A Travel Price Comparison for Japan Osaka vs. Kyoto for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Osaka or Kyoto?

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

Osaka

The third largest city in Japan, Osaka has a lot to offer travelers. It's at the center of the Kansai region, and is a wonderful place to spend a few days. The city sits at the mouth of the Yodo River on Osaka Bay and is a major commercial hub for the country.

Osaka has a humid subtropical climate with four seasons. The winters are mild with January temperatures having an average high of almost 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Snow is very rare. Springs start cool and become hot and humid. This is also the wettest season with the rainiest time being between May and early July. Summers are hot and humid with July temperatures climbing into the high 90s Fahrenheit. The fall season becomes cooler as winter approaches.

Kyoto

Kyoto is a larger city of Japan, though it is very much set in the old ways. With quiet temples, sublime gardens, colorful shrines, and geisha walking amidst a city surrounded by stunning mountains, Kyoto feels like a world of another time and place. True to ancient Japanese tradition, most aspects of daily life are tied closely with the changing of the seasons.

Which city is cheaper, Kyoto or Osaka?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Osaka is $78, while the average daily cost in Kyoto is $81. 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 Osaka and Kyoto in more detail.



Accommodation

The prices for places to stay in Osaka can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $39, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $78.

The average price for accommodation for two people in Kyoto is $98. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Osaka $39
    Kyoto $49
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Osaka $78
    Kyoto $98

Local Transportation

Osaka's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $14 per person, per day on transportation in Osaka.

The average price of local transportation around Kyoto is $8.23 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Osaka $14
    Kyoto $8.23
Typical Local Transportation prices in Osaka

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


  • Subway
    $9.25

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Osaka

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

  • Airport Transfer from Osaka city to Kansai airport: $105
  • Departure Private Transfer from Osaka City to Kansai Airport KIX by Minivan: $124
  • Departure Private Transfer from Osaka City to Kansai Airport KIX by Sedan Car: $119
  • Departure Private Transfers: Osaka City to Kansai Airport KIX in Business Car: $218
  • Departure Private Transfers: Osaka City to Kansai Airport KIX in Business Van: $269
  • Japan Private Airport Transfer from Osaka City to Kansai Airport(KIX): $168
  • Japan Railway Station Shared Arrival Transfer : Shin Osaka Station to Osaka City: $25
  • Japan Railway Station Shared Departure Transfer : Osaka to Shin Osaka Station: $25
  • KIX Airport Transfers (to or from OSAKA) by Land Rover Discovery Sport 2018: $323
  • KIX Airport Transfers (to or from OSAKA) by Minivan Toyota HIACE 2019: $398
  • KIX Airport Transfers (to or from OSAKA) by Toyota ALPHARD 2019: $398
  • Kansai Airport to/from Osaka City: Private Transfer Service: $200

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kyoto

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Kyoto:

  • Shared Departure Transfer: Kyoto City to Osaka Itami Airport: $101
  • Shared Departure Transfer : Kyoto City to Kansai International Airport: $101
  • Private departure transfer from Kyoto city to Osaka Itami International airport: $112
  • Private departure transfer from Kyoto city to Kansai International airport: $148
  • Private Departure Transfer : Kyoto City to Kansai International Airport: $364
  • Osaka Private Transfer from Itami Airport (ITM) to central Osaka: $314
  • Osaka ITM Airport to Kyoto Center door to door Private Transfer 6 seats Alphard: $334
  • One-Way Private Transfer Between Kyoto and Mount Koya: $406
  • Private Transfer to/from Chubu Centrair Airport: $359
  • Kansai Airport to/from Osaka/Kyoto/Sakai - Shared Transfer: $83
  • KIX Airport to Kyoto Center Arashiyama door to door Private Transfer Alphard: $393
  • KIX Airport Transfers (to or from KYOTO) by Toyota ALPHARD 2019: $430

Is it cheaper to fly into Osaka or Kyoto?

Prices for flights to both Kyoto 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

The average traveler spends about $23 per day in Osaka for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

The price of a meal in Kyoto can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $23 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $9.20 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
    Osaka $23
    Kyoto $23

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Osaka

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

  • Street Food Tour Around Dotonburi Canal: $9.84
  • Takoyaki Cooking Class: $13
  • Deep Food Tour & Bar Hopping in Namba, Osaka: $30
  • Deep Food Tour & Bar Hopping in Temma, Osaka: $30
  • (Online)Popular Japanese pancake and miso soup cooking: $31
  • 2-Hour Kuromon Market Walking Street Food Tour: $36
  • Local Secrets Food Tour in Osaka: $37
  • Osaka Okonomiyaki Cooking Experience!: $40
  • Walkabout Food Tour in Osaka: $43
  • Okonomiyaki Cooking, The Heart of Osaka: $57
  • Lunch Box Bento Set Cooking: $74
  • Home Cooking Class: $76

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Kyoto

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Kyoto.

  • Online Cooking Experience ~ Vegan Taco rice!! ~ high protein and low carbohydrate: $35
  • Nishiki Market Breakfast Walking Food Tour: $43
  • Private Japanese Cooking Lesson and Lunch: $60
  • Authentic Seasonal Japanese Home Cooking Lesson with a Charming Local in Kyoto: $62
  • Morning Japanese Bento Cooking Class: $70
  • Kyoto Cooking Class: $74
  • Sushi or Obanzai Cooking and Matcha with a Kyoto Native in her Home: $74
  • Ramen Cooking Class at Ramen Factory in Kyoto: $76
  • Private Japanese Cooking Class with a Local in a Beautiful Wooden House in Kyoto: $78
  • Ramen Cooking class: $81
  • Nishiki Market Food Tour in Kyoto: $83
  • Bento Box Cooking Class: $86

Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Osaka can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $17 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Kyoto's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $15 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Osaka $17
    Kyoto $15
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)
    $35

Tours and Activities in Osaka

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

  • 【Special Sale】Virtual Osaka Dotonbori & Ebisu Bridge Walking Tour: $6.89
  • Osaka Dotonbori Wonder Cruise: $9.84
  • Osaka Bay : Sightseeing Cruise: $14
  • General Admission ticket to ABENO HARUKAS in Osaka: $15
  • Osaka virtual tour: $15
  • Skip the Line: Kids Plaza Osaka Admission Ticket: $17
  • HARUKAS 300 Observatory E-Ticket: $20
  • Livestream Virtual Tour of Osaka Castle Park: $22
  • LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Osaka Admission Tickets: $23
  • Real Kimono experience and Tsumami Kanzashi Workshop: $24
  • Livestream Virtual Tour of Osaka's Minami Area: $28
  • Osaka Bus and Boat Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour with Subway Pass: $30

Tours and Activities in Kyoto

Here are a few actual costs in Kyoto for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • (Day Time) Fushimi Inari & Nara Highlights Tour: $113
  • (Early Bird) Fushimi Inari & Nara Highlights Tour: $113
  • 1 Day Character Private Kyoto Tour - English Speaking Driver: $776
  • 1 Day Hiking Tour in the Mountains of Kyoto: $162
  • 1-Day Bus Tour from Osaka/Kyoto to Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe (with Halal Meals): $125
  • 1-Day Hiroshima & Miyajima Tour (Round-trip from Kyoto): $379
  • 1-Day Kyoto Cherry Blossom Tour: $118
  • 1-Day Kyoto Private Custom Tour from Osaka by Chartered Vehicle: $831
  • 1.5 Hours Kyoto Insider Sake Experience: $62
  • 10 Must-see Spots in Kyoto One Day Private Tour: $393
  • 12-Hour Sightseeing Trip from Osaka/Kyoto to Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe: $94
  • 2-Hour KENDO Experience in Kyoto: $59

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Osaka spend on average $11 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Kyoto may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Osaka $11
    Kyoto $11

Sample the Local Flavors in Osaka

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

  • Osaka Pub Crawl and Nightlife Tour: $20
  • Private Tour - Fashionable Pub Crawl at Osaka, Enjoy the Japanese Alcohol!: $98

Sample the Local Flavors in Kyoto

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

  • Kyoto Small-Group Sake Brewery Tour with Sake Tasting: $61
  • Sake Brewery Tour: $81
  • Kyoto Sake Brewery & Tasting Walking Tour: $93
  • Kyoto Sake Brewery Tour with Lunch: $191
  • Kyoto Sake Brewery Tour: $193
  • Fushimi Private One Day tour/ Sake brewery & Geisha lunch: $1,210


When comparing the travel costs between Osaka and Kyoto, we can see that Kyoto 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.

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Osaka vs. Kyoto Travel Comparison

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