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

Should you visit Tokyo or Kyoto?

Should I visit Tokyo or Kyoto? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Tokyo

Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is by far the most populous city in the world with a staggering 37 million people. As a worldwide hub for technology and business, it hosts millions of visitors annually. But Tokyo is not just a place for business trips. With its incredible mixture of historical temples and shrines, remarkably beautiful parks, endless shopping malls, and genuinely wonderful people, Tokyo is a terrific place to visit and to explore.

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 Tokyo?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Tokyo is $176, while the average daily cost in Kyoto 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 Tokyo and Kyoto in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $166 in Tokyo For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

The average price for accommodation for two people in Kyoto is $114. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tokyo $83
    Kyoto $57
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tokyo $166
    Kyoto $114

Food

The price of a meal in Tokyo can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $41 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $16 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.

The price of a meal in Kyoto can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $27 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $11 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
    Tokyo $41
    Kyoto $27
Typical Food prices in Tokyo

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Tokyo:


  • Late Night Noodles
    $7.28
  • Conveyor Belt Sushi Snack
    $7.28
  • Meal at Airport
    $9.49

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Tokyo

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

  • Lunch or Dinner with Maiko Experience in Kyoto : $14
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Miso-balls): $23
  • Yokohama Lunch, Tea, and Dinner Cruise with Royalwings: $25
  • Japanese Rolled Sushi cooking in Tokyo: $27
  • Online character lunch box cooking class: $27
  • Tokyo West Side Walking and Street Food Tour: $34
  • Hakodate's Famous Ikameshi Cooking Class: $36
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Casual): $41
  • West-Side Walking & Street Food Tour: $45
  • Okinawa Home Cooking Experience: $45
  • Moby Dick Dinner Cruise in Naha: $53
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Special): $59

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Kyoto

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

  • 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
  • Online Cooking Experience ~ Vegan Taco rice!! ~ high protein and low carbohydrate: $35
  • Hakodate's Famous Ikameshi Cooking Class: $36
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Casual): $41
  • Nishiki Market Breakfast Walking Food Tour: $43
  • Okinawa Home Cooking Experience: $45
  • Moby Dick Dinner Cruise in Naha: $53

Local Transportation

Tokyo'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 $22 per person, per day on transportation in Tokyo.

The average price of local transportation around Kyoto is $9.72 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.
    Tokyo $22
    Kyoto $9.72
Typical Local Transportation prices in Tokyo

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


  • Metro from Airport
    $18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tokyo

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

  • 1 Day Fuji Q Liner Pass with Two Way Transfer from Tokyo: $76
  • Departure Private Transfer from Tokyo City to Haneda Airport HND by Luxury Van: $187
  • Departure Private Transfer from Tokyo City to Haneda Airport HND by Minivan: $108
  • Departure Private Transfer from Tokyo City to Narita Airport NRT by Luxury Van: $302
  • Departure Private Transfer from Tokyo City to Narita Airport NRT by Minivan: $284
  • Disneyland or DisneySea: 1-Day Ticket and Private Transfer: $138
  • Ferry Roundtrip Transfers from Ishigaki Island by Anei Kanko : $11
  • Ferry Transfers between Naha and Kume, Tonaki by Kume Shosen : $11
  • From Private Transfer to Twin Ring MOTEGI and Hiyama: $569
  • Haneda Airport Grand Limousine Transfer: $194
  • Haneda Airport to/from Tokyo City: Private One-Way Transfer: $129
  • Hello Kitty Puroland Ticket with Transfer: $35

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kyoto

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Kyoto:

  • KIX Airport Transfers (to or from KYOTO) by Toyota ALPHARD 2019: $430
  • KIX Airport Transfers (to or from KYOTO) by Minivan Toyota HIACE 2019: $430
  • KIX Airport to Kyoto Center Arashiyama door to door Private Transfer Alphard: $393
  • KIX Airport Transfers (to or from KYOTO) by Land Rover Discovery Sport 2018: $376
  • Private Departure Transfer : Kyoto City to Kansai International Airport: $364
  • Private Kansai International Airport (KIX) Transfers for Osaka (Same Day Booking): $338
  • Osaka ITM Airport to Kyoto Center door to door Private Transfer 6 seats Alphard: $334
  • Private Narita International Airport Transfers (NRT) for Tokyo (Same Day Booking): $323
  • Osaka Private Transfer from Itami Airport (ITM) to central Osaka: $314
  • Private Kansai International Airport Transfers (KIX) for Kyoto: $246
  • Private Airport Transfer between New Chitose Airport (CTS) and Hokkaido Major Cities: $209
  • Departure Private Transfer from Kyoto City to Kansai Airport KIX by Minivan: $209

Is it cheaper to fly into Tokyo or Kyoto?

Prices for flights to both Kyoto and Tokyo 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 Tokyo can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $79 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Kyoto's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $18 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.
    Tokyo $79
    Kyoto $18

Tours and Activities in Tokyo

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Tokyo.

  • 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
  • Nagasaki Huis Ten Bosch Ticket: $4.55
  • Hanshin Tourist Pass (1 Day, Umeda Pick Up): $4.55
  • Roman no Mori Kyowakoku Ticket in Chiba: $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 Kyoto

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

  • 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

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Tokyo, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $37.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Kyoto may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $13 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tokyo $37
    Kyoto $13
Typical Alcohol prices in Tokyo

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Tokyo:


  • Sake
    $5.46

Sample the Local Flavors in Tokyo

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

  • Hiroshima Sake Brewery Guided Tour in "Saijo", one of the three largest Japanese Sake spot: $12
  • Tokyo Pub Crawl: $22
  • Sake Brewery Tour with Sake Tasting: $307

Sample the Local Flavors in Kyoto

Also in Kyoto, 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
  • 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
  • Fushimi Private One Day tour/ Sake brewery & Geisha lunch: $1,210


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

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Tokyo vs. Kyoto Travel Comparison

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