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

Should you visit Tokyo or Nikko?

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

Should I visit Tokyo or Nikko? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Tokyo or Nikko?


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.


Nikko is a small Japanese city located in the mountains north of Tokyo. It is well-known for the site of Toshogu, a famed Shinto shrine established in 1617, in memory of Tokugawa Ieyasu who was the founding ruler of the Edo Period. The town is situated just outside of Nikko National Park which offers scenic mountain landscapes, lakes, waterfalls, hot springs, wild monkeys, and hiking trails.

Which place is cheaper, Nikko or Tokyo?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Tokyo is $168, while the average daily cost in Nikko is $85. 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 Tokyo and Nikko in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tokyo $79
    Nikko $48
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tokyo $158
    Nikko $96
Compare Hotels in Tokyo and Nikko

Looking for a hotel in Tokyo or Nikko? 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 Tokyo

Hotels in Nikko

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: Tokyo Hotel Prices and Nikko Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tokyo $21
    Nikko -
Typical Local Transportation prices in Tokyo

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

  • Metro from Airport

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tokyo

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

  • Private Narita Airport (NRT) Transfers for Tokyo 23 Wards(10 Seater): $17,697
  • Private Narita International Airport (NRT) Transfers for Tokyo 23 Wards(7Seater): $17,697
  • Private Haneda International Airport Transfers(HND) for Tokyo 23 : $9,125
  • Private Transfer between Tokyo and Hakuba or Nozawa: $1,544
  • Private transfer from Tokyo/HND to Hakuba by minibus max 9: $978
  • 10-hour Customizable Private Tour with Hotel Transfer: $772
  • Tokyo/HND transfer to Hakuba by Minibus max for 9 pax : $769
  • From Hakone and Mt. Fuji Day Trip with Transfers: $607
  • Private Customizable Tour with Transfer: $485
  • Round trip transfer in private minivan from-to Narita Airport-Tokyo City Center: $440
  • Haneda Airport (HND): Private One-Way Transfer to/from Fuji: $408
  • Private Transfer: Tokyo to Haneda Airport HND in Luxury Car: $407

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nikko

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

  • Tokyo Haneda Airport HND to Kinugawa Osen - Round Trip Transfer: $173
  • Kinugawa Osen to Tokyo Narita Airport Private Departure Transfer: $87
  • Kinugawa Osen to Tokyo Haneda Airport Departure Private Transfer: $87

Is it cheaper to fly into Tokyo or Nikko?

Prices for flights to both Nikko 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.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Tokyo $40
    Nikko $32
Typical Food prices in Tokyo

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

  • Late Night Noodles
  • Conveyor Belt Sushi Snack
  • Meal at Airport

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Tokyo

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

  • Small-Group Traditional Japanese Snack Cooking Class in Asakusa: $34
  • Japanese Cuisine Yakitori Cooking Workshop: $35
  • Private Sushi Roll Cooking Class in Japan: $40
  • All-You-Can-Drink Takoyaki Dinner Party with Local people: $41
  • Udon & Dorayaki Cooking Lesson : $45
  • Kawaii Sushi Making Tokyo! Cooking Class in Asakusa: $51
  • Wagyu and 7 Japanese Dishes Cooking Class: $62
  • Japanese Traditional Cooking Class: $62
  • Japanese Home Cooking Class near Tokyo Disneyland: $66
  • Sushi roll and side dish cooking experience: $67
  • Tsukiji Fish Market Walking Food Tour: $70
  • Small-Group Wagyu Beef and 7 Japanese Dishes Tokyo Cooking Class: $71

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Tokyo $74
    Nikko $22

Tours and Activities in Tokyo

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

  • Calligraphy in Tokyo – Shodo Experience in Tokyo MAIKOYA: $518
  • Full-Day Private Mt. Fuji Tour with Local Guide from Tokyo: $677
  • Mt. Fuji Majestic Tours : Shinjuku to Arakurayama and Beyond: $85
  • Nikko Scenic Spots and UNESCO Shrine - Full Day Bus Tour from Tokyo: $113
  • Romantic Tour In Saitama: $443
  • Romantic Tour In Tokyo: $443
  • Romantic Tour In Yono: $443
  • The Best Of Saitama Walking Tour: $389
  • The Best Of Yono Walking Tour: $443
  • The best of Tokyo Walking tour: $244
  • Tokyo Full Day Private Tour With Guide and Foods Included: $275
  • “Your name.” Going on an electric bicycle <Roppongi, Shinanomachi, Shinjuku> A 6-hour tour of a sacred place. (With support car): $142

Tours and Activities in Nikko

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

  • Bask in the beauty of winter Nikko in this unforgettable ice climbing experience: $116
  • Nikko 1 day private walking tour: $510
  • Nikko 1-Day Bus Tour :World Heritage of Nikko Toshogu,Lake Chuzenji,Kegon Falls: $104
  • Nikko Custom Full Day Tour: $187
  • Nikko Custom Half Day Tour: $112
  • Nikko Full-Day Private Tour with Government-Licensed Guide: $145
  • Nikko Private Full day Tour: English Speaking Driver, No Guide: $557
  • Nikko Private Half day Tour: English Speaking Driver, No Guide: $401
  • Nikko Tour from Tokyo with Guide and Vehicle: $1,296
  • Experience to watch the Japanese Performance: $8.77
  • Ticket to Japanese Style Dance/Drama Show Taishu-Engeki at Nikko: $8.99
  • Visit the Unexplored Regions of Lake Chuzenji--Scenic Trekking and Rafting Tour: $81

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tokyo $34
    Nikko $15
Typical Alcohol prices in Tokyo

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

  • Sake

Sample the Local Flavors in Tokyo

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

  • Tokyo Pub Crawl: $24
  • Low-cost local pub & bar crawling: $31
  • 3-Hour Tokyo Pub Crawl Weekly Welcome Guided Tour in Shibuya: $50
  • Asakusa : Sensoji Temple and Sake Brewery Tour: $67
  • Shinjuku Nightlife Walking Tour & Golden-Gai Bar Crawl: $71
  • bar hoopping & pub crawl in Shibuya【only local know】: $79
  • barhopping tour&bar crawl in Retro Town Shimokitazawa: $88
  • Toshimaya Sake Brewery Tour with Sake Tasting: $94
  • Private Sake Tasting at 300 Years Old Sake Brewery in Tokyo : $111
  • Sake Brewery and Spiritual Nature Tour in Okutama Tokyo: $142
  • Private Walking Tour with Sake Brewery Visit in Chichibu: $190
  • Private tour: Tokyo's Oldest Sake Brewery and riverside walk.: $227

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Tokyo and Nikko, we can see that Tokyo is more expensive. And not only is Nikko much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Nikko would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Nikko 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 Nikko.

Which is Bigger, Tokyo or Nikko?

Tokyo is bigger, and its population is about 519.7 times larger than the population of Nikko. When comparing the population of Tokyo vs. Nikko, 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 and the activities that interest you.

When is the best time to visit Tokyo or Nikko?

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 Tokyo or Nikko in the Summer?

Both Nikko and Tokyo are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Tokyo in the summer for the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Tokyo is around the same temperature as Nikko. Typically, the summer temperatures in Tokyo in July average around 26°C (78°F), and Nikko averages at about 25°C (77°F).

Tokyo usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Nikko during summer. Tokyo gets 137 hours of sunny skies, while Nikko receives 136 hours of full sun in the summer.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Nikko. It's quite rainy in Tokyo. In July, Tokyo usually receives less rain than Nikko. Tokyo gets 127 mm (5 in) of rain, while Nikko receives 171 mm (6.7 in) of rain each month for the summer.

  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Tokyo 26°C (78°F) 
    Nikko 25°C (77°F)

Should I visit Tokyo or Nikko in the Autumn?

Both Nikko and Tokyo during the autumn are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Tokyo for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In October, Tokyo is generally a little warmer than Nikko. Daily temperatures in Tokyo average around 18°C (64°F), and Nikko fluctuates around 16°C (61°F).

In the autumn, Tokyo often gets less sunshine than Nikko. Tokyo gets 129 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Nikko receives 167 hours of full sun.

Nikko gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Tokyo. Tokyo usually gets more rain in October than Nikko. Tokyo gets 165 mm (6.5 in) of rain, while Nikko receives 117 mm (4.6 in) of rain this time of the year.

  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Tokyo 18°C (64°F) 
    Nikko 16°C (61°F)

Should I visit Tokyo or Nikko in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Tokyo and Nikko. The winter months attract visitors to Tokyo because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

It's quite cold in Nikko in the winter. Tokyo is much warmer than Nikko in the winter. The daily temperature in Tokyo averages around 5°C (42°F) in January, and Nikko fluctuates around 3°C (37°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Nikko this time of the year. Tokyo usually receives less sunshine than Nikko during winter. Tokyo gets 175 hours of sunny skies, while Nikko receives 212 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Tokyo usually receives more rain than Nikko. Tokyo gets 45 mm (1.8 in) of rain, while Nikko receives 26 mm (1 in) of rain each month for the winter.

  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Tokyo 5°C (42°F) 
    Nikko 3°C (37°F)

Should I visit Tokyo or Nikko in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Tokyo as well as Nikko. The activities around the city and the natural beauty are the main draw to Tokyo this time of year.

In the spring, Tokyo is a little warmer than Nikko. Typically, the spring temperatures in Tokyo in April average around 14°C (58°F), and Nikko averages at about 13°C (55°F).

In the spring, Tokyo often gets less sunshine than Nikko. Tokyo gets 161 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Nikko receives 191 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Nikko. Tokyo receives a lot of rain in the spring. Tokyo usually gets more rain in April than Nikko. Tokyo gets 125 mm (4.9 in) of rain, while Nikko receives 108 mm (4.2 in) of rain this time of the year.

  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Tokyo 14°C (58°F) 
    Nikko 13°C (55°F)

Typical Weather for Nikko and Tokyo

Tokyo Nikko
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 5°C (42°F) 45 mm (1.8 in) 3°C (37°F) 26 mm (1 in)
Feb 6°C (42°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 3°C (38°F) 44 mm (1.7 in)
Mar 9°C (47°F) 100 mm (3.9 in) 7°C (44°F) 74 mm (2.9 in)
Apr 14°C (58°F) 125 mm (4.9 in) 13°C (55°F) 108 mm (4.2 in)
May 19°C (66°F) 138 mm (5.4 in) 18°C (64°F) 139 mm (5.5 in)
Jun 22°C (71°F) 186 mm (7.3 in) 21°C (70°F) 206 mm (8.1 in)
Jul 26°C (78°F) 127 mm (5 in) 25°C (77°F) 171 mm (6.7 in)
Aug 27°C (81°F) 148 mm (5.8 in) 27°C (80°F) 195 mm (7.7 in)
Sep 23°C (74°F) 180 mm (7.1 in) 22°C (72°F) 201 mm (7.9 in)
Oct 18°C (64°F) 165 mm (6.5 in) 16°C (61°F) 117 mm (4.6 in)
Nov 13°C (55°F) 90 mm (3.5 in) 10°C (50°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Dec 8°C (46°F) 46 mm (1.8 in) 5°C (41°F) 32 mm (1.2 in)

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.
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Tokyo vs. Nikko Travel Comparison

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