Should you visit Tokyo or Nikko?
Should I visit Tokyo or Nikko? 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, 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 city 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 $170, while the average daily cost in Nikko is $88. 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 Nikko in more detail.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $160 in Tokyo For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
Travelers usually pay around $100 for a double occupancy room in Nikko If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.
The price of a meal in Tokyo can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $40 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.
Nikko food costs typically run travelers around $33 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.
Meals for one day
Typical Food prices in Tokyo
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Tokyo:
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Tokyo
For Tokyo, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
1-Hour Tsukiji Fish Market Food Tour with Local Guide:
Unique Private Cooking Class with a Tokyo Local Emi:
Local Food Tour on Sunamachi Ginza Street:
West-Side Walking & Street Food Tour:
Private Ramen and Gyoza Cooking Class from Central Tokyo:
Private Japanese Cooking Class with a Local Chef:
Tokyo Food Tour: 3-Hour Culinary Adventure:
Gyoza Cooking Classes in Tokyo:
Private Dining: Wagyu and sake pairing dinner in Shinjuku:
Private Market Tour and Traditional Japanese Cooking Class in Asakusa:
Tokyo Private Food Tour: From Ramen Bars, Vending Machines To Cat Cafes:
3-Hour Food Tour of Shinbashi at Night:
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Nikko
For Nikko, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Nikko Guided Tour by Chartered Vehicle with Exclusive Lunch and Dinner:
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 $21 per person, per day on transportation in Tokyo.
Typical Local Transportation prices in Tokyo
Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Tokyo:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tokyo
Also for Tokyo, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Tokyo Airport Transfers: Tokyo City to Tokyo-Narita Airport NRT in Luxury Car:
Departure Private Transfer from Tokyo City to Narita Airport NRT by Luxury Van:
Tokyo Airport Transfers: Tokyo City to Tokyo-Narita Airport NRT in Luxury Van:
Tokyo Departure Private Transfers from Tokyo City to Tokyo-Narita Airport NRT:
Tokyo Airport Transfers: Tokyo City to Tokyo-Haneda Airport HND in Luxury Car:
Departure Private Transfer from Tokyo City to Narita Airport NRT by Minivan:
Private Departure Transfer : Central Tokyo City to Narita International Airport:
Tokyo Private Transfer from Tokyo central to Narita Airport (NRT):
Tokyo Departure Private Transfers from Tokyo City to Tokyo-Narita Airport NRT:
Tokyo Airport Transfers: Tokyo City to Tokyo-Narita Airport NRT in Business Car:
Tokyo Airport Transfers: Tokyo City to Tokyo-Haneda Airport HND in Luxury Van:
Yokohama Private Arrival Transfer : Tokyo Hotels to Yokohama Port or Hotels:
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.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Tokyo can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $76 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
In Nikko, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $23 per person, per day.
Tours and Activities in Tokyo
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Tokyo.
Akihabara: Anime & Gaming Adventure Tour:
Ancient Meets Ultra-Modern - Tokyo History Experience:
Christmas In Private Experience With A City Host:
Customize your 8-hours private tour with a local guide Tokyo:
Discover Japan Tour: 15-day Small Group:
Eat Like A Local - Sushi Experience:
Explore Japan Tour: 20-day Small Group:
Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi Tour:
Geisha Encounter: Cultural Experience at Chaya in Tokyo:
Highlights of Japan Tour: 10-day Small Group:
Intro to Japan Tour: 8-day Small Group:
Introduction To Tokyo & Highlights Private Walking Tour With A Local:
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:
Cycling and Fire Ceremony Experience in Oku-Nikko:
Exciting Nikko - One Day Tour from Tokyo:
Full Day Nikko Private Custom Tour from Tokyo by Chartered Vehicle:
Nikko 1 day private walking tour:
Nikko Custom Full Day Tour:
Nikko Custom Half Day Tour:
Nikko Full-Day Private Tour with Nationally-Licensed Guide:
Nikko Half-Day Private Tour with Nationally-Licensed Guide:
Nikko Private Tour by public transportation:
The Nikko National Park Bike Experience:
Trekking and Private Onsen Temple Tour in Nikko:
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 $35.
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Nikko, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $16.
Typical Alcohol prices in Tokyo
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Tokyo:
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.
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