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 $175, while the average daily cost in Sendai is $116. 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 $164 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 $65, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $130.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tokyo $82
    Sendai $65
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tokyo $164
    Sendai $130

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
    $7.20
  • Conveyor Belt Sushi Snack
    $7.20
  • Meal at Airport
    $9.39

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 Sendai

For Sendai, 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
  • Online character lunch box cooking class: $27
  • Japanese Rolled Sushi cooking in Tokyo: $27
  • Tokyo West Side Walking and Street Food Tour: $34
  • Hakodate's Famous Ikameshi Cooking Class: $36
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Casual): $41
  • Okinawa Home Cooking Experience: $45
  • Moby Dick Dinner Cruise in Naha: $53
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Special): $59
  • Morning Wagyu Kaiseki Cooking Course: $60

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 $19 on transportation in Sendai on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tokyo $22
    Sendai $19
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:

  • [5%OFF] Ferry Transfers from Ishigaki Island by Yaeyama Kanko Ferry: $6.09
  • 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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sendai

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

  • Private Kansai International Airport (KIX) Transfers for Osaka (Same Day Booking): $338
  • Private Narita International Airport Transfers (NRT) for Tokyo (Same Day Booking): $323
  • Private Kansai International Airport Transfers (KIX) for Kyoto: $246
  • Private Airport Transfer between New Chitose Airport (CTS) and Hokkaido Major Cities: $209
  • Private Haneda International Airport Transfers (HND) for Tokyo (For Urgent Flight): $203
  • Private New Chitose Airport Transfers (CTS) for Sapporo, Hoshino Resorts, Noboribetsu, Lake Toya, or Surrounding Areas: $177
  • Private Nagoya Airport (NGO) Transfers for Downtown Nagoya and Surrounding Cities: $164
  • Private Kansai International Airport Transfers (KIX) for Osaka, Nara, & Kobe: $154
  • Private Transfers Between Yoyogi National Stadium (Olympic Stadium) and Tokyo City or Airports: $153
  • Private Transfers Between the New National Stadium (Olympic Stadium) and Tokyo City or Airports: $152
  • Private Narita International Airport Transfers (NRT) for Tokyo 23 Wards, Hakone, or Karuizawa: $150
  • Private Kansai Airport (KIX) Transfers for Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, or Nara: $150

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 $78 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 $78
    Sendai $20

Tours and Activities in Tokyo

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

  • 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

Tours and Activities in Sendai

For Sendai, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 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 $36.

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


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tokyo $36
    Sendai $12
Typical Alcohol prices in Tokyo

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


  • Sake
    $5.40

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 Sendai

Also in Sendai, 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


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.

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Tokyo vs. Sendai Travel Comparison

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