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

Should you visit Osaka or Sendai?

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

Sendai

Sendai, Japan is located in the Toohoku region on the main Honshu island. It is often referred to as "Forest City" due to the large amount of green space throughout the city and the tree filled parks and public spaces. Sendai is a very pleasant city to visit; they are in close proximity to both mountains and the sea and have many large universities throughout the city, making it a popular college town.

Which city is cheaper, Sendai or Osaka?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Osaka is $92, while the average daily cost in Sendai is $117. 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 Sendai 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.

The prices for places to stay in Sendai can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $66, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $132.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Osaka $46
    Sendai $66
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Osaka $92
    Sendai $132

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.

The price of a meal in Sendai can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $36 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $14 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 $27
    Sendai $36

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 Temma, Osaka: $30
  • Deep Food Tour & Bar Hopping in Namba, Osaka: $30
  • (Online)Popular Japanese pancake and miso soup cooking: $31
  • 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
  • Osaka Food Tour with Dinner: $77

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sendai

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

  • Private Tour - Japanese Meal in a Historic Port Town! Enjoy the Food Tour!: $138

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.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Sendai than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $20 on transportation in Sendai on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Osaka $16
    Sendai $20
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:

  • Universal Studios Japan Shared Transfer : from Osaka to USJ (One Way): $51
  • Universal Studios Japan Private Transfer : from Osaka to USJ (One Way): $144
  • Universal Studio Japan Shared Transfer : from USJ to Osaka City (One Way): $51
  • Universal Studio Japan Private Transfer : from USJ to Osaka City (One Way): $144
  • Universal Studio Japan Admission with Transfer: $159
  • Shin Osaka Station 1-Way Shared Shuttle Transfer: $23
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Osaka City to Osaka Itami Airport: $38
  • Shared Departure Transfer : Osaka City to Kansai International Airport: $101
  • Private transfer: Osaka to Osaka Airport (ITM): $158
  • Private departure transfer from central Osaka city to Itami airport (ITM): $151
  • Private arrival Transfer from Kansai airport to Osaka city: $105
  • Private One Way Airport Transfer Osaka-Umeda: $285

Is it cheaper to fly into Osaka or Sendai?

Prices for flights to both Sendai 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.

Sightseeing expenses in Sendai, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $20 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Osaka $20
    Sendai $20
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:

  • 1 Way Day Tour Osaka - Takayama via Biwako, Kanazawa and Shirakawago: $159
  • 1-Day Hiroshima & Miyajima Tour (Round-trip from Osaka): $379
  • 2 Hours Private Guided Walking Tour in Osaka: $39
  • A Complete Kimono Experience in Nara: $62
  • Amanohashidate,Ine,Miyama Kayabuki no Sato 1-day tour: $933
  • Bus Trip from Osaka/Kyoto to Kyoto Meet Maiko in Gion and Kyoto Tour: $135
  • Cosplay Photo Experience in Osaka: $48
  • Day trip to Nara from Osaka or Kyoto, World Heritage Sites and deer park tour: $419
  • Deep Backstreet Osaka Tours: $64
  • Deep Osaka All-Inclusive Nighttime Foodie Cultural Experience: $109
  • Eat, Drink, Cycle: Osaka Food and Bike Tour: $96
  • Evening Street Food Hopping Tour in Downtown Osaka: $193

Tours and Activities in Sendai

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

  • 1-Day Private Sendai Tour: $242
  • A Special Tour to Visit the Ice-clad Crater-Lake and the Frost-covered Shrine: $96
  • Explore the Ice Monster Forest in Zao! Snow Vehicle Tour to See the Snow Rime: $96
  • Matsushima's oysters gourmet experience: $162
  • Minamisanriku Ai Indigo Tour: $248
  • Oku-Matsushima 2-Day Local Homestay and Fishing Experience: $268
  • Private Tour - A Perfect Tour for Sendai Beginners to Visit Famous Spots!: $128
  • Private Tour - A Tour to Get Luck Through Three Bridges and an Island!: $113
  • Private Tour - A breath taking spot, Akiu! Enjoy wine and hot springs: $118
  • Private Tour - A cultural experience tour in Matsushima!: $162
  • Private Tour - Craft, Hot Spring, Thank you for Nature's Bounty in Zao: $133
  • Private Tour - Energy charge with a trip around power spots in Sendai!: $118

Alcohol

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

Typically, people visiting Sendai spend on average $12 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


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

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


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

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Osaka vs. Sendai Travel Comparison

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