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

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

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 $138, while the average daily cost in Nikko is $70. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Tokyo and Nikko in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tokyo $65
    Nikko $40
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tokyo $130
    Nikko $80

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tokyo $17
    Nikko -
Typical Local Transportation prices in Tokyo

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


  • Metro from Airport
    $14

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: $401
  • Departure Private Transfer from Tokyo City to Narita Airport NRT by Luxury Van: $302
  • Tokyo Airport Transfers: Tokyo City to Tokyo-Narita Airport NRT in Luxury Van: $299
  • Tokyo Departure Private Transfers from Tokyo City to Tokyo-Narita Airport NRT: $299
  • Tokyo Airport Transfers: Tokyo City to Tokyo-Haneda Airport HND in Luxury Car: $290
  • Departure Private Transfer from Tokyo City to Narita Airport NRT by Minivan: $284
  • Private Departure Transfer : Central Tokyo City to Narita International Airport: $267
  • Tokyo Private Transfer from Tokyo central to Narita Airport (NRT): $261
  • Tokyo Departure Private Transfers from Tokyo City to Tokyo-Narita Airport NRT: $249
  • Tokyo Airport Transfers: Tokyo City to Tokyo-Narita Airport NRT in Business Car: $236
  • Tokyo Airport Transfers: Tokyo City to Tokyo-Haneda Airport HND in Luxury Van: $236
  • Yokohama Private Arrival Transfer : Tokyo Hotels to Yokohama Port or Hotels: $230

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
  • Food Meals for one day
    Tokyo $33
    Nikko $26
Typical Food prices in Tokyo

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


  • Late Night Noodles
    $5.58
  • Conveyor Belt Sushi Snack
    $5.58
  • Meal at Airport
    $7.27

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: $26
  • Unique Private Cooking Class with a Tokyo Local Emi: $78
  • Local Food Tour on Sunamachi Ginza Street: $83
  • West-Side Walking & Street Food Tour: $95
  • Private Ramen and Gyoza Cooking Class from Central Tokyo: $108
  • Private Japanese Cooking Class with a Local Chef: $120
  • Tokyo Food Tour: 3-Hour Culinary Adventure: $129
  • Gyoza Cooking Classes in Tokyo: $135
  • Private Dining: Wagyu and sake pairing dinner in Shinjuku: $136
  • Private Market Tour and Traditional Japanese Cooking Class in Asakusa: $142
  • Tokyo Private Food Tour: From Ramen Bars, Vending Machines To Cat Cafes: $174
  • 3-Hour Food Tour of Shinbashi at Night: $182

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: $2,910

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Tokyo $61
    Nikko $18

Tours and Activities in Tokyo

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

  • Akihabara: Anime & Gaming Adventure Tour: $67
  • Ancient Meets Ultra-Modern - Tokyo History Experience: $83
  • Christmas In Private Experience With A City Host: $83
  • Customize your 8-hours private tour with a local guide Tokyo: $81
  • Discover Japan Tour: 15-day Small Group: $8,972
  • Eat Like A Local - Sushi Experience: $146
  • Explore Japan Tour: 20-day Small Group: $12,049
  • Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi Tour: $993
  • Geisha Encounter: Cultural Experience at Chaya in Tokyo: $78
  • Highlights of Japan Tour: 10-day Small Group: $5,639
  • Intro to Japan Tour: 8-day Small Group: $4,357
  • Introduction To Tokyo & Highlights Private Walking Tour With A Local: $83

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: $166
  • Cycling and Fire Ceremony Experience in Oku-Nikko: $1,551
  • Exciting Nikko - One Day Tour from Tokyo: $347
  • Full Day Nikko Private Custom Tour from Tokyo by Chartered Vehicle: $1,122
  • Nikko 1 day private walking tour: $430
  • Nikko Custom Full Day Tour: $260
  • Nikko Custom Half Day Tour: $149
  • Nikko Full-Day Private Tour with Nationally-Licensed Guide: $129
  • Nikko Half-Day Private Tour with Nationally-Licensed Guide: $103
  • Nikko Private Tour by public transportation: $289
  • The Nikko National Park Bike Experience: $172
  • Trekking and Private Onsen Temple Tour in Nikko: $1,474

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tokyo $28
    Nikko $13
Typical Alcohol prices in Tokyo

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


  • Sake
    $4.19


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.


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 are around 26°C (78°F), and Nikko is about 25°C (77°F).

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

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. At this time of the year, Tokyo gets 127 mm (5 in) of rain, while Nikko receives 171 mm (6.7 in) of rain.


  • 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. Temperatures in Tokyo average around 18°C (64°F), and Nikko stays 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 temperature in Tokyo is usually 5°C (42°F) in January, and Nikko stays 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. At this time of the year, Tokyo gets 175 hours of sunny skies, while Nikko receives 212 hours of full sun.

In January, Tokyo usually receives more rain than Nikko. At this time of the year, Tokyo gets 45 mm (1.8 in) of rain, while Nikko receives 26 mm (1 in) of rain.


  • 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 are around 14°C (58°F), and Nikko is 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)


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Tokyo vs. Nikko Travel Comparison

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