A Travel Price Comparison for Japan Yamaguchi vs. Nara for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Hiking

Should you visit Yamaguchi or Nara?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Yamaguchi or Nara, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Yamaguchi

Yamaguchi is a serene, tranquil, and scenic town. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the hiking, museums, and food.

Nara

Nara is a natural, historic, and cultural city. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Yamaguchi and Nara: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers


Is there more to do in Yamaguchi or Nara?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Nara than Yamaguchi, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Nara is more popular for its nightlife, historical sights, hiking, and shopping, while Yamaguchi is known for its food and impressive beauty. Yamaguchi is popular for its temples, serene setting, and traditional ways. Nara is popular for its many temples and shrines, its beautiful natural areas, and its free roaming deer. It is also home to Nara Park.

How is Yamaguchi different from Nara?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Nara and Yamaguchi. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Yamaguchi or Nara?

Yamaguchi
Nara

You'll find a number of very good museums and attractions in both Nara and Yamaguchi.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Yamaguchi can be an interesting and educational experience. There are many historic shrines and temples in the area, as well as the Kintai Bridge.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Nara. The city is filled with history. There are many ancient temples such as Tōdai-ji Temple, Kofuku-ji Temple, Yakushi-ji Temple, and Tōshōdai-ji Temple. You can also visit the Nara National Museum as well as the many parks and gardens.


Is the Food Better in Yamaguchi or Nara? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Yamaguchi
Nara

Yamaguchi is notable for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, Nara is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its restaurants.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Yamaguchi. The city has a long-running farming and fishing industry, so you can be assured fresh ingredients at every meal. Dishes are still deeply rooted in the area's culinary traditions, and perhaps the most famous local delicacy is the Fugu fish, otherwise known as blowfish. It's become famous among westerners as the fish can be poisonous if not prepared correctly.

Nara is becoming an appealing option for foodies. The cuisine is simple and traditional with its roots in the history of the area. Many residents start their morning with a simple rice porridge. The area is also known for its persimmon leaf sushi and miwa somen (a thin, chewy noodle).

Is Yamaguchi or Nara Better for Nightlife?

Yamaguchi
Nara

Nara is a very popular place for its evening party scene. However, Yamaguchi is lacking in good options for nightlife.

Nara has a large number of nightlife venues. The town offers a serene and relaxed atmosphere at night. There are plenty of bars around town that are known for their friendly bartenders and you'll find many of the bars in Naramachi, which is the old town area.

Yamaguchi is generally a quiet destination but there are options around. There are some pubs and local bars, but most of the area is peaceful and tranquil, especially at night.

Is Yamaguchi or Nara Better for its Old Town?

Yamaguchi
Nara

Nara is a nice place to visit for its historic old town charm. However, Yamaguchi does not have a historic old town.

Nara has an old town worth visiting. Naramachi is the old town of Nara. This is the old merchant district and today you'll find several traditional residential buildings and warehouses that are open to the public.

Yamaguchi does not have a historic old town.


Is Yamaguchi or Nara Better for Hiking?

Yamaguchi
Nara

Nara is a very popular place for its hiking trails. Also, Yamaguchi is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its hiking experiences.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Nara. The city is all about its surrounding nature. There are historic pilgrim routes that pass through the hills and mountains, taking you by sacred sights and ancient forests. In the area you'll find some of Japan's most ancient byways.

Plenty of visitors go hiking around Yamaguchi. There are hiking and walking trails throughout the prefecture so that you can energy the natural setting.

Is the Shopping Better in Yamaguchi or Nara?

Yamaguchi
Nara

Nara is a very popular place for its shopping areas. However, Yamaguchi is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Nara. Sanjo-dori is the main street through town. This is where you'll find many souvenir shops that sell local items and traditional food. Mochiido Center Town is the oldest shopping arcade in town and it is filled with history.

Yamaguchi is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is Yamaguchi or Nara Better for Families?

Yamaguchi
Nara

Nara is a very popular place for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Yamaguchi is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Nara. Head to Nara Park for a bit of nature in the city. Deer roam freely in the park, which is filled with pine trees and beautiful lawns. Kids will also appreciate a visit to Ikomasanjo Amusement Park or the NARAMACHI-KARAKURI Toy Museum. You can also take a ride on the Ikoma Cable Line or spend some time at the Tennenyamato Hot Spring Nara Kenko Land.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Yamaguchi. The city offers beautiful temples and a glimpse into Japanese culture that kids and adults alike will enjoy. There are also beautiful gardens and nearby natural scenery.


Is Yamaguchi or Nara Better for Couples?

Yamaguchi
Nara

Yamaguchi and Nara are both very good to visit as a couple.

Yamaguchi makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. With its historic temples, natural beauty, and nice green space, this is a lovely city to explore as a couple.

Couples visit Nara frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. The city is smaller than you might expect, and it's filled with green space and parks. You can wander through Nara Park, see the deer, and soak up the romantic atmosphere. You can also visit one of the beautiful temples such as Todaiji Temple. Many couples also enjoy exploring Yoshikien Garden.

Is Yamaguchi or Nara Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Yamaguchi
Nara

Yamaguchi and Nara are both good destinations for backpackers.

It's common for backpackers to visit Yamaguchi. There are a couple of hostels and budget-friendly accommodation options in the area.

Nara is a good town to visit for backpackers. There are a couple of hostels in the area that cater to backpackers and the budget travel crowd.

Is Yamaguchi or Nara Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Yamaguchi
Nara

Nara is a very popular place for times when you don't have a car. Also, Yamaguchi is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its public transit.

The public transit in Nara can get you to most places easily. There are city buses that will take you through town and to the many tourist spots.

You'll find some public transit in Yamaguchi, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. There are buses through the city and prefecture.


Is Yamaguchi or Nara a more walkable city?

Yamaguchi
Nara

Nara is a very popular place for its ease of walking around. Also, Yamaguchi is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its walkability.

Nara is a very walkable destination. Many of the sights are within walking distance of each other, so many visitors enjoy exploring on foot.

Yamaguchi is somewhat walkable. There are a number of walking trails in the area.

For even more information, also check out Is Yamaguchi Worth Visiting? and Is Nara Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Nara or Yamaguchi?

How long in Yamaguchi or Nara?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Yamaguchi or Nara to fill your time. In our opinion, Nara has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Nara than Yamaguchi. However, 1-2 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Nara than Yamaguchi. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Nara, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Nara than Yamaguchi. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Nara that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Nara than Yamaguchi if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Nara.


  • How many days in Yamaguchi or Nara? Ideal Length of Stay
    Yamaguchi 1-2 
    Nara 1-2

One day in Yamaguchi or Nara?

Visitors enjoy the museums and food when visiting the destination of Yamaguchi. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually enough time to experience most activities.

You'll find shopping and museums around the city of Nara. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Nara has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Yamaguchi or Nara?

Yamaguchi is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the historic destination of Nara. Hikers are also drawn to this area. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.


Five days in Yamaguchi or Nara?

You'll find museums and food around the tranquil destination of Yamaguchi. This town offers something for everyone. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the traditional city of Nara. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

A week in Yamaguchi or Nara?

The traditional town of Yamaguchi offers food and museums. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.

Nara is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best G Adventures Tours to Japan, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Tokyo, The Best 10-Day Tours from Tokyo, and The Best 2-Week Tours from Tokyo.


Which place is cheaper, Nara or Yamaguchi?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Yamaguchi is $78, while the average daily cost in Nara is $84. 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 Yamaguchi and Nara in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Yamaguchi $44
    Nara $51
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Yamaguchi $88
    Nara $102
Compare Hotels in Yamaguchi and Nara

Looking for a hotel in Yamaguchi or Nara? 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 Yamaguchi


Hotels in Nara


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: Yamaguchi Hotel Prices and Nara Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Yamaguchi $20
    Nara $5.68

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Yamaguchi

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

  • Yamaguchi Ube Airport To/From Yamaguch City Private Transfer: $370

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nara

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Nara:

  • Kansai Airport (KIX):Private One-Way Transfer to/from Nara: $241

Is it cheaper to fly into Yamaguchi or Nara?

Prices for flights to both Nara and Yamaguchi 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
    Yamaguchi $22
    Nara $27

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Nara

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Nara.

  • Eel Fishing and Cooking Experience in Kyoto: $71
  • Cooking class, learning how to make authentic sushi: $110
  • Full Day Nara E bike Tour and Osaka History Food Tour: $187

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Yamaguchi $8.17
    Nara $7.60

Tours and Activities in Nara

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Nara are as follows:

  • 1 Day Walking Tour in Nara Palace Deer and Inkstick: $165
  • 1-Day Walking Tour in Palace, Deer and Inkstick: $146
  • 3 Days Private Osaka Kyoto and Nara Tour With English Driver: $1,404
  • All must-sees in 3 hours - Nara Park Classic Tour! From JR Nara!: $42
  • Eigo Tour - Walk in Nara City: $65
  • Experience Authentic Sushi making in Nara: $114
  • From Osaka/Kyoto: Kyoto & Nara Private Sightseeing Day Trip: $451
  • From Osaka: Nara, Uji Matcha Experience and Hot Spring Tour: $59
  • Guided Tour of Todai ji and Nara Park (Guide in Spanish): $86
  • Guided Uji Anime Walking Tour: $39
  • Half-Day Private Guided Tour : Nara Imperial Palace: $94
  • Half-Day Private Guided Tour to Nara City: $94

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Yamaguchi $7.71
    Nara $11


When comparing the travel costs between Yamaguchi and Nara, we can see that Nara is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Asia, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Yamaguchi Expensive? and Is Nara Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Yamaguchi or Nara?

Nara has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Yamaguchi. When comparing the sizes of Yamaguchi and Nara, 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 along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Yamaguchi or Nara?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Yamaguchi or Nara in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Yamaguchi as well as Nara. Many visitors come to Yamaguchi in the summer for the hiking and the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Nara for the hiking and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In July, Yamaguchi is generally around the same temperature as Nara. Daily temperatures in Yamaguchi average around 26°C (79°F), and Nara fluctuates around 27°C (80°F).

It's quite rainy in Nara. Yamaguchi receives a lot of rain in the summer. Yamaguchi usually gets more rain in July than Nara. Yamaguchi gets 271 mm (10.7 in) of rain, while Nara receives 186 mm (7.3 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Yamaguchi 26°C (79°F) 
    Nara 27°C (80°F)

Should I visit Yamaguchi or Nara in the Autumn?

Both Nara and Yamaguchi are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Yamaguchi for the hiking trails and the natural beauty of the area during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Nara because of the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

Yamaguchi is around the same temperature as Nara in the autumn. The daily temperature in Yamaguchi averages around 19°C (65°F) in October, and Nara fluctuates around 17°C (63°F).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Nara. In October, Yamaguchi usually receives less rain than Nara. Yamaguchi gets 94 mm (3.7 in) of rain, while Nara receives 110 mm (4.3 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Yamaguchi 19°C (65°F) 
    Nara 17°C (63°F)

Should I visit Yamaguchi or Nara in the Winter?

Both Nara and Yamaguchi during the winter are popular places to visit. The winter months attract visitors to Yamaguchi because of the museums and the cuisine. Furthermore, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Nara this time of year.

It's quite cold in Nara in the winter. In the winter, Yamaguchi is a little warmer than Nara. Typically, the winter temperatures in Yamaguchi in January average around 6°C (42°F), and Nara averages at about 4°C (40°F).

Yamaguchi usually gets more rain in January than Nara. Yamaguchi gets 73 mm (2.9 in) of rain, while Nara receives 49 mm (1.9 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Yamaguchi 6°C (42°F) 
    Nara 4°C (40°F)

Should I visit Yamaguchi or Nara in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Yamaguchi and Nara. The natural beauty are the main draw to Yamaguchi this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Nara for the natural beauty.

In April, Yamaguchi is generally around the same temperature as Nara. Daily temperatures in Yamaguchi average around 14°C (57°F), and Nara fluctuates around 14°C (57°F).

Nara receives a lot of rain in the spring. Yamaguchi gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In April, Yamaguchi usually receives more rain than Nara. Yamaguchi gets 162 mm (6.4 in) of rain, while Nara receives 127 mm (5 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Yamaguchi 14°C (57°F) 
    Nara 14°C (57°F)

Typical Weather for Nara and Yamaguchi

Yamaguchi Nara
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 6°C (42°F) 73 mm (2.9 in) 4°C (40°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)
Feb 6°C (43°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 5°C (40°F) 60 mm (2.3 in)
Mar 9°C (48°F) 108 mm (4.2 in) 8°C (46°F) 99 mm (3.9 in)
Apr 14°C (57°F) 162 mm (6.4 in) 14°C (57°F) 127 mm (5 in)
May 18°C (65°F) 162 mm (6.4 in) 19°C (65°F) 128 mm (5.1 in)
Jun 22°C (71°F) 276 mm (10.9 in) 23°C (73°F) 214 mm (8.4 in)
Jul 26°C (79°F) 271 mm (10.7 in) 27°C (80°F) 186 mm (7.3 in)
Aug 27°C (81°F) 143 mm (5.6 in) 28°C (82°F) 117 mm (4.6 in)
Sep 24°C (75°F) 183 mm (7.2 in) 24°C (74°F) 154 mm (6.1 in)
Oct 19°C (65°F) 94 mm (3.7 in) 17°C (63°F) 110 mm (4.3 in)
Nov 13°C (56°F) 80 mm (3.1 in) 12°C (53°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Dec 9°C (47°F) 59 mm (2.3 in) 7°C (44°F) 41 mm (1.6 in)