Kyoto and Nagoya are just 82 miles (132 km apart), and train and bus connections are plentiful. Traveling by train is the fastest way to get from Kyoto to Nagoya; you can make the journey in less than an hour. Air travel, while possible, is not practical given the short distance between the cities.
A visit to Nagoya would be a great way to extend a 10-day Japan Golden Route tour or a 7-day Tokyo and Kyoto Highlights tour. And if you travel from Kyoto to Nagoya by rental car or private transfer, you have an opportunity to detour to Shigaraki to see the MIHO Museum, designed by world-famous architect I. M. Pei, which houses an impressive collection of art from ancient civilizations, or to Koka or Iga to see their ninja-related attractions and museums.
Duration: 40-60 minutes
Shinkansen (bullet) trains connect Kyoto and Nagoya, with many departures daily. Nozomi, Kodama, and Hikari shinkansen trains will get you to Nagoya in less than an hour. JR Pass users should avoid the Nozomi line trains, as your pass will not be accepted on those trains.
By Car or Private Transfer
Duration: Less than 3 hours, depending on traffic
The fastest, most efficient way to drive from Kyoto to Nagoya is via toll highways. The recommended route takes you on the Tokaido, Meishin/E1, Shin Meishin/E1A, and Higashi-Meihan Expressways. If you do not feel comfortable driving on the left side of the road, consider using private transfers to travel between Kyoto and Nagoya.
Be sure to research parking options in Nagoya if you rent a car, as parking in Japanese cities can be expensive and difficult to find.
Duration: 3 hours
JR Bus offers Meishin Highway Bus Kyoto Line service to Nagoya from Kyoto Station. Buses operated by Meitetsu Bus, Nishinihon JR Bus, Tokai Bus, and Kintetsu Bus depart several times per day for Nagoya.