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

Should you visit Tokyo or Sendai?

Should I visit Tokyo or Sendai? 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.

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 Tokyo?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Tokyo is $177, 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 Tokyo and Sendai 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 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
    Tokyo $83
    Sendai $66
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tokyo $166
    Sendai $132

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 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
    Tokyo $41
    Sendai $36
Typical Food prices in Tokyo

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


  • Late Night Noodles
    $7.27
  • Conveyor Belt Sushi Snack
    $7.27
  • Meal at Airport
    $9.47

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Tokyo

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

  • West-Side Walking & Street Food Tour: $45
  • West-Side Cycling and Food Tour with Guide: $65
  • Wagyu & Kaiseki Cooking Class: $73
  • Tempura Cooking Class at Japan Culinary School: $74
  • 2-Hour Tokyo Bay Dinner Cruise and Oiran Show: $78
  • Unique Private Cooking Class with a Tokyo Local Emi: $78
  • Cook & Enjoy Japanese Home-Style Cooking: $79
  • Wagashi Japanese Sweets Cooking Experience: $79
  • Local Food Tour on Sunamachi Ginza Street: $90
  • Vegan and Organic Food Tour: $92
  • Private Ramen and Gyoza Cooking Class from Central Tokyo: $108
  • Private Japanese Cooking Class in a Local Home: $108

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

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.

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.
    Tokyo $22
    Sendai $20
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:

  • Yokohama Private Arrival Transfer : Tokyo Hotels to Yokohama Port or Hotels: $230
  • Yokohama Port Shared Transfer : from Yokohama Port to Tokyo Hotels: $133
  • Yokohama Port Shared Transfer : from Tokyo Hotels to Yokohama Port: $133
  • Shared Transfer to/from Narita Airport: $48
  • Shared Transfer to/from Haneda (HND) Airport: $57
  • Private transfer to/from Yokohama Osanbashi Port: $261
  • Private Transfer to/from Haneda Airport (HND): $159
  • Haneda Airport Transfer w/ a Private Van: $260
  • Haneda Airport Private Transfer: $123
  • Tokyo to Tokyo Narita Airport (NRT) - Departure Private Car Transfer: $141
  • Tokyo to Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND) - Departure Private Car Transfer: $80
  • Tokyo hotel/address to Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND) - Departure Private Transfer: $80

Is it cheaper to fly into Tokyo or Sendai?

Prices for flights to both Sendai 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.

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.
    Tokyo $79
    Sendai $20

Tours and Activities in Tokyo

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

  • Akihabara: Anime & Gaming Adventure Tour: $72
  • Ancient Meets Ultra-Modern - Tokyo History Experience: $83
  • Asakusa & Ryogoku Walking Tour with Sumo Wrestler: $145
  • Asakusa: 2-Hour Photographic Walking Tour: $123
  • Asakusa: Cultural & Street Food Walking Tour: $99
  • Asakusa: History Tour and Live Performance with Lunch: $129
  • Asakusa: Kimono Makeover with Photoshoot Tour: $96
  • Asakusa: Private Tour for Families with Amusement Park Visit: $254
  • Christmas In Private Experience With A City Host: $83
  • Customize your 8-hours private tour with a local guide Tokyo: $81
  • Day Trip from Nikko Guided Tour by Bullet Train: $241
  • Discover Japan Tour: 15-day Small Group: $8,972

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

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.

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


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tokyo $37
    Sendai $12
Typical Alcohol prices in Tokyo

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


  • Sake
    $5.45

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: $22
  • Sake Brewery Tour with Sake Tasting: $307


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

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

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Tokyo vs. Sendai Travel Comparison

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