A Travel Price Comparison for Japan Nikko vs. Kyoto for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Nikko or Kyoto?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Nikko and Kyoto can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Nikko

Nikko is a small Japanese city located in the mountains north of Tokyo. It is well-known for the site of Toshogu, a famed Shinto shrine established in 1617, in memory of Tokugawa Ieyasu who was the founding ruler of the Edo Period. The town is situated just outside of Nikko National Park which offers scenic mountain landscapes, lakes, waterfalls, hot springs, wild monkeys, and hiking trails.

Kyoto

Kyoto is a larger city of Japan, though it is very much set in the old ways. With quiet temples, sublime gardens, colorful shrines, and geisha walking amidst a city surrounded by stunning mountains, Kyoto feels like a world of another time and place. True to ancient Japanese tradition, most aspects of daily life are tied closely with the changing of the seasons.

Which city is cheaper, Kyoto or Nikko?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Nikko is $88, while the average daily cost in Kyoto is $92. 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 Nikko and Kyoto in more detail.



Accommodation

Travelers usually pay around $100 for a double occupancy room in Nikko If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.

The average price for accommodation for two people in Kyoto is $110. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nikko $50
    Kyoto $55
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nikko $100
    Kyoto $110

Food

Nikko food costs typically run travelers around $33 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 price of a meal in Kyoto can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $26 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $10 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Nikko $33
    Kyoto $26

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Nikko

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

  • Nikko Guided Tour by Chartered Vehicle with Exclusive Lunch and Dinner: $2,910

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Kyoto

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

  • Online Cooking Experience ~ Vegan Taco rice!! ~ high protein and low carbohydrate: $35
  • Nishiki Market Breakfast Walking Food Tour: $43
  • Private Japanese Cooking Lesson and Lunch: $60
  • Authentic Seasonal Japanese Home Cooking Lesson with a Charming Local in Kyoto: $62
  • Morning Japanese Bento Cooking Class: $70
  • Kyoto Cooking Class: $74
  • Sushi or Obanzai Cooking and Matcha with a Kyoto Native in her Home: $74
  • Ramen Cooking Class at Ramen Factory in Kyoto: $76
  • Private Japanese Cooking Class with a Local in a Beautiful Wooden House in Kyoto: $78
  • Ramen Cooking class: $81
  • Nishiki Market Food Tour in Kyoto: $83
  • Bento Box Cooking Class: $86

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Kyoto is $9.35 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Nikko -
    Kyoto $9.35

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kyoto

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Kyoto:

  • KIX Airport Transfers (to or from KYOTO) by Minivan Toyota HIACE 2019: $430
  • KIX Airport Transfers (to or from KYOTO) by Toyota ALPHARD 2019: $430
  • One-Way Private Transfer Between Kyoto and Mount Koya: $406
  • KIX Airport to Kyoto Center Arashiyama door to door Private Transfer Alphard: $393
  • KIX Airport Transfers (to or from KYOTO) by Land Rover Discovery Sport 2018: $376
  • Private Departure Transfer : Kyoto City to Kansai International Airport: $364
  • Private Transfer to/from Chubu Centrair Airport: $359
  • Osaka ITM Airport to Kyoto Center door to door Private Transfer 6 seats Alphard: $334
  • Osaka Private Transfer from Itami Airport (ITM) to central Osaka: $314
  • Departure Private Transfer from Kyoto City to Kansai Airport KIX by Minivan: $209
  • Private departure transfer from Kyoto city to Kansai International airport: $148
  • Private departure transfer from Kyoto city to Osaka Itami International airport: $112

Is it cheaper to fly into Nikko or Kyoto?

Prices for flights to both Kyoto and Nikko 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

In Nikko, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $23 per person, per day.

Kyoto's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $17 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 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Nikko $23
    Kyoto $17

Tours and Activities in Nikko

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

  • Nikko Half-Day Private Tour with Nationally-Licensed Guide: $103
  • Visit the Unexplored Regions of Lake Chuzenji--Scenic Trekking and Rafting Tour: $115
  • Nikko Full-Day Private Tour with Nationally-Licensed Guide: $129
  • Nikko Custom Half Day Tour: $149
  • Bask in the beauty of winter Nikko in this unforgettable ice climbing experience: $166
  • The Nikko National Park Bike Experience: $172
  • Nikko Custom Full Day Tour: $260
  • Nikko Private Tour by public transportation: $289
  • Exciting Nikko - One Day Tour from Tokyo: $347
  • Nikko 1 day private walking tour: $430
  • Full Day Nikko Private Custom Tour from Tokyo by Chartered Vehicle: $1,122
  • Trekking and Private Onsen Temple Tour in Nikko: $1,474

Tours and Activities in Kyoto

Here are a few actual costs in Kyoto for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • (Day Time) Fushimi Inari & Nara Highlights Tour: $113
  • (Early Bird) Fushimi Inari & Nara Highlights Tour: $113
  • 1 Day Character Private Kyoto Tour - English Speaking Driver: $776
  • 1 Day Hiking Tour in the Mountains of Kyoto: $162
  • 1-Day Bus Tour from Osaka/Kyoto to Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe (with Halal Meals): $125
  • 1-Day Hiroshima & Miyajima Tour (Round-trip from Kyoto): $379
  • 1-Day Kyoto Cherry Blossom Tour: $118
  • 1-Day Kyoto Private Custom Tour from Osaka by Chartered Vehicle: $831
  • 1.5 Hours Kyoto Insider Sake Experience: $62
  • 10 Must-see Spots in Kyoto One Day Private Tour: $393
  • 12-Hour Sightseeing Trip from Osaka/Kyoto to Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe: $94
  • 2-Hour KENDO Experience in Kyoto: $59

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Nikko, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $16.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Kyoto may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $13 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Nikko $16
    Kyoto $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Kyoto

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

  • Kyoto Small-Group Sake Brewery Tour with Sake Tasting: $61
  • Sake Brewery Tour: $81
  • Kyoto Sake Brewery & Tasting Walking Tour: $93
  • Kyoto Sake Brewery Tour with Lunch: $191
  • Kyoto Sake Brewery Tour: $193
  • Fushimi Private One Day tour/ Sake brewery & Geisha lunch: $1,210


When comparing the travel costs between Nikko and Kyoto, we can see that Kyoto is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Asia, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

Budget Your Trip

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Nikko vs. Kyoto Travel Comparison

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