A Travel Price Comparison for Japan Osaka vs. Koyasan for Attractions, Food, Old Town, and Families

Should you visit Osaka or Koyasan?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Osaka or Koyasan, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Osaka

Osaka is a vibrant, cultural, and high energy city. Travelers will also find plenty of sights and attractions here, as it's a big city that attracts lots of visitors. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Koyasan

Koyasan is a traditional, peaceful, and serene town. It offers plenty of small town charm along with sights and activities, too. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. It's also popular because of the museums, food, and hiking.

Osaka and Koyasan: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Big city activities
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Small town charm
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Public transit not as usable


Is there more to do in Osaka or Koyasan?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Osaka. Although Osaka and Koyasan are both popular with visitors, Osaka has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Osaka is more popular for its museums, food, nightlife, shopping, and big city activities, while Koyasan is known for its hiking, small town charm, and impressive beauty. Osaka is popular for its diverse street food, eclectic shopping and its economic roots as a port city. It is also home to Osaka Castle. Koyasan is popular for its temple complex, spiritual history, and being the birthplace of Shingon Buddhism in Japan.

How is Osaka different from Koyasan?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Osaka or Koyasan?

Osaka
Koyasan

Osaka is a world-class destination for its museums and landmarks. Also, Koyasan is still popular, but not quite as popular for its historical sights.

The museums, monuments, and landmarks in Osaka are among the most recognizable in the world. The city is filled with impressive sights that are both old and new. A highlight is a visit to Osaka Castle, which dates back to the 1500s. The city's most well known temple is ShitennĊ-ji Temple and the Kobe Port Tower is another recognizable sight. Other highlights include the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, the Tempozan Ferris Wheel, and the National Museum of Art.

Koyasan offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. This spiritual destination is filled with temples. Some of the most notable are Okunoin Temple, Torodo Hall, Kongobuji Temple, Danjo Garan, and Daimon (the Great Gate).


Is the Food Better in Osaka or Koyasan? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Osaka
Koyasan

Osaka is a world-class destination for its restaurant scene. Also, Koyasan is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.

Eat your way through Osaka, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. It's one of the top culinary cities in Japan, and you'll find both local and regional dishes throughout. Street food is famous here, but there are also award winning restaurants and small traditional venues. Sushi and sashimi is a favorite, and it's focused simple and high quality ingredients. You'll find some great sushi restaurants around Kuromon Ichiba Market. Another unique experience is to visit a conveyor belt sushi restaurant. Land lovers should try the Yakiniku and Horumon, which is Japanese barbecue. And, of course, there's the ramen. Don't miss the ramen!

Koyasan is becoming an appealing option for foodies. There are cafes in town that serve simple udon noodle dishes and other local options. If you do a temple stay, it will likely include a meal, which is usually vegetarian and prepared by Buddhist monks. A typical menu includes miso soup, soba, pickled vegetables, tofu, tempura vegetables, rice, tea, and melon. Breakfast is similar but smaller in size.

Is Osaka or Koyasan Better for Nightlife?

Osaka
Koyasan

Osaka is a world-class destination for nightlife and partying. However, Koyasan is a town with minimal options for its evening party scene.

People head to Osaka just to party. The city really comes to life after the sun sets. The buildings light up and the energy is palpable. In addition to the many world class restaurants, there are countless bars, pubs and izakaya, which are Japanese-style bars. Beer is popular, with many internationally recognized brands available. The most popular nightlife area is Dotonbori, which is along the Dotonbori River.

The nightlife scene is quiet in Koyasan This spiritual town is not a place for nightlife, but it is fascinating to take a night tour of the area.

Is Osaka or Koyasan Better for its Old Town?

Osaka
Koyasan

Osaka and Koyasan both have great historical old towns that attract visitors.

Many visitors go to Osaka to see the historical old town. If you want to step back in time, head to Shinsekai, which holds tight to its traditional street life scene. There are old-school arcades, traditional shops, and local street food to sample.

Koyasan is an extremely popular place to visit the historic old town area. The town center is filled with spiritual temples and many people prefer to do a temple stay for a night.


Is Osaka or Koyasan Better for Hiking?

Osaka
Koyasan

Koyasan is a nice place to visit for its hiking trails. However, Osaka is not a hiking destination.

Koyasan has hiking trails worth exploring. Most people arrive by cable car, but this area has been a long running pilgrim destination and you'll find many historic pilgrimage trails that are still in the area. The Koyasan Choishi Michi trail is one of the most well known.

Osaka is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Osaka or Koyasan?

Osaka
Koyasan

Osaka is a world-class destination for its shopping opportunities. However, Koyasan is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

The abundance of shops in Osaka make it a world-class shopping destination. There is everything from grand shopping malls to specialty boutique shops that sell antiques or local trinkets. Umeda Shopping Arcade is a large mall that has everything. For international brands, head to America Mura, which is where many of the younger Japanese hang out. Shinsaibashi-Suji Street is a favorite shopping street in the city and also not-to-be-missed.

Koyasan is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is Osaka or Koyasan Better for Families?

Osaka
Koyasan

Osaka is a great destination for its family-friendly activities. Also, Koyasan is still popular, but not quite as popular for its kid-friendly activities.

Osaka is a very kid-friendly city. Kids will enjoy the view from the observatory of the Umeda Sky Building or taking a ride on the HEP Five Ferris Wheel. There is also the Kids Plaza Osaka as well as arcades along Tenjinbashi suji Shopping Street. A highlight of a trip to the city is a visit to the Osaka Castle and museum lovers will also appreciate visiting the Osaka Science Museum or the Osaka Museum of Housing and Living.

Koyasan offers lots of family activities. It's filled with history, so its best to recognize your kid's limits when it comes to that sort of thing. If you're planning to do a temple stay, then consider how your child might handle the situation and make sure you reach out to let them know you have a child before reserving.


Is Osaka or Koyasan Better for Couples?

Osaka
Koyasan

Osaka and Koyasan are both great to visit as a couple.

Osaka makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. The city's atmosphere is filled with an energy that couples will enjoy. You can take a walk along the Tombori Riverwalk. For a touch of nature, head to Minoh Park and check out Minoh Falls, or for a relaxing experience, visit the hot springs at Solaniwa Onsen. Other fun activities include taking a ride on the Hep Five Ferris wheel or sampling the city's famous street food.

Couples visit Koyasan frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. A temple stay in Koyasan is a truly unique experience that immerses you in the culture and lifestyle of the area. It's a truly one-of-a-kind experience for couples who like to do things outside of the box.

Is Osaka or Koyasan Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Osaka
Koyasan

Osaka is a great destination for backpackers. Also, Koyasan is still popular, but not quite as popular for backpackers and budget travelers.

Osaka is a great city to visit for backpackers. There are plenty of hostels around town and street food is an affordable and fun way to enjoy the city's culinary scene.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Koyasan. It's not your typical backpacker destination and most visitors prefer to experience a temple stay while in the area. If that's not your style, there is a hostel nearby.

Is Osaka or Koyasan Better for Students?

Osaka
Koyasan

Osaka is a great destination for students. However, Koyasan is not popular with students.

Many students visit Osaka. There's a colorful energy and a lively atmosphere that appeals to students. The city is also the second largest economic center in the country.

Koyasan is not popular with students.


Is Osaka or Koyasan Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Osaka
Koyasan

Osaka is a world-class destination for its public transit. Also, Koyasan is still popular, but not quite as popular for times when you don't have a car.

With a huge network, the transit system in Osaka can get you around easily. The best way to get around town is by subway or train. The main tourist areas are located along the Midosuji subway line, which runs north to south.

While Koyasan offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. To get to town you'll take a cable car and then a bus (or taxi, but you can't walk). Once you're in town, almost everything is in the town center and doesn't require transit.

Is Osaka or Koyasan a more walkable city?

Osaka
Koyasan

Koyasan is an excellent place to visit for its ease of walking around. Also, Osaka is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its walkability.

Koyasan is a very walkable destination. Once you reach the town its relatively flat and easy to explore on foot.

Osaka is somewhat walkable. There are parts of the city that are fun to explore on foot.

For even more information, also check out Is Osaka Worth Visiting? and Is Koyasan Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Koyasan or Osaka?

How long in Osaka or Koyasan?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Osaka or Koyasan to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Osaka than Koyasan because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Osaka, and 1-2 days is enough time in Koyasan.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Osaka than Koyasan 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 Osaka.


  • How many days in Osaka or Koyasan? Ideal Length of Stay
    Osaka 2-4 
    Koyasan 1-2

One day in Osaka or Koyasan?

Because Osaka is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

Even though Koyasan is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Because of this, one day is usually enough time for a trip here.


A weekend in Osaka or Koyasan?

Because Osaka is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Visiting the old town is also a must. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Osaka has to offer.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Koyasan. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Five days in Osaka or Koyasan?

Osaka is a great place to explore. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

Koyasan is a fun place to experience. Koyasan is a small town, so it's a great destination if you're short on time. Visiting the old town is also a must. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

A week in Osaka or Koyasan?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Osaka. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Osaka. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Koyasan is a small town, so you can explore the area with less time. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Coach Bus Tours in Japan, The Best Adventure Tours to Japan, The Best Sightseeing Tours in Japan, and The Best Cultural Tours in Japan.


Which place is cheaper, Koyasan or Osaka?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Osaka is $88, while the average daily cost in Koyasan is $78. 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 Osaka and Koyasan in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Osaka $45
    Koyasan $39
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Osaka $90
    Koyasan $78
Compare Hotels in Osaka and Koyasan

Looking for a hotel in Osaka or Koyasan? 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 Osaka


Hotels in Koyasan


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: Osaka Hotel Prices and Koyasan Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Osaka $14
    Koyasan $33
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Osaka

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Osaka:


  • Subway
    $7.83

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Osaka

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

  • One Way Transfer between Universal Studios Japan and Osaka: $99
  • Airport Transfer from Osaka city to Kansai airport: $70
  • Airport Transfer! Hotel in center of Osaka to Osaka International Airport (ITM): $150
  • Airport Transfer! Osaka Airport (ITM) to Center of hotel in Osaka: $150
  • Airport Transfer!Hotel in center of Osaka to Kansai Airport (KIX): $192
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Itama Airport ITM to Osaka City by Minivan: $75
  • Departure Private Transfer from Osaka City to Itama Airport ITM by Minivan: $75
  • Departure Private Transfers: Osaka City to Kansai Airport KIX in Business Car: $190
  • Departure Private Transfers: Osaka City to Kansai Airport KIX in Business Van: $235
  • Itami Airport (ITM): Private One-Way Transfer to/from Kyoto: $199
  • Itami Airport (ITM): Private One-Way Transfer to/from Nara: $214
  • Itami Airport (ITM): Private One-Way Transfer to/from Osaka: $87

Is it cheaper to fly into Osaka or Koyasan?

Prices for flights to both Koyasan and Osaka 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
    Osaka $25
    Koyasan $19

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Osaka

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

  • Osaka:Food Tour & Shopping(Grand Opening Limited Time Offer): $26
  • 2-Hour Kuromon Market Walking Street Food Tour: $27
  • Private Takoyaki Cooking Class by Natives in Osaka: $36
  • Japanese home cooking class in Osaka Umeda: $46
  • Osaka Okonomiyaki Cooking Experience!: $50
  • Home Cooking Class: $51
  • Enjoy artistic TEMPURA Cooking Class: $60
  • Ramen and Gyoza Cooking Class in Dotonbori: $62
  • Kimono experience and Japanese home-cooking lesson Osaka: $65
  • Osaka Authentic Tempura & Miso Soup Japan Cooking Class: $66
  • Three Types of RAMEN Cooking Class: $66
  • Homemade Gyoza Cooking Class in Osaka: $66

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Osaka $20
    Koyasan $13
Typical Entertainment Prices in Osaka

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Osaka's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Osaka Aquarium (for 2)
    $30

Tours and Activities in Osaka

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

  • Osaka Castle: Museum and Tower Entry Ticket: $3.88
  • Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum Entrance Ticket: $4.53
  • Table Tennis Experience with Local Players: $4.53
  • Ryurei Teicha: Chanoyu (Tea Ceremony) Experience in Osaka: $5.17
  • Osaka Sakishima Observatory Advance Ticket: $5.82
  • Tsutenkaku Entry Ticket: $7.66
  • Dotonbori District Sightseeing Cruise & Beer Discount: $7.76
  • Osaka Dotonbori Wonder Cruise: $7.94
  • Osaka Self-Guided Audio Tour: $9.00
  • Umeda Sky Building E-Ticket: $9.70
  • Osaka Tsutenkaku Admission Ticket: $10
  • Osaka Bay: Santa Maria Cruise Boarding Pass: $10

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Osaka $12
    Koyasan $4.89

Sample the Local Flavors in Osaka

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Osaka:

  • Osaka Bar Crawl & International Mixer by Team Wild: $17
  • Osaka Namba Hidden Places Bar Crawl: $17
  • Osaka Pub Crawl and Nightlife Tour: $23
  • Pub Bar Crawl Enjoy Unique Japanese Drinks: $34
  • Local Bar Crawl in Dotombori and Uranamba Area: $39


When comparing the travel costs between Osaka and Koyasan, we can see that Osaka 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 Osaka Expensive? and Is Koyasan Expensive?.



When is the best time to visit Osaka or Koyasan?

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 Osaka or Koyasan in the Summer?

Both Koyasan and Osaka during the summer are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Osaka for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Koyasan in the summer for the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Osaka is generally around the same temperature as Koyasan. Daily temperatures in Osaka average around 28°C (82°F), and Koyasan fluctuates around 27°C (81°F).

In the summer, Osaka often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Koyasan. Osaka gets 183 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Koyasan receives 183 hours of full sun.

Koyasan gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Osaka. Osaka usually gets around the same amount of rain in July as Koyasan. Osaka gets 157 mm (6.2 in) of rain, while Koyasan receives 156 mm (6.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Osaka 28°C (82°F) 
    Koyasan 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit Osaka or Koyasan in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Osaka and Koyasan. Many visitors come to Osaka in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene. Also, most visitors come to Koyasan for the hiking trails, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

Osaka is around the same temperature as Koyasan in the autumn. The daily temperature in Osaka averages around 19°C (66°F) in October, and Koyasan fluctuates around 19°C (65°F).

Osaka usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Koyasan during autumn. Osaka gets 159 hours of sunny skies, while Koyasan receives 159 hours of full sun in the autumn.

Koyasan receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Osaka gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, Osaka usually receives around the same amount of rain as Koyasan. Osaka gets 108 mm (4.3 in) of rain, while Koyasan receives 105 mm (4.1 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Osaka 19°C (66°F) 
    Koyasan 19°C (65°F)

Should I visit Osaka or Koyasan in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Osaka as well as Koyasan. Most visitors come to Osaka for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Koyasan because of the museums and the cuisine.

In the winter, Osaka is around the same temperature as Koyasan. Typically, the winter temperatures in Osaka in January average around 6°C (42°F), and Koyasan averages at about 6°C (42°F).

In the winter, Osaka often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Koyasan. Osaka gets 140 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Koyasan receives 140 hours of full sun.

Osaka usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as Koyasan. Osaka gets 46 mm (1.8 in) of rain, while Koyasan receives 45 mm (1.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Osaka 6°C (42°F) 
    Koyasan 6°C (42°F)

Should I visit Osaka or Koyasan in the Spring?

Both Koyasan and Osaka are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. The spring months attract visitors to Osaka because of the activities around the city. Also, the small town charm and the natural beauty are the main draw to Koyasan this time of year.

In April, Osaka is generally around the same temperature as Koyasan. Daily temperatures in Osaka average around 15°C (59°F), and Koyasan fluctuates around 15°C (59°F).

Osaka usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Koyasan during spring. Osaka gets 176 hours of sunny skies, while Koyasan receives 176 hours of full sun in the spring.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Koyasan. It's quite rainy in Osaka. In April, Osaka usually receives around the same amount of rain as Koyasan. Osaka gets 137 mm (5.4 in) of rain, while Koyasan receives 135 mm (5.3 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Osaka 15°C (59°F) 
    Koyasan 15°C (59°F)

Typical Weather for Koyasan and Osaka

Osaka Koyasan
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 6°C (42°F) 46 mm (1.8 in) 6°C (42°F) 45 mm (1.8 in)
Feb 6°C (43°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 6°C (42°F) 57 mm (2.3 in)
Mar 9°C (48°F) 99 mm (3.9 in) 9°C (47°F) 102 mm (4 in)
Apr 15°C (59°F) 137 mm (5.4 in) 15°C (59°F) 135 mm (5.3 in)
May 20°C (67°F) 140 mm (5.5 in) 19°C (67°F) 139 mm (5.5 in)
Jun 24°C (74°F) 204 mm (8 in) 23°C (74°F) 208 mm (8.2 in)
Jul 28°C (82°F) 157 mm (6.2 in) 27°C (81°F) 156 mm (6.1 in)
Aug 29°C (84°F) 95 mm (3.7 in) 29°C (84°F) 97 mm (3.8 in)
Sep 25°C (77°F) 170 mm (6.7 in) 25°C (76°F) 162 mm (6.4 in)
Oct 19°C (66°F) 108 mm (4.3 in) 19°C (65°F) 105 mm (4.1 in)
Nov 13°C (56°F) 65 mm (2.6 in) 13°C (55°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Dec 8°C (47°F) 35 mm (1.4 in) 8°C (46°F) 35 mm (1.4 in)