara $31
    Dewa Sanzan $27

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Nara

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

  • Cooking Japanese rice in traditional oven at Shikano-fune, Kamado: $38

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Nara is $6.87 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 Dewa Sanzan than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $25 on transportation in Dewa Sanzan on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Nara $6.87
    Dewa Sanzan $25

Is it cheaper to fly into Nara or Dewa Sanzan?

Prices for flights to both Dewa Sanzan and Nara 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

Nara's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $8.83 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 Dewa Sanzan, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $10 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Nara $8.83
    Dewa Sanzan $10

Tours and Activities in Nara

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Nara are as follows:

  • 1-Day Nara and Uji Private Custom Tour from Osaka by Chartered Vehicle: $831
  • All must-sees in 3 hours - Nara Park Classic Tour!: $30
  • Deer City Nara Walking & Izakaya Hopping Tour: $167
  • Discover Traditional Nara Walking Tour (Full day): $118
  • Discover Traditional Nara Walking Tour (Half day): $91
  • Full-Day Private Guided Tour to Nara Temples: $246
  • Gigantic Todai-ji Temple Early Bird Tour: $96
  • Hand Painted Yuzen Dyeing Experience: $383
  • Heijo Palace Walking Tour (Half Day): $43
  • Heijo Palace and Yamato Koriyama Walking Tour (Full Day): $107
  • Japanese Calligraphy Experience in Nara: $35
  • Nara - Craft Beer and Sake Walking Tour: $98

Alcohol

The average person spends about $12 on alcoholic beverages in Nara per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

Typically, people visiting Dewa Sanzan spend on average $8.10 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Nara $12
    Dewa Sanzan $8.10


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Nara and Dewa Sanzan, we can see that Nara 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 Nara would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Nara than you might in Dewa Sanzan.

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Nara vs. Dewa Sanzan Travel Comparison

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