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 $89, while the average daily cost in Sendai is $114. 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 $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 prices for places to stay in Sendai can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $64, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $128.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nikko $50
    Sendai $64
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nikko $100
    Sendai $128

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 Sendai can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $35 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 $33
    Sendai $35

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Nikko

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

  • Lunch or Dinner with Maiko Experience in Kyoto : $14
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Miso-balls): $23
  • Yokohama Lunch, Tea, and Dinner Cruise with Royalwings: $25
  • Online character lunch box cooking class: $27
  • Japanese Rolled Sushi cooking in Tokyo: $27
  • Tokyo West Side Walking and Street Food Tour: $34
  • Hakodate's Famous Ikameshi Cooking Class: $36
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Casual): $41
  • Okinawa Home Cooking Experience: $45
  • Moby Dick Dinner Cruise in Naha: $53
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Special): $59
  • Morning Wagyu Kaiseki Cooking Course: $60

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sendai

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

  • Lunch or Dinner with Maiko Experience in Kyoto : $14
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Miso-balls): $23
  • Yokohama Lunch, Tea, and Dinner Cruise with Royalwings: $25
  • Online character lunch box cooking class: $27
  • Japanese Rolled Sushi cooking in Tokyo: $27
  • Tokyo West Side Walking and Street Food Tour: $34
  • Hakodate's Famous Ikameshi Cooking Class: $36
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Casual): $41
  • Okinawa Home Cooking Experience: $45
  • Moby Dick Dinner Cruise in Naha: $53
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Special): $59
  • Morning Wagyu Kaiseki Cooking Course: $60

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 $19 on transportation in Sendai on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Nikko -
    Sendai $19

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nikko

Also for Nikko, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • [5%OFF] Ferry Transfers from Ishigaki Island by Yaeyama Kanko Ferry: $6.09
  • Shared Round-Trip Transfers for Chichibugahama Beach: $23
  • Shared Night Bus Transfers from Osaka to Tokyo: $62
  • Shared Night Bus Transfers from Kyoto to Tokyo: $62
  • Private Transfers Between the New National Stadium (Olympic Stadium) and Tokyo City or Airports: $152
  • Private Transfers Between Yoyogi National Stadium (Olympic Stadium) and Tokyo City or Airports: $153
  • Private Transfers Between Yokohama Port (Osanbashi Terminal) and Tokyo City or Shin Yokohama City: $32
  • Private Transfers Between Tokyo Stadium and Tokyo City or Airports: $32
  • Private Transfers Between Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium and Tokyo City or Airports: $32
  • Private Transfers Between Tokyo International Forum and Tokyo City or Airports: $32
  • Private Transfers Between Nippon Budokan and Tokyo City or Airports: $32
  • Private Transfers Between Musashino Forest Sports Plaza and Tokyo City or Airports: $32

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sendai

Also for Sendai, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Kansai International Airport (KIX) Transfers for Osaka (Same Day Booking): $338
  • Private Narita International Airport Transfers (NRT) for Tokyo (Same Day Booking): $323
  • Private Kansai International Airport Transfers (KIX) for Kyoto: $246
  • Private Airport Transfer between New Chitose Airport (CTS) and Hokkaido Major Cities: $209
  • Private Haneda International Airport Transfers (HND) for Tokyo (For Urgent Flight): $203
  • Private New Chitose Airport Transfers (CTS) for Sapporo, Hoshino Resorts, Noboribetsu, Lake Toya, or Surrounding Areas: $177
  • Private Nagoya Airport (NGO) Transfers for Downtown Nagoya and Surrounding Cities: $164
  • Private Kansai International Airport Transfers (KIX) for Osaka, Nara, & Kobe: $154
  • Private Transfers Between Yoyogi National Stadium (Olympic Stadium) and Tokyo City or Airports: $153
  • Private Transfers Between the New National Stadium (Olympic Stadium) and Tokyo City or Airports: $152
  • Private Narita International Airport Transfers (NRT) for Tokyo 23 Wards, Hakone, or Karuizawa: $150
  • Private Kansai Airport (KIX) Transfers for Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, or Nara: $150

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 $23 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 $23
    Sendai $20

Tours and Activities in Nikko

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

  • Art Aquarium Museum Ticket in Tokyo: $21
  • Beppu Tower Admission Ticket: $3.65
  • Chiba Mother Farm Ticket Tokyo: $12
  • Hakodate-Onuma Segway Tours: $82
  • Hakone Kamakura 3-Day Ticket Pass: $63
  • Hakone Kowaki-en Yunessun Hot Spring Theme Park One Day Ticket : $21
  • Hakone Segway Tours: $82
  • Izu Teddy Bear Museum Admission Ticket: $13
  • Japanese Culture Experience at Kanda Myoujin Shrine EDOCCO Cha-ya in Tokyo: $27
  • Kanda Myoujin Rakugo Show Ticket in Tokyo: $7.29
  • Kanda Myoujin Shrine Experience Ticket in Tokyo: $45
  • Kouri Ocean Tower Observation Deck Ticket in Okinawa: $6.99

Tours and Activities in Sendai

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

  • Art Aquarium Museum Ticket in Tokyo: $21
  • Beppu Tower Admission Ticket: $3.65
  • Chiba Mother Farm Ticket Tokyo: $12
  • Hakodate-Onuma Segway Tours: $82
  • Hakone Kamakura 3-Day Ticket Pass: $63
  • Hakone Kowaki-en Yunessun Hot Spring Theme Park One Day Ticket : $21
  • Hakone Segway Tours: $82
  • Izu Teddy Bear Museum Admission Ticket: $13
  • Japanese Culture Experience at Kanda Myoujin Shrine EDOCCO Cha-ya in Tokyo: $27
  • Kanda Myoujin Rakugo Show Ticket in Tokyo: $7.29
  • Kanda Myoujin Shrine Experience Ticket in Tokyo: $45
  • Kouri Ocean Tower Observation Deck Ticket in Okinawa: $6.99

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.

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


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Nikko $16
    Sendai $12

Sample the Local Flavors in Nikko

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Nikko:

  • Hiroshima Sake Brewery Guided Tour in "Saijo", one of the three largest Japanese Sake spot: $12

Sample the Local Flavors in Sendai

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

  • Hiroshima Sake Brewery Guided Tour in "Saijo", one of the three largest Japanese Sake spot: $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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