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

Should you visit Nikko or Matsue?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Nikko and Matsue can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Where Should I go: Nikko or Matsue?

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 $70, while the average daily cost in Matsue is $56. 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 Nikko and Matsue in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nikko $40
    Matsue $22
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nikko $80
    Matsue $44

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Nikko -
    Matsue $17

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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Nikko $26
    Matsue $24

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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Nikko $18
    Matsue $7.53

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
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Nikko $13
    Matsue $5.86


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.


When is the best time to visit Nikko or Matsue?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Nikko or Matsue in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Nikko as well as Matsue.

In the summer, Nikko is around the same temperature as Matsue. Typically, the summer temperatures in Nikko in July are around 25°C (77°F), and Matsue is about 25°C (78°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Matsue. In the summer, Nikko often gets less sunshine than Matsue. Nikko gets 136 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Matsue receives 201 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Matsue. Nikko receives a lot of rain in the summer. Nikko usually gets less rain in July than Matsue. Nikko gets 171 mm (6.7 in) of rain, while Matsue receives 268 mm (10.6 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Nikko 25°C (77°F) 
    Matsue 25°C (78°F)

Should I visit Nikko or Matsue in the Autumn?

Both Matsue and Nikko are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities.

In October, Nikko is generally around the same temperature as Matsue. Temperatures in Nikko average around 16°C (61°F), and Matsue stays around 17°C (62°F).

Nikko usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Matsue during autumn. At this time of the year, Nikko gets 167 hours of sunny skies, while Matsue receives 173 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Matsue. It's quite rainy in Nikko. In October, Nikko usually receives less rain than Matsue. At this time of the year, Nikko gets 117 mm (4.6 in) of rain, while Matsue receives 135 mm (5.3 in) of rain.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Nikko 16°C (61°F) 
    Matsue 17°C (62°F)

Should I visit Nikko or Matsue in the Winter?

Both Matsue and Nikko during the winter are popular places to visit.

Matsue can get quite cold in the winter. Be prepared for some very cold days in Nikko. Nikko is much colder than Matsue in the winter. The temperature in Nikko is usually 3°C (37°F) in January, and Matsue stays around 4°C (39°F).

It's quite sunny in Nikko. In the winter, Nikko often gets more sunshine than Matsue. Nikko gets 212 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Matsue receives 84 hours of full sun.

Matsue gets a good bit of rain this time of year. Nikko usually gets less rain in January than Matsue. Nikko gets 26 mm (1 in) of rain, while Matsue receives 151 mm (5.9 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Nikko 3°C (37°F) 
    Matsue 4°C (39°F)

Should I visit Nikko or Matsue in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Nikko and Matsue.

In the spring, Nikko is around the same temperature as Matsue. Typically, the spring temperatures in Nikko in April are around 13°C (55°F), and Matsue is about 13°C (55°F).

Nikko usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Matsue during spring. At this time of the year, Nikko gets 191 hours of sunny skies, while Matsue receives 194 hours of full sun.

Matsue receives a lot of rain in the spring. Nikko gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In April, Nikko usually receives less rain than Matsue. At this time of the year, Nikko gets 108 mm (4.2 in) of rain, while Matsue receives 124 mm (4.9 in) of rain.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Nikko 13°C (55°F) 
    Matsue 13°C (55°F)

Typical Weather for Matsue and Nikko

Nikko Matsue
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 3°C (37°F) 26 mm (1 in) 4°C (39°F) 151 mm (5.9 in)
Feb 3°C (38°F) 44 mm (1.7 in) 4°C (40°F) 137 mm (5.4 in)
Mar 7°C (44°F) 74 mm (2.9 in) 7°C (45°F) 127 mm (5 in)
Apr 13°C (55°F) 108 mm (4.2 in) 13°C (55°F) 124 mm (4.9 in)
May 18°C (64°F) 139 mm (5.5 in) 18°C (64°F) 120 mm (4.7 in)
Jun 21°C (70°F) 206 mm (8.1 in) 21°C (71°F) 196 mm (7.7 in)
Jul 25°C (77°F) 171 mm (6.7 in) 25°C (78°F) 268 mm (10.6 in)
Aug 27°C (80°F) 195 mm (7.7 in) 27°C (81°F) 145 mm (5.7 in)
Sep 22°C (72°F) 201 mm (7.9 in) 23°C (73°F) 216 mm (8.5 in)
Oct 16°C (61°F) 117 mm (4.6 in) 17°C (62°F) 135 mm (5.3 in)
Nov 10°C (50°F) 62 mm (2.4 in) 11°C (53°F) 138 mm (5.4 in)
Dec 5°C (41°F) 32 mm (1.2 in) 7°C (44°F) 138 mm (5.4 in)


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Nikko vs. Matsue Travel Comparison

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