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

Should you visit Nara or Yakushima?

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

Should I visit Nara or Yakushima? 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.

Where Should I go: Nara or Yakushima?


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.


Yakushima, Japan is a UNESCO World Heritage island located north of Okinawa and off the south east of of Kyushu. The island is well-known to Japanese tourists but not so much to international ones, making it a bit of a hidden gem to international tourists. This also means that English isn't spoken as much as in larger cities, so make sure to brush up on your Japanese and bring a dictionary.

Which city is cheaper, Yakushima or Nara?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Nara is $74, while the average daily cost in Yakushima is $99. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Nara and Yakushima in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nara $45
    Yakushima $50
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nara $90
    Yakushima $100
Compare Hotels in Nara and Yakushima

Looking for a hotel in Nara or Yakushima? 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 Nara

Hotels in Yakushima

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.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Nara $5.27
    Yakushima $42

Is it cheaper to fly into Nara or Yakushima?

Prices for flights to both Yakushima 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.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Nara $24
    Yakushima $24

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

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Nara $6.78
    Yakushima $17

Tours and Activities in Nara

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

  • [Virtual Tour] Enjoy Japanese Ancient City (Nara) with Friendly Deer: $12
  • All must-sees in 3 hours - Nara Park Classic Tour!: $30
  • Japanese Calligraphy Experience in Nara: $35
  • Nara Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $36
  • Nara Craft Tours - local Craft beers tour experience in Nara City: $40
  • Heijo Palace Walking Tour (Half Day): $43
  • Sushi Making Experience Umemori Sushi School Nara/Kyoto/Osaka: $45
  • Big Buddha, Bambi and Backstreets Cultural Tour: $59
  • Nara Todai-ji Lazy Bird Tour: $64
  • Nara Lazy Bird Tour: $80
  • Half-Day UNESCO Heritage & Local Culture Walking Tour: $88
  • Discover Traditional Nara Walking Tour (Half day): $91

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Nara $9.57
    Yakushima $5.45

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

When is the best time to visit Nara or Yakushima?

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 Nara or Yakushima in the Summer?

Both Yakushima and Nara are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities.

Nara is around the same temperature as Yakushima in the summer. The temperature in Nara is usually 27°C (80°F) in July, and Yakushima stays around 27°C (81°F).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Yakushima. It's quite rainy in Nara. In July, Nara usually receives around the same amount of rain as Yakushima. At this time of the year, Nara gets 186 mm (7.3 in) of rain, while Yakushima receives 189 mm (7.4 in) of rain.

  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Nara 27°C (80°F) 
    Yakushima 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit Nara or Yakushima in the Autumn?

Both Yakushima and Nara during the autumn are popular places to visit.

In the autumn, Nara is cooler than Yakushima. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Nara in October are around 17°C (63°F), and Yakushima is about 22°C (71°F).

Yakushima gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Nara. Nara usually gets less rain in October than Yakushima. Nara gets 110 mm (4.3 in) of rain, while Yakushima receives 161 mm (6.3 in) of rain this time of the year.

  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Nara 17°C (63°F) 
    Yakushima 22°C (71°F)

Should I visit Nara or Yakushima in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Nara and Yakushima.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Nara. In January, Nara is generally much colder than Yakushima. Temperatures in Nara average around 4°C (40°F), and Yakushima stays around 11°C (52°F).

Yakushima receives a lot of rain in the winter. In January, Nara usually receives less rain than Yakushima. At this time of the year, Nara gets 49 mm (1.9 in) of rain, while Yakushima receives 106 mm (4.2 in) of rain.

  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Nara 4°C (40°F) 
    Yakushima 11°C (52°F)

Should I visit Nara or Yakushima in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Nara as well as Yakushima.

Nara is cooler than Yakushima in the spring. The temperature in Nara is usually 14°C (57°F) in April, and Yakushima stays around 18°C (64°F).

It's quite rainy in Yakushima. Nara receives a lot of rain in the spring. Nara usually gets less rain in April than Yakushima. Nara gets 127 mm (5 in) of rain, while Yakushima receives 207 mm (8.1 in) of rain this time of the year.

  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Nara 14°C (57°F) 
    Yakushima 18°C (64°F)

Typical Weather for Yakushima and Nara

Nara Yakushima
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 4°C (40°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 11°C (52°F) 106 mm (4.2 in)
Feb 5°C (40°F) 60 mm (2.3 in) 12°C (53°F) 105 mm (4.1 in)
Mar 8°C (46°F) 99 mm (3.9 in) 14°C (57°F) 160 mm (6.3 in)
Apr 14°C (57°F) 127 mm (5 in) 18°C (64°F) 207 mm (8.1 in)
May 19°C (65°F) 128 mm (5.1 in) 21°C (69°F) 288 mm (11.3 in)
Jun 23°C (73°F) 214 mm (8.4 in) 24°C (74°F) 352 mm (13.9 in)
Jul 27°C (80°F) 186 mm (7.3 in) 27°C (81°F) 189 mm (7.4 in)
Aug 28°C (82°F) 117 mm (4.6 in) 27°C (81°F) 205 mm (8.1 in)
Sep 24°C (74°F) 154 mm (6.1 in) 26°C (78°F) 253 mm (10 in)
Oct 17°C (63°F) 110 mm (4.3 in) 22°C (71°F) 161 mm (6.3 in)
Nov 12°C (53°F) 62 mm (2.4 in) 18°C (64°F) 118 mm (4.6 in)
Dec 7°C (44°F) 41 mm (1.6 in) 13°C (55°F) 93 mm (3.7 in)

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Nara vs. Yakushima Travel Comparison

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