How to transfer between Nagoya and Osaka/Kyoto by train

Which one is better, Shinkansen (left) or Kintetsu (right) ?

If you have to move between Nagoya and Osaka (or Kyoto), you have two choices, Shinkansen or Kintetsu railway. I would like to compare these two choices and tell you pros and cons of each choice.

Travel between Nagoya and Osaka

Please see the image below:

Nagoya-Osaka transfer map (Click to view large)

In the map above, I put three names of Nagoya station, Nagoya, Kintetsu Nagoya and Meitetsu Nagoya. These three stations are located at same place. You can move among these stations on foot. Please see the link below to find more information:

Nagoya station guide. How to transfer among Shinkansen, Kintetsu, Meitetsu, subway and JR local trains

Shinkansen Nozomi

Pros
Fast. Trip time is less than one hour to get Shin-Osaka from Nagoya.
Direct transfer to Shin-Osaka. JR Osaka (Umeda) is only one statins away from Shin-Osaka by JR local train.
Cons
Pricy. Reserved seat fee and base fare are 6,560 yen in a regular season.
Need changing trains/subways for Namba and other areas. You have to take subway or other local train to get Namba and other places in southern part of downtown Osaka.

If you can purchase a ticket at least one day prior to travel day, you can purchase a deal called “Platt Kodama”. Kodama is Shinkansen train but it is slower than Nozomi. But this deal is cheaper than a regular fare. This deal cannot be purchased on travel day. Please see the link below to find more information:

Platt Kodama, one way deal among Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Shin-Osaka by Shinkansen

Kintetsu Railway Nagoya-Osaka limited express train

Pros
Affordable. Reserved seat fee and base fare are 4,260 yen.
Direct to Namba. You can get the biggest downtown core of Osaka directly.
Cons
Slow. Trip time is more than two hours. It is much slower than Shinkansen and subway transfer via Shin-Osaka.
Need changing trains for Umeda and other areas. If you access to northern part of downtown Osaka, such as Umeda, you have to take subway.

If you intend to make more trips by Kintetsu Railway, such as trip to Nara, you may use Kintetsu Rail Pass. This may be the reason why you take Kintetsu railway between Nagoya and Osaka. Please see the link below to find more information about Kintetsu Rail Pass:

Kintetsu Rail Pass, Most affordable deal for Osaka/Kyoto-Nagoya and access to Ise.

Travel between Nagoya and Osaka

Please see the image below:

Nagoya-Kyoto transfer map (Click to view large)

The situation is a bit different from Nagoya-Osaka transfer.

Shinkansen Nozomi

Pros
Very fast. Trip time is less than 40 minutes to get Kyoto from Nagoya.
Direct transfer to Kyoto.
Cons
Pricy. Reserved seat fee and base fare are 5,800 yen in a regular season.

If you can purchase a ticket at least one day prior to travel day, you can purchase a deal called “Platt Kodama” as well as transfer to Osaka. Please see the link below to find more information:

Platt Kodama, one way deal among Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Shin-Osaka by Shinkansen

Kintetsu Railway Nagoya-Osaka limited express train

Pros
Affordable. Reserved seat fee and base fare are 4,490 yen.
Cons
Slow. Trip time is more than two hours.
Need changing trains at Yamato-Yagi. There is no direct Kintetsu Railway trains between Nagoya and Kyoto.

The price difference is much smaller than Nagoya-Osaka because Kintetsu Railway fare for Nagoya to Kyoto is more expensive than Nagoya to Namba. Shinkansen fare to Kyoto is cheaper than trip to Shin-Osaka. And also there is no direct trains to Kyoto from Nagoya by Kintetsu. It is very hard to find the reason to take Kintetsu for Nagoya to Kyoto.

However if you intend to make more trips by Kintetsu Railway, such as trip to Nara, you may use Kintetsu Rail Pass. This may be the reason why you take Kintetsu railway between Nagoya and Osaka. Please see the link below to find more information about Kintetsu Rail Pass:

Kintetsu Rail Pass, Most affordable deal for Osaka/Kyoto-Nagoya and access to Ise.

Hope this post helps you to build your trip plan.

4 thoughts on “How to transfer between Nagoya and Osaka/Kyoto by train”

  1. Dear Takeshi-san,

    Many thanks for providing all these wonderful information in this website!
    I will be travelling with my family (3 Adults & 1 Child) next week and may I seek your kind advice on which pass should I purchase to save cost?
    Should I consider Kintetsu Rail Pass (5 Days) and for the remaining travel within Kyoto & Osaka, will be ICOCA card?

    Day 1
    Kansai Airport – Nagoya (via Kintetsu)
    * Rent car from Nagoya to Takayama

    Day 2
    Takayama

    Day 3
    Nagoya – Kyoto (via Kintetsu)

    Day 4
    Kyoto & Nara Park

    Rest of the remaining days will be within Kyoto & Osaka
    Many thanks!

    1. Hi Chingyi san,

      You may use Kintetsu rail pass for day 1, 2 and 4. You can get Nara on day 4 by this pass but it does not cover any transportation in Kyoto and Osaka. You may use ICOCA as you think. But there are some deals available. Please see the links below to find more info:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-osaka.html
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-kyoto.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hi Takeshi san,

    I will be going to Japan next month, I would like to know which pass you recommend. Firstly, I will need to travel from Osaka to Tokyo (which train to take?). Thereafter, spending 5 days in Tokyo before flying back home.

    Thank you.

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