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

Should you visit Osaka or Nara?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Osaka or Nara, 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.

Nara

As Japan's first capital, Nara offers a world of tradition and culture second only to the city of Kyoto. It is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which are largely concentrated in the area of Nara Park. Here, it is also common to see many deer wandering freely amongst the temples and shrines.

Which city is cheaper, Nara or Osaka?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Osaka is $93, while the average daily cost in Nara is $96. 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 Nara 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 $46, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $92.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $58. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Nara the cost is $116 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Osaka $46
    Nara $58
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Osaka $92
    Nara $116

Food

The average traveler spends about $27 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.

Nara food costs typically run travelers around $31 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Osaka $27
    Nara $31

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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Tokyo West Side Walking and Street Food Tour: $34
  • Hakodate's Famous Ikameshi Cooking Class: $36

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Nara

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

  • 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
  • Cooking Japanese rice in traditional oven at Shikano-fune, Kamado: $38
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Casual): $41
  • Okinawa Home Cooking Experience: $45
  • Moby Dick Dinner Cruise in Naha: $53
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Special): $59

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 $16 per person, per day on transportation in Osaka.

The average price of local transportation around Nara is $6.88 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 $16
    Nara $6.88
Typical Local Transportation prices in Osaka

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


  • Subway
    $11

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Osaka

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

  • [5%OFF] Ferry Transfers from Ishigaki Island by Yaeyama Kanko Ferry: $6.09
  • Nara Kimono and Deer Experience Day Trip from Kyoto (with One Way Transfer): $10
  • Ferry Transfers between Naha and Kume, Tonaki by Kume Shosen : $11
  • Ferry Roundtrip Transfers from Ishigaki Island by Anei Kanko : $11
  • Shared Round-Trip Transfers for Chichibugahama Beach: $23
  • Shin Osaka Station 1-Way Shared Shuttle Transfer: $23
  • 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
  • Private Transfers Between Ariake Arena and Tokyo City or Airports: $32
  • Private Transfers Between Musashino Forest Sports Plaza and Tokyo City or Airports: $32
  • Private Transfers Between Equestrian Park and Tokyo City or Airports: $32
  • Private Transfers Between Kokugikan Arena and Tokyo City or Airports: $32

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nara

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Nara:

  • [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

Is it cheaper to fly into Osaka or Nara?

Prices for flights to both Nara 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Osaka can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $20 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Nara's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $8.85 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 $20
    Nara $8.85
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)
    $42

Tours and Activities in Osaka

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

  • Beppu Tower Admission Ticket: $3.65
  • Uzu no Michi and Onaruto Bridge Hall Edy Ticket: $3.75
  • Yunomoto Onsen Experience in Hokkaido : $4.09
  • [5% OFF] Akame 48 Watefalls / Ninja Training Experience Discount Ticket in Mie: $4.35
  • Sakai Plaza of Rikyu and Akiko Experience: $4.39
  • Roman no Mori Kyowakoku Ticket in Chiba: $4.55
  • Nagasaki Huis Ten Bosch Ticket: $4.55
  • Hanshin Tourist Pass (1 Day, Umeda Pick Up): $4.55
  • Sapporo Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill Ticket: $4.85
  • Hida Kanayama Onsen Yutarikan Hot Spring Experience in Gifu: $4.99
  • Yunokuni no Mori Ticket in Komatsu: $4.99
  • Museum of Aeronautical Science Admission Ticket : $5.09

Tours and Activities in Nara

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Nara are as follows:

  • 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

Typically, people visiting Osaka spend on average $13 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

The average person spends about $12 on alcoholic beverages in Nara per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Osaka $13
    Nara $12

Sample the Local Flavors in Osaka

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

  • Hiroshima Sake Brewery Guided Tour in "Saijo", one of the three largest Japanese Sake spot: $12
  • Osaka Pub Crawl and Nightlife Tour: $20
  • Private Tour - Fashionable Pub Crawl at Osaka, Enjoy the Japanese Alcohol!: $98

Sample the Local Flavors in Nara

Also in Nara, 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 comparing the travel costs between Osaka and Nara, we can see that Nara 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. Nara Travel Comparison

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