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

Should you visit Nikko or Sendai?

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

Sendai

Sendai, Japan is located in the Toohoku region on the main Honshu island. It is often referred to as "Forest City" due to the large amount of green space throughout the city and the tree filled parks and public spaces. Sendai is a very pleasant city to visit; they are in close proximity to both mountains and the sea and have many large universities throughout the city, making it a popular college town.

Which city is cheaper, Sendai or Nikko?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Nikko is $91, while the average daily cost in Sendai is $117. 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 Sendai in more detail.



Accommodation

Travelers usually pay around $102 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 prices for places to stay in Sendai can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $66, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $132.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nikko $51
    Sendai $66
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nikko $102
    Sendai $132

Food

Nikko food costs typically run travelers around $34 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 Sendai can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $36 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $14 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 $34
    Sendai $36

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 Sendai

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

  • Private Tour - Japanese Meal in a Historic Port Town! Enjoy the Food Tour!: $138

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Sendai than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $20 on transportation in Sendai on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Nikko -
    Sendai $20

Is it cheaper to fly into Nikko or Sendai?

Prices for flights to both Sendai 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 $24 per person, per day.

Sightseeing expenses in Sendai, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $20 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Nikko $24
    Sendai $20

Tours and Activities in Nikko

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

  • Bask in the beauty of winter Nikko in this unforgettable ice climbing experience: $166
  • Cycling and Fire Ceremony Experience in Oku-Nikko: $1,551
  • Exciting Nikko - One Day Tour from Tokyo: $347
  • Full Day Nikko Private Custom Tour from Tokyo by Chartered Vehicle: $1,122
  • Nikko 1 day private walking tour: $430
  • Nikko Custom Full Day Tour: $260
  • Nikko Custom Half Day Tour: $149
  • Nikko Full-Day Private Tour with Nationally-Licensed Guide: $129
  • Nikko Half-Day Private Tour with Nationally-Licensed Guide: $103
  • Nikko Private Tour by public transportation: $289
  • The Nikko National Park Bike Experience: $172
  • Trekking and Private Onsen Temple Tour in Nikko: $1,474

Tours and Activities in Sendai

For Sendai, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 1-Day Private Sendai Tour: $242
  • A Special Tour to Visit the Ice-clad Crater-Lake and the Frost-covered Shrine: $96
  • Explore the Ice Monster Forest in Zao! Snow Vehicle Tour to See the Snow Rime: $96
  • Matsushima's oysters gourmet experience: $162
  • Minamisanriku Ai Indigo Tour: $248
  • Oku-Matsushima 2-Day Local Homestay and Fishing Experience: $268
  • Private Tour - A Perfect Tour for Sendai Beginners to Visit Famous Spots!: $128
  • Private Tour - A Tour to Get Luck Through Three Bridges and an Island!: $113
  • Private Tour - A breath taking spot, Akiu! Enjoy wine and hot springs: $118
  • Private Tour - A cultural experience tour in Matsushima!: $162
  • Private Tour - Craft, Hot Spring, Thank you for Nature's Bounty in Zao: $133
  • Private Tour - Energy charge with a trip around power spots in Sendai!: $118

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 $17.

Typically, people visiting Sendai spend on average $12 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Nikko $17
    Sendai $12


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

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Nikko vs. Sendai Travel Comparison

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