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

Should you visit Nikko or Nara?

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 Nara 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 Nara?

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.

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.

Which city is cheaper, Nara or Nikko?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Nikko is $72, while the average daily cost in Nara is $76. 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 Nara in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nikko $40
    Nara $46
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nikko $80
    Nara $92

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Nikko -
    Nara $5.39

Is it cheaper to fly into Nikko or Nara?

Prices for flights to both Nara 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 $27
    Nara $25

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 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
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Nikko $19
    Nara $6.93

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 Nara

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

  • 1-Day Nara and Uji Private Custom Tour from Osaka by Chartered Vehicle: $831
  • All must-sees in 3 hours - Nara Park Classic Tour!: $30
  • Deer City Nara Walking & Izakaya Hopping Tour: $167
  • Discover Traditional Nara Walking Tour (Full day): $118
  • Discover Traditional Nara Walking Tour (Half day): $91
  • Full-Day Private Guided Tour to Nara Temples: $246
  • Gigantic Todai-ji Temple Early Bird Tour: $96
  • Hand Painted Yuzen Dyeing Experience: $383
  • Heijo Palace Walking Tour (Half Day): $43
  • Heijo Palace and Yamato Koriyama Walking Tour (Full Day): $107
  • Japanese Calligraphy Experience in Nara: $35
  • Nara - Craft Beer and Sake Walking Tour: $98

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Nikko $13
    Nara $9.78


When comparing the travel costs between Nikko and Nara, we can see that Nara 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.


When is the best time to visit Nikko or Nara?

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 Nara in the Summer?

Both Nara and Nikko during the summer are popular places to visit.

In the summer, Nikko is around the same temperature as Nara. Typically, the summer temperatures in Nikko in July are around 25°C (77°F), and Nara is about 27°C (80°F).

In the summer, Nikko often gets less sunshine than Nara. Nikko gets 136 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Nara receives 183 hours of full sun.

Nara gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Nikko. Nikko usually gets less rain in July than Nara. Nikko gets 171 mm (6.7 in) of rain, while Nara receives 186 mm (7.3 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Nikko 25°C (77°F) 
    Nara 27°C (80°F)

Should I visit Nikko or Nara in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Nikko and Nara.

In October, Nikko is generally around the same temperature as Nara. Temperatures in Nikko average around 16°C (61°F), and Nara stays around 17°C (63°F).

Nikko usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Nara during autumn. At this time of the year, Nikko gets 167 hours of sunny skies, while Nara receives 159 hours of full sun.

Nara receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Nikko gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, Nikko usually receives around the same amount of rain as Nara. At this time of the year, Nikko gets 117 mm (4.6 in) of rain, while Nara receives 110 mm (4.3 in) of rain.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Nikko 16°C (61°F) 
    Nara 17°C (63°F)

Should I visit Nikko or Nara in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Nikko as well as Nara.

The weather in Nara can be very cold. Nikko can be very cold during winter. Nikko is much colder than Nara in the winter. The temperature in Nikko is usually 3°C (37°F) in January, and Nara stays around 4°C (40°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Nikko this time of the year. In the winter, Nikko often gets more sunshine than Nara. Nikko gets 212 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Nara receives 140 hours of full sun.

Nikko usually gets less rain in January than Nara. Nikko gets 26 mm (1 in) of rain, while Nara receives 49 mm (1.9 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Nikko 3°C (37°F) 
    Nara 4°C (40°F)

Should I visit Nikko or Nara in the Spring?

Both Nara and Nikko are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities.

In the spring, Nikko is cooler than Nara. Typically, the spring temperatures in Nikko in April are around 13°C (55°F), and Nara is about 14°C (57°F).

Nikko usually receives more sunshine than Nara during spring. At this time of the year, Nikko gets 191 hours of sunny skies, while Nara receives 176 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Nara. It's quite rainy in Nikko. In April, Nikko usually receives less rain than Nara. At this time of the year, Nikko gets 108 mm (4.2 in) of rain, while Nara receives 127 mm (5 in) of rain.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Nikko 13°C (55°F) 
    Nara 14°C (57°F)

Typical Weather for Nara and Nikko

Nikko Nara
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 3°C (37°F) 26 mm (1 in) 4°C (40°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)
Feb 3°C (38°F) 44 mm (1.7 in) 5°C (40°F) 60 mm (2.3 in)
Mar 7°C (44°F) 74 mm (2.9 in) 8°C (46°F) 99 mm (3.9 in)
Apr 13°C (55°F) 108 mm (4.2 in) 14°C (57°F) 127 mm (5 in)
May 18°C (64°F) 139 mm (5.5 in) 19°C (65°F) 128 mm (5.1 in)
Jun 21°C (70°F) 206 mm (8.1 in) 23°C (73°F) 214 mm (8.4 in)
Jul 25°C (77°F) 171 mm (6.7 in) 27°C (80°F) 186 mm (7.3 in)
Aug 27°C (80°F) 195 mm (7.7 in) 28°C (82°F) 117 mm (4.6 in)
Sep 22°C (72°F) 201 mm (7.9 in) 24°C (74°F) 154 mm (6.1 in)
Oct 16°C (61°F) 117 mm (4.6 in) 17°C (63°F) 110 mm (4.3 in)
Nov 10°C (50°F) 62 mm (2.4 in) 12°C (53°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Dec 5°C (41°F) 32 mm (1.2 in) 7°C (44°F) 41 mm (1.6 in)


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Nikko vs. Nara Travel Comparison

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