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

Should you visit Nara or Sado?

Should I visit Nara or Sado? 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.

Sado

Sado Island, Japan is located just off the coast of Niigata and is an old gold mining town that has since developed into a quiet summer holiday destination. The island is home to two mountain ranges, O-Sado in the north and Ko-sado in the south, with the popular Kuninaka plain in between the mountain ranges. With the remoteness of the island, it has become a popular destination for tourists to experience old Japan and get away from the busy mainland.

Which city is cheaper, Sado 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 Sado is $68. 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 Sado 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.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $33. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Sado the cost is $66 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nara $57
    Sado $33
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nara $114
    Sado $66

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 Sado travelers spend around $26 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
    Sado $26

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 Sado

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

  • Lunch or Dinner with Maiko Experience in Kyoto : $14
  • Cooking the finest rice balls using salt and rice from Sado: $20
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Miso-balls): $23
  • Yokohama Lunch, Tea, and Dinner Cruise with Royalwings: $25
  • Japanese Rolled Sushi cooking in Tokyo: $27
  • Online character lunch box cooking class: $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

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.

The cost of a taxi ride in Sado is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $15 per person, per day, on local transportation in Sado.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Nara $6.81
    Sado $15

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nara

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Nara:

  • [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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sado

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Sado:

  • [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 Sado?

Prices for flights to both Sado 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.

Entertainment and activities in Sado typically cost an average of $9.31 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Nara $8.75
    Sado $9.31

Tours and Activities in Nara

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

  • 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
  • Nagasaki Huis Ten Bosch Ticket: $4.55
  • Roman no Mori Kyowakoku Ticket in Chiba: $4.55
  • Hanshin Tourist Pass (1 Day, Umeda Pick Up): $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

Tours and Activities in Sado

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

  • 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
  • Roman no Mori Kyowakoku Ticket in Chiba: $4.55
  • Nagasaki Huis Ten Bosch Ticket: $4.55
  • Hanshin Tourist Pass (1 Day, Umeda Pick Up): $4.55
  • Sapporo Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill Ticket: $4.85
  • Hida Kanayama Onsen Yutarikan Hot Spring Experience in Gifu: $4.99
  • Yunokuni no Mori Ticket in Komatsu: $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.

The average person spends about $73 on alcoholic beverages in Sado per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Nara $12
    Sado $73

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 Sado

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Sado:

  • 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 Sado, we can see that Nara is more expensive. And not only is Sado much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Sado would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Sado 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 Sado.

Budget Your Trip

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Nara vs. Sado Travel Comparison

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