A Travel Price Comparison for Japan Osaka vs. Mashiko for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Osaka or Mashiko?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Osaka or Mashiko, 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 cultural, high energy, and colorful city. As it's a big city, visitors will find plenty to do, too. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Mashiko

Mashiko is a charming, traditional, and rural town. It offers plenty of small town charm along with sights and activities, too. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. It's also popular because of the hiking, shopping, and museums.

Osaka and Mashiko: Pros and Cons

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


Is there more to do in Osaka or Mashiko?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Osaka. Although Osaka and Mashiko are popular destinations, Osaka has more sights and attractions for tourists. Osaka is very popular for its museums, food, nightlife, historical sights, shopping, and big city activities, while Mashiko attracts visitors for its hiking, small town charm, and quaint atmosphere. Osaka is famous for its diverse street food, eclectic shopping and its economic roots as a port city. It is also well known for Osaka Castle. Mashiko is famous for its local sake, rural farms, and longstanding tradition in pottery making.

How is Osaka different from Mashiko?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Mashiko 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 Mashiko?

Osaka
Mashiko

Osaka is a world-class destination for its historical sights. Also, Mashiko is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its sights and museums.

With plenty of landmarks, attractions, and museums, Osaka has many famous sights for visitors. 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 Shitennō-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.

Mashiko is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. There are a couple of museums around town that are focused on the local activities such as pottery. You can check out the Shoji Hamada Memorial Mashiko Sankokan Museum, the Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art, and the Entsuji Temple.


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

Osaka
Mashiko

Osaka is a world-class destination for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Mashiko is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Known for it's food and restaurant scene, Osaka is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. 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!

Mashiko offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants around town that serve udon, soba, and other Japanese favorites that use local ingredients.

Is Osaka or Mashiko Better for Nightlife?

Osaka
Mashiko

Osaka is a world-class destination for its evening party scene. However, Mashiko is not known for nightlife.

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.

Most people don't head to Mashiko specifically for the nightlife scene, but you can find a few options. There are a couple of bars and pubs around town, but not a huge nightlife scene.

Is Osaka or Mashiko Better for its Old Town?

Osaka
Mashiko

Osaka is a great city for its historic old town charm. However, Mashiko does not have a historic old town.

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.

Mashiko does not have a historic old town.


Is Osaka or Mashiko Better for Hiking?

Osaka
Mashiko

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

Mashiko has hiking trails worth exploring. There are three mountains in the area with hiking trails that let you experience the Japanese countryside and natural beauty. These mountains are Mt. Amamakisan, Mt.Mitsudoyasan, and Mt. Takadateyama.

Osaka is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Osaka or Mashiko?

Osaka
Mashiko

Osaka is a world-class destination for its shopping areas. Also, Mashiko is not as popular, but is still a nice town for shopping.

Many people travel to Osaka specifically to go shopping. 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.

Mashiko is an extremely popular place for shoppers. Local pottery is the main purchase in town, and there are many shops and local vendors who sell locally made pottery.

Is Osaka or Mashiko Better for Families?

Osaka
Mashiko

Osaka and Mashiko are both superb destinations for the whole family.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Osaka. 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.

Mashiko is a very family-friendly place to visit. Pottery is the claim to fame in this small town, and kids will thoroughly enjoy taking a children's pottery class. Its the perfect way to immerse them in the local culture in a fun and hands-on way. Farm life, and fruit picking are also popular here.


Is Osaka or Mashiko Better for Couples?

Osaka
Mashiko

Osaka and Mashiko are both superb 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 Mashiko frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. It's a charming town with local farms, pottery, and sake. Many couples enjoy spending a few days soaking up the local atmosphere and enjoying the simple pleasures.

Is Osaka or Mashiko Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Osaka
Mashiko

Osaka is a great city for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Mashiko is not known for backpackers.

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

Mashiko is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. Most backpackers don't venture to this community, but its seeped in quaint culture and small town atmosphere.

Is Osaka or Mashiko Better for Students?

Osaka
Mashiko

Osaka is a great city for its student-friendly activities. However, Mashiko is not popular with students.

Osaka is a great city to visit as a student. 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.

Mashiko is not popular with students.


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

Osaka
Mashiko

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

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.

Mashiko has a few public transit options. There are local trains that stop by the strawberry picking farms. There are also local buses in the area.

Is Osaka or Mashiko a more walkable city?

Osaka
Mashiko

Mashiko 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.

Mashiko is a very walkable destination. Many people choose to walk around town and the pottery area is about a 20 minute walk from Mashiko Station.

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 Mashiko Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Mashiko or Osaka?

How long in Osaka or Mashiko?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Osaka or Mashiko to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Osaka than Mashiko 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 Mashiko.

Families should spend more time in Osaka than Mashiko. 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 Mashiko. 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 Mashiko 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 Mashiko? Ideal Length of Stay
    Osaka 2-4 
    Mashiko 1-2

One day in Osaka or Mashiko?

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 Mashiko is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. 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 Mashiko?

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 Mashiko. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. 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 Mashiko?

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.

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

A week in Osaka or Mashiko?

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.

Mashiko is a small town, so you can explore the area with less time. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


Which place is cheaper, Mashiko or Osaka?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Osaka is $87, while the average daily cost in Mashiko is $65. 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 Mashiko in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Osaka $44
    Mashiko $34
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Osaka $88
    Mashiko $68
Compare Hotels in Osaka and Mashiko

Looking for a hotel in Osaka or Mashiko? 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 Mashiko


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.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Osaka $14
    Mashiko $11
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Osaka

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


  • Subway
    $8.04

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Osaka

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

  • Osaka Kansai Int Airport (KIX): Transfer to Osaka hotels: $344
  • Osaka Private Transfer from Itami Airport (ITM) to central Osaka: $278
  • Osaka Private Transfer from Osaka central to Itami Airport (ITM): $278
  • Osaka Kansai Airport to Arima-Onsen Resorts-Round-Trip Transfer: $269
  • Osaka Airport (ITM) to Kinosakicho Yushima - Arrival Transfer: $245
  • Osaka Airport Transfers : Osaka City to Kansai Airport KIX in Business Van: $239
  • Departure Private Transfers: Osaka City to Kansai Airport KIX in Business Van: $239
  • Private Transfer from Nagoya Airport (ITM) to Toyama Cruise Port: $221
  • One-Way Private Transfer to/from Kyoto: $220
  • Osaka City: Private One-Way Transfers to/from Arima Onsen: $219
  • Itami Airport (ITM): Private One-Way Transfer to/from Nara: $215
  • Private One-Way Transfer to/from Kansai Airport: $200

Is it cheaper to fly into Osaka or Mashiko?

Prices for flights to both Mashiko 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 $26
    Mashiko $23

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Osaka

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

  • Takoyaki DIY Cooking in the Heart of Osaka: $24
  • 2-Hour Kuromon Market Walking Street Food Tour: $27
  • Private Takoyaki Cooking Class by Natives in Osaka: $37
  • Japanese home cooking class in Osaka Umeda: $48
  • Osaka Okonomiyaki Cooking Experience!: $51
  • Home Cooking Class: $52
  • Homemade Gyoza Cooking Class in Osaka: $61
  • Enjoy artistic TEMPURA Cooking Class: $61
  • Ramen and Gyoza Cooking Class in Dotonbori: $64
  • Kimono experience and Japanese home-cooking lesson Osaka: $67
  • Sushi cooking class by MatchaExperience Osaka: $68
  • Kimono experience and Japanese home-cooking lesson Osaka Umeda : $68

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Osaka $21
    Mashiko $9.09
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)
    $31

Tours and Activities in Osaka

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

  • "Dotonbori Nightscapes: Photoshooting tour in Dotonbori": $171
  • 1-Day walking tour in Osaka:Castle, temples and Ukiyoe: $140
  • 150 mins Deep Samurai Experience in Osaka Castle: $188
  • 2 Hours Anime Figure Walking Tour in Osaka: $56
  • 2 Hours Private Guided Walking Tour in Osaka: $27
  • 2-Hour Kendo Experience with English Instructor In Osaka Japan: $123
  • 3 Days Private Osaka Kyoto and Nara Tour with English Driver: $1,665
  • 3 Hours Historical Tour of Princess Saio on an Electric Cart: $34
  • 3-Hour Osaka Local food Hopping tour in Namba: $41
  • 3/4/5 Hours Private Tour in Osaka with Local Guide: $41
  • 4 hours Osaka Half-Day Drive Cruising City Tour. (1 pax up): $141
  • 4-Day Private Kyoto Osaka Nara Sightseeing tour with Guide: $2,983

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Osaka $12
    Mashiko $5.26

Sample the Local Flavors in Osaka

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

  • Osaka Namba Hidden Places Bar Crawl: $14
  • Osaka Bar Crawl & International Mixer by Team Wild: $17
  • Osaka Pub Crawl and Nightlife Tour: $24
  • Local Bar Crawl in Dotombori and Uranamba Area: $40
  • Osaka Local Bar Crawl in Dotombori & Uranamba Area: $41


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

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


Which is Bigger, Osaka or Mashiko?

Osaka has a larger population, and is about 100 times larger than the population of Mashiko. When comparing the sizes of Osaka and Mashiko, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Osaka or Mashiko?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Osaka or Mashiko in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Osaka and Mashiko. The summer months attract visitors to Osaka because of the city activities and the family-friendly experiences. Also, the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Mashiko this time of year.

Osaka is a little warmer than Mashiko in the summer. The daily temperature in Osaka averages around 28°C (82°F) in July, and Mashiko fluctuates around 24°C (75°F).

Osaka usually receives more sunshine than Mashiko during summer. Osaka gets 183 hours of sunny skies, while Mashiko receives 130 hours of full sun in the summer.

Mashiko receives a lot of rain in the summer. Osaka gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Osaka usually receives more rain than Mashiko. Osaka gets 157 mm (6.2 in) of rain, while Mashiko receives 117 mm (4.6 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Osaka 28°C (82°F) 
    Mashiko 24°C (75°F)

Should I visit Osaka or Mashiko in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Osaka as well as Mashiko. The city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene are the main draw to Osaka this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Mashiko for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the small town atmosphere.

In the autumn, Osaka is a little warmer than Mashiko. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Osaka in October average around 19°C (66°F), and Mashiko averages at about 16°C (60°F).

In the autumn, Osaka often gets more sunshine than Mashiko. Osaka gets 159 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Mashiko receives 133 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Mashiko. Osaka receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Osaka usually gets less rain in October than Mashiko. Osaka gets 108 mm (4.3 in) of rain, while Mashiko receives 145 mm (5.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Osaka 19°C (66°F) 
    Mashiko 16°C (60°F)

Should I visit Osaka or Mashiko in the Winter?

Both Mashiko and Osaka are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Osaka for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, many visitors come to Mashiko in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Mashiko can get quite cold in the winter. In January, Osaka is generally much warmer than Mashiko. Daily temperatures in Osaka average around 6°C (42°F), and Mashiko fluctuates around 3°C (38°F).

Osaka usually receives less sunshine than Mashiko during winter. Osaka gets 140 hours of sunny skies, while Mashiko receives 181 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Osaka usually receives around the same amount of rain as Mashiko. Osaka gets 46 mm (1.8 in) of rain, while Mashiko receives 44 mm (1.7 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Osaka 6°C (42°F) 
    Mashiko 3°C (38°F)

Should I visit Osaka or Mashiko in the Spring?

Both Mashiko and Osaka during the spring are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Osaka in the spring for the activities around the city. Furthermore, most visitors come to Mashiko for the small town charm during these months.

Osaka is a little warmer than Mashiko in the spring. The daily temperature in Osaka averages around 15°C (59°F) in April, and Mashiko fluctuates around 12°C (53°F).

In the spring, Osaka often gets more sunshine than Mashiko. Osaka gets 176 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Mashiko receives 160 hours of full sun.

Mashiko gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Osaka. Osaka usually gets more rain in April than Mashiko. Osaka gets 137 mm (5.4 in) of rain, while Mashiko receives 118 mm (4.6 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Osaka 15°C (59°F) 
    Mashiko 12°C (53°F)

Typical Weather for Mashiko and Osaka

Osaka Mashiko
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 6°C (42°F) 46 mm (1.8 in) 3°C (38°F) 44 mm (1.7 in)
Feb 6°C (43°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 4°C (38°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Mar 9°C (48°F) 99 mm (3.9 in) 6°C (44°F) 95 mm (3.7 in)
Apr 15°C (59°F) 137 mm (5.4 in) 12°C (53°F) 118 mm (4.6 in)
May 20°C (67°F) 140 mm (5.5 in) 17°C (62°F) 139 mm (5.5 in)
Jun 24°C (74°F) 204 mm (8 in) 20°C (68°F) 175 mm (6.9 in)
Jul 28°C (82°F) 157 mm (6.2 in) 24°C (75°F) 117 mm (4.6 in)
Aug 29°C (84°F) 95 mm (3.7 in) 26°C (78°F) 135 mm (5.3 in)
Sep 25°C (77°F) 170 mm (6.7 in) 22°C (71°F) 163 mm (6.4 in)
Oct 19°C (66°F) 108 mm (4.3 in) 16°C (60°F) 145 mm (5.7 in)
Nov 13°C (56°F) 65 mm (2.6 in) 11°C (51°F) 78 mm (3.1 in)
Dec 8°C (47°F) 35 mm (1.4 in) 6°C (42°F) 40 mm (1.6 in)