A Travel Price Comparison for Japan Nikko vs. Shiretoko National Park for Hiking, Couples, Families, and Backpackers

Should you visit Nikko or Shiretoko National Park?

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 Shiretoko National Park 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.

Nikko

Nikko is a relaxing, peaceful, and natural town. Because it offers so much small town charm with a variety of activities, it attracts plenty of visitors for a good reason. You'll find world class beauty here as well. Other popular activities here include food, hiking, and shopping.

Shiretoko National Park

Shiretoko National Park is a national park remote,natural,scenic,pristine. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. Other reasons to visit include hiking.

Nikko and Shiretoko National Park: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for food
  • Public transit not as usable


Is there more to do in Nikko or Shiretoko National Park?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Nikko than Shiretoko National Park, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Nikko is better known for its museums, food, nightlife, historical sights, shopping, small town charm, and impressive beauty, while Shiretoko National Park is more popular for its hiking. Nikko is more touristy than Shiretoko National Park and is popular for its Shinto and Buddhist mountain temples, its tranquil hot spring baths, and its peaceful natural setting. Also, Nikko is famous for the Toshogu Shrine. Shiretoko National Park is well known for its pristine ecosystems, diverse wildlife, and rugged coastline.

How is Nikko different from Shiretoko National Park?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Shiretoko National Park and Nikko. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Nikko or Shiretoko National Park?

Nikko
Shiretoko National Park

Nikko is a world-class destination for its sights and museums. However, Shiretoko National Park is not a good remote,natural,scenic,pristine for its museums and history.

You'll find many recognizable landmarks that put Nikko on the map. The town sits on the edge of Nikko National Park, where you'll find shrines and temples. Toshogu Shrine is lavishly designed. Other notable temples in the area are Taiyuin, Rinnoji Temple, and Futarasan Temple.

If you're looking to pass the time, head to a museum or historic sight in Shiretoko National Park. This is a beautiful and pristine park, but there are limited amenities and museums in the area. You can hit up the Shiretoko Rausu Visitor Center for information on the region.


Is the Food Better in Nikko or Shiretoko National Park? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Nikko
Shiretoko National Park

Nikko is a well-known place for its local cuisine and restaurants. However, Shiretoko National Park is not a good remote,natural,scenic,pristine for its restaurants.

Dining out in Nikko is an experience not to be missed. There are many traditional dishes in the area, but one of the most famous is yuba. Yuba is made from a part of soy milk, and you'll find it in places all over town. You'll also find sushi, tofu, and tea everywhere.

While Shiretoko National Park is not famous for its food, you'll find what you need there. There are a couple of restaurants on the edge of the park, but if you're planning to do any hiking, it's best to bring your own food.

Is Nikko or Shiretoko National Park Better for Nightlife?

Nikko
Shiretoko National Park

Nikko is not a good place to visit for its evening party scene. However, Shiretoko National Park is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

People don't go to Nikko for the nightlife. The town is about relaxing in a tranquil setting and soaking up nature, so you won't find much in the form of nightlife.

Shiretoko National Park is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

Is Nikko or Shiretoko National Park Better for its Old Town?

Nikko
Shiretoko National Park

Nikko is a world-class destination for its historic old town charm. However, Shiretoko National Park does not have a historic old town.

The historic old town of Nikko is revered around the world. The ancient town is filled with giant cedar trees that line walking paths that take you to the many shrines and temples in the area.

Shiretoko National Park does not have a historic old town.


Is Nikko or Shiretoko National Park Better for Hiking?

Nikko
Shiretoko National Park

Shiretoko National Park is a must-visit destination for hiking. Also, Nikko is not as popular, but is still a nice town for the nearby hiking options.

Around Shiretoko National Park visitors will find world-class hiking trails. The park is pristine with striking and varied landscapes as well as diverse wildlife. Hiking is the best way to experience the area, and the scenic views, and world class hiking trails are among the best.

Nikko is a popular spot for hiking. The town is surrounded by beautiful nature that you can explore on the many walking paths. The forests are well-preserved and they're filled with large cedar trees, dramatic waterfalls, and beautiful hikes. The area embraces the Japanese practice of "forest bathing" where you "bath" yourself in a beautiful natural environment.

Is the Shopping Better in Nikko or Shiretoko National Park?

Nikko
Shiretoko National Park

Nikko is a nice place to visit for its shopping areas. However, Shiretoko National Park is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Many visitors go to Nikko to go shopping. There are places in town where you can pick up local handicrafts and traditional items.

Shiretoko National Park is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is Nikko or Shiretoko National Park Better for Families?

Nikko
Shiretoko National Park

Nikko is a well-known place for its family-friendly activities. Also, Shiretoko National Park is not as famous, but is still a good remote,natural,scenic,pristine to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Nikko is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. The area offers a unique way for kids to experience Japanese culture. A highlight for the little ones is a ninja show at Grand Ninja Theatre and the Mizugei-za water magic show. Kids will also enjoy staying in a traditional ryokan and floating in the hot spring baths.

Shiretoko National Park is a family-friendly town. Kids who enjoy an outdoor adventure will appreciate a visit to this park. There are wildlife viewing opportunities as well as mult-day hiking trails. Some parts of the park are challenging to access, so younger kids may be limited in what they can do.


Is Nikko or Shiretoko National Park Better for Couples?

Nikko
Shiretoko National Park

Nikko is a world-class destination for couples. Also, Shiretoko National Park is not as famous, but is still a good remote,natural,scenic,pristine to visit for romance.

Nikko has so much to offer for a romantic couple's vacation. While many visitors come to see the shrines and temples, they often end up falling in love with the area's natural beauty, waterfalls, and "forest bathing" (surrounding yourself with nature). Couples will also enjoy dining on the local food and relaxing in a pool fed by a natural hot spring.

Shiretoko National Park makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Couples who enjoy nature, wildlife, and pristine hiking trails will enjoy a visit to this remote and natural park. There are many great hikes as well as scenic spots that you can explore.

Is Nikko or Shiretoko National Park Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Nikko
Shiretoko National Park

For backpackers, both Nikko and Shiretoko National Park are high quality places to visit.

Nikko is very popular with the backpacker crowd. There are hostels in the area that combine affordability with traditional Japanese customs.

Shiretoko National Park is a great town to visit for backpackers. Multi-day treks are a great way to explore the park and see the parts that are less popular with tourists.

Is Nikko or Shiretoko National Park Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Nikko
Shiretoko National Park

Nikko is a well-known place for its public transit. However, Shiretoko National Park is not a good remote,natural,scenic,pristine for times when you don't have a car.

Many visitors use the public transit system in Nikko. There are buses that run from the main train station to the many tourist sights in the area.

Public transit is quite limited in Shiretoko National Park. While there are buses that travel from Utoro to the east coast, they are infrequent. Your best options for visiting the park are having a private vehicle or joining a tour. Many parts of the park are only accessible by hiking or by boat.


Is Nikko or Shiretoko National Park a more walkable city?

Nikko
Shiretoko National Park

Nikko is a well-known place for its ease of walking around. Also, Shiretoko National Park is not as famous, but is still a good remote,natural,scenic,pristine to visit for its walkability.

Nikko is a very walkable destination. While the town is relatively walkable and there are walking paths through the forest and to most of the temples and shrines, if you want to get further into the region, it's helpful to have a car.

Shiretoko National Park is somewhat walkable. It's a vast park with many hiking and cycling trails.

For even more information, also check out Is Nikko Worth Visiting? and Is Shiretoko National Park Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Shiretoko National Park or Nikko?

How long in Nikko or Shiretoko National Park?

It's fun to spend time in either Nikko or Shiretoko National Park. In our opinion, Nikko has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Nikko than Shiretoko National Park. In general, 1-4 days is a good amount of time for Nikko, and 3-4 days is enough time in Shiretoko National Park.

Families should spend more time in Nikko than Shiretoko National Park. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Nikko, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Nikko than Shiretoko National Park. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Nikko that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Nikko than Shiretoko National Park if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Nikko.


  • How many days in Nikko or Shiretoko National Park? Ideal Length of Stay
    Nikko 1-4 
    Shiretoko National Park 3-4

One day in Nikko or Shiretoko National Park?

Nikko is a small town with plenty to do. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Most people head to the area for the museums. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. In one day, you should have a good grasp of this town.

In Shiretoko National Park, many people enjoy the that this national park destination offers. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Lots of people come for the hiking. This remote,natural,scenic,pristine offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

A weekend in Nikko or Shiretoko National Park?

Nikko is a popular choice for travelers. A weekend here is typical. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. So, a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Shiretoko National Park. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.


Five days in Nikko or Shiretoko National Park?

Nikko is a great place to explore. Most people head to the area for the museums. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Shiretoko National Park is a fun place to experience. Travelers enjoy the when visiting the destination of Shiretoko National Park. Lots of people come for the hiking. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

A week in Nikko or Shiretoko National Park?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Nikko. Most people head to the area for the museums. Visiting the old town is also a must. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

You'll find around the national park destination of Shiretoko National Park. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Lots of people come for the hiking. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 10-Day Tours in Japan, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Japan, The Best 2-Week Tours in Japan, and The Best Bicycle Tours in Japan.


Which place is cheaper, Shiretoko National Park or Nikko?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Nikko is $80, while the average daily cost in Shiretoko National Park is $72. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Nikko and Shiretoko National Park in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nikko $45
    Shiretoko National Park $32
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nikko $90
    Shiretoko National Park $64
Compare Hotels in Nikko and Shiretoko National Park

Looking for a hotel in Nikko or Shiretoko National Park? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Nikko


Hotels in Shiretoko National Park


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Nikko Hotel Prices and Shiretoko National Park Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Nikko -
    Shiretoko National Park $25

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nikko

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

  • Kinugawa Osen to Tokyo Narita Airport Private Departure Transfer: $263
  • Kinugawa Osen to Tokyo Haneda Airport Departure Private Transfer: $263
  • Haneda Airport to/from Nikko City Private Transfer: $616
  • Narita Airport to/from Nikko City Private Transfer: $616

Is it cheaper to fly into Nikko or Shiretoko National Park?

Prices for flights to both Shiretoko National Park 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 $30
    Shiretoko National Park $25

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Nikko $21
    Shiretoko National Park $14

Tours and Activities in Nikko

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

  • Nikko self-guided tour app with multi-language audioguide: $4.28
  • World Heritage Nikko Walking Tour - Toshogu Shrine, Kanmangafuchi: $58
  • Visit the Unexplored Regions of Lake Chuzenji-Scenic Trekking and Rafting Tour: $76
  • Private Walking Tour with Local Guide: $95
  • 1 Day Nikko Sightseeing Budget Trip with English Guide: $118
  • Nikko Full-Day Private Tour with Government-Licensed Guide: $136
  • Nikko Custom Half Day Tour: $143
  • 【Tokyo】 Group Bus Tour: $172
  • Nikko Custom Full Day Tour: $227
  • Local JDM Drift Car Riding Experience Daikoku Tsukuba Ebisu: $285
  • Nikko Private Half day Tour: English Speaking Driver, No Guide: $300
  • Nikko Sightseeing Day Trip with English Speaking Guide: $423

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Nikko $15
    Shiretoko National Park $9.98


When comparing the travel costs between Nikko and Shiretoko National Park, we can see that Nikko 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.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Nikko Expensive? and Is Shiretoko National Park Expensive?.



When is the best time to visit Nikko or Shiretoko National Park?

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 Shiretoko National Park in the Summer?

Both Shiretoko National Park and Nikko during the summer are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Nikko for the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Furthermore, the summer months attract visitors to Shiretoko National Park because of the hiking and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Nikko is generally a little warmer than Shiretoko National Park. Daily temperatures in Nikko average around 25°C (77°F), and Shiretoko National Park fluctuates around 18°C (64°F).

In the summer, Nikko often gets less sunshine than Shiretoko National Park. Nikko gets 136 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Shiretoko National Park receives 178 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Nikko. Nikko usually gets more rain in July than Shiretoko National Park. Nikko gets 171 mm (6.7 in) of rain, while Shiretoko National Park receives 77 mm (3 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Nikko 25°C (77°F) 
    Shiretoko National Park 18°C (64°F)

Should I visit Nikko or Shiretoko National Park in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Nikko and Shiretoko National Park. The autumn months attract visitors to Nikko because of the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, the hiking trails and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Shiretoko National Park this time of year.

Nikko is much warmer than Shiretoko National Park in the autumn. The daily temperature in Nikko averages around 16°C (61°F) in October, and Shiretoko National Park fluctuates around 10°C (51°F).

Nikko usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Shiretoko National Park during autumn. Nikko gets 167 hours of sunny skies, while Shiretoko National Park receives 158 hours of full sun in the autumn.

Nikko gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, Nikko usually receives more rain than Shiretoko National Park. Nikko gets 117 mm (4.6 in) of rain, while Shiretoko National Park receives 78 mm (3.1 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Nikko 16°C (61°F) 
    Shiretoko National Park 10°C (51°F)

Should I visit Nikko or Shiretoko National Park in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Nikko as well as Shiretoko National Park. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Nikko this time of year.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Shiretoko National Park. It's quite cold in Nikko in the winter. In the winter, Nikko is much warmer than Shiretoko National Park. Typically, the winter temperatures in Nikko in January average around 3°C (37°F), and Shiretoko National Park averages at about -6°C (20°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 Shiretoko National Park. Nikko gets 212 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Shiretoko National Park receives 108 hours of full sun.

Nikko usually gets less rain in January than Shiretoko National Park. Nikko gets 26 mm (1 in) of rain, while Shiretoko National Park receives 65 mm (2.6 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Nikko 3°C (37°F) 
    Shiretoko National Park -6°C (20°F)

Should I visit Nikko or Shiretoko National Park in the Spring?

Both Shiretoko National Park and Nikko are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Nikko for the small town charm and the natural beauty. Also, many visitors come to Shiretoko National Park in the spring for the natural beauty.

Shiretoko National Park can get quite cold in the spring. In April, Nikko is generally much warmer than Shiretoko National Park. Daily temperatures in Nikko average around 13°C (55°F), and Shiretoko National Park fluctuates around 5°C (40°F).

Nikko usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Shiretoko National Park during spring. Nikko gets 191 hours of sunny skies, while Shiretoko National Park receives 178 hours of full sun in the spring.

It's quite rainy in Nikko. In April, Nikko usually receives more rain than Shiretoko National Park. Nikko gets 108 mm (4.2 in) of rain, while Shiretoko National Park receives 50 mm (2 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Nikko 13°C (55°F) 
    Shiretoko National Park 5°C (40°F)

Typical Weather for Shiretoko National Park and Nikko

Nikko Shiretoko National Park
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 3°C (37°F) 26 mm (1 in) -6°C (20°F) 65 mm (2.6 in)
Feb 3°C (38°F) 44 mm (1.7 in) -7°C (19°F) 33 mm (1.3 in)
Mar 7°C (44°F) 74 mm (2.9 in) -3°C (28°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)
Apr 13°C (55°F) 108 mm (4.2 in) 5°C (40°F) 50 mm (2 in)
May 18°C (64°F) 139 mm (5.5 in) 10°C (50°F) 64 mm (2.5 in)
Jun 21°C (70°F) 206 mm (8.1 in) 13°C (56°F) 77 mm (3 in)
Jul 25°C (77°F) 171 mm (6.7 in) 18°C (64°F) 77 mm (3 in)
Aug 27°C (80°F) 195 mm (7.7 in) 20°C (67°F) 104 mm (4.1 in)
Sep 22°C (72°F) 201 mm (7.9 in) 16°C (61°F) 97 mm (3.8 in)
Oct 16°C (61°F) 117 mm (4.6 in) 10°C (51°F) 78 mm (3.1 in)
Nov 10°C (50°F) 62 mm (2.4 in) 4°C (38°F) 64 mm (2.5 in)
Dec 5°C (41°F) 32 mm (1.2 in) -2°C (28°F) 51 mm (2 in)


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