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

Should you visit Nikko or Matsue?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Nikko and Matsue 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.

Matsue

Matsue, Japan is located on the scenic shores of Lake Shinji in the Shimane Prefecture. Matsue is the capital city of the prefecture and is known as the water city due to being located between Lake Shinji, Lake Nakaumi, and the Sea of Japan. This historically rich city is famous for being a laid back samurai village with stunning sunsets and traditional confectioneries.

Which city is cheaper, Matsue 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 Matsue 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 Nikko and Matsue 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 Matsue is $54. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nikko $50
    Matsue $27
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nikko $100
    Matsue $54

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.

In Matsue travelers spend around $30 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
    Nikko $33
    Matsue $30

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

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Matsue is $21 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 -
    Matsue $21

Is it cheaper to fly into Nikko or Matsue?

Prices for flights to both Matsue 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.

Matsue's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $9.45 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
    Matsue $9.45

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 Matsue

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

  • Adachi Museum Private Customized Guided Tour from Matsue: $396
  • Private Customized Tour with Izumo Taisha Shrine: $88
  • Romantic Tour In Matsue: $496
  • The best of Matsue walking tour: $496

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 Matsue may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $7.35 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Nikko $16
    Matsue $7.35


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

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Nikko vs. Matsue Travel Comparison

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