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

Should you visit Nara or Mashiko?

Should I visit Nara or Mashiko? 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.

Mashiko

Mashiko is a town in Japan famous for its pottery, called "Mashiko yaki." Large noborigama kilns were first brought to the area in 1853 by immigrant potters from a neighboring community in the Ibaraki prefecture. It is also home to the site of Saimyoji temple, one of the oldest temples in Tochigi prefecture, as well as the shrine of the Utsunomiya han.

Which city is cheaper, Mashiko or Nara?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Nara is $95, while the average daily cost in Mashiko is $70. 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 Mashiko in more detail.



Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $57. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Nara the cost is $114 on average.

The prices for places to stay in Mashiko can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $37, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $74.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nara $57
    Mashiko $37
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nara $114
    Mashiko $74

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.

The average traveler spends about $25 per day in Mashiko for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Nara $31
    Mashiko $25

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Nara

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

  • Lunch or Dinner with Maiko Experience in Kyoto : $14
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Miso-balls): $23
  • Yokohama Lunch, Tea, and Dinner Cruise with Royalwings: $25
  • Online character lunch box cooking class: $27
  • Japanese Rolled Sushi cooking in Tokyo: $27
  • Tokyo West Side Walking and Street Food Tour: $34
  • Hakodate's Famous Ikameshi Cooking Class: $36
  • Cooking Japanese rice in traditional oven at Shikano-fune, Kamado: $38
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Casual): $41
  • Okinawa Home Cooking Experience: $45
  • Moby Dick Dinner Cruise in Naha: $53
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Special): $59

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Mashiko

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

  • Lunch or Dinner with Maiko Experience in Kyoto : $14
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Miso-balls): $23
  • Yokohama Lunch, Tea, and Dinner Cruise with Royalwings: $25
  • Online character lunch box cooking class: $27
  • Japanese Rolled Sushi cooking in Tokyo: $27
  • Tokyo West Side Walking and Street Food Tour: $34
  • Hakodate's Famous Ikameshi Cooking Class: $36
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Casual): $41
  • Okinawa Home Cooking Experience: $45
  • Moby Dick Dinner Cruise in Naha: $53
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Special): $59
  • Morning Wagyu Kaiseki Cooking Course: $60

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Nara is $6.81 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.

Mashiko's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $12 per person, per day on transportation in Mashiko.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Nara $6.81
    Mashiko $12

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nara

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Nara:

  • Private Kansai International Airport (KIX) Transfers for Osaka (Same Day Booking): $338
  • Private Narita International Airport Transfers (NRT) for Tokyo (Same Day Booking): $323
  • Private Kansai International Airport Transfers (KIX) for Kyoto: $246
  • Private Airport Transfer between New Chitose Airport (CTS) and Hokkaido Major Cities: $209
  • Private Haneda International Airport Transfers (HND) for Tokyo (For Urgent Flight): $203
  • Private New Chitose Airport Transfers (CTS) for Sapporo, Hoshino Resorts, Noboribetsu, Lake Toya, or Surrounding Areas: $177
  • Private Nagoya Airport (NGO) Transfers for Downtown Nagoya and Surrounding Cities: $164
  • Private Kansai International Airport Transfers (KIX) for Osaka, Nara, & Kobe: $154
  • Private Transfers Between Yoyogi National Stadium (Olympic Stadium) and Tokyo City or Airports: $153
  • Private Transfers Between the New National Stadium (Olympic Stadium) and Tokyo City or Airports: $152
  • Private Narita International Airport Transfers (NRT) for Tokyo 23 Wards, Hakone, or Karuizawa: $150
  • Private Kansai Airport (KIX) Transfers for Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, or Nara: $150

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Mashiko

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

  • [5%OFF] Ferry Transfers from Ishigaki Island by Yaeyama Kanko Ferry: $6.09
  • Nara Kimono and Deer Experience Day Trip from Kyoto (with One Way Transfer): $10
  • Ferry Roundtrip Transfers from Ishigaki Island by Anei Kanko : $11
  • Ferry Transfers between Naha and Kume, Tonaki by Kume Shosen : $11
  • Shared Round-Trip Transfers for Chichibugahama Beach: $23
  • Private Transfers Between Tokyo International Forum and Tokyo City or Airports: $32
  • Private Transfers Between Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium and Tokyo City or Airports: $32
  • Private Transfers Between Yokohama Port (Osanbashi Terminal) and Tokyo City or Shin Yokohama City: $32
  • Private City Transfers Between Osaka and Port of Kobe (One Way): $32
  • Private City Transfers Between Kyoto and Port of Kobe (One Way): $32
  • Private City Transfers Between Port of Kobe and Kobe/Osaka/Kyoto (One Way): $32
  • Private City Transfers Between Tokyo and Kamakura/Shin-Yokohama (One Way): $32

Is it cheaper to fly into Nara or Mashiko?

Prices for flights to both Mashiko 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 $8.75 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, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Mashiko can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $9.77 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Nara $8.75
    Mashiko $9.77

Tours and Activities in Nara

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

  • Art Aquarium Museum Ticket in Tokyo: $21
  • Beppu Tower Admission Ticket: $3.65
  • Chiba Mother Farm Ticket Tokyo: $12
  • Hakodate-Onuma Segway Tours: $82
  • Hakone Kamakura 3-Day Ticket Pass: $63
  • Hakone Kowaki-en Yunessun Hot Spring Theme Park One Day Ticket : $21
  • Hakone Segway Tours: $82
  • Izu Teddy Bear Museum Admission Ticket: $13
  • Japanese Culture Experience at Kanda Myoujin Shrine EDOCCO Cha-ya in Tokyo: $27
  • Kanda Myoujin Rakugo Show Ticket in Tokyo: $7.29
  • Kanda Myoujin Shrine Experience Ticket in Tokyo: $45
  • Kouri Ocean Tower Observation Deck Ticket in Okinawa: $6.99

Tours and Activities in Mashiko

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Mashiko.

  • Beppu Tower Admission Ticket: $3.65
  • Uzu no Michi and Onaruto Bridge Hall Edy Ticket: $3.75
  • Yunomoto Onsen Experience in Hokkaido : $4.09
  • [5% OFF] Akame 48 Watefalls / Ninja Training Experience Discount Ticket in Mie: $4.35
  • Sakai Plaza of Rikyu and Akiko Experience: $4.39
  • Hanshin Tourist Pass (1 Day, Umeda Pick Up): $4.55
  • Nagasaki Huis Ten Bosch Ticket: $4.55
  • Roman no Mori Kyowakoku Ticket in Chiba: $4.55
  • Sapporo Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill Ticket: $4.85
  • Yunokuni no Mori Ticket in Komatsu: $4.99
  • Hida Kanayama Onsen Yutarikan Hot Spring Experience in Gifu: $4.99
  • Museum of Aeronautical Science Admission Ticket : $5.09

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.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Mashiko, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $5.66.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Nara $12
    Mashiko $5.66

Sample the Local Flavors in Nara

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

  • Hiroshima Sake Brewery Guided Tour in "Saijo", one of the three largest Japanese Sake spot: $12

Sample the Local Flavors in Mashiko

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

  • Hiroshima Sake Brewery Guided Tour in "Saijo", one of the three largest Japanese Sake spot: $12


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

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Nara vs. Mashiko Travel Comparison

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