How to travel between Tokyo and Nagoya in Japan

ja The Japanese version of this article is here. (Nihongo)

Nagoya Castle

Nagoya Castle

This article tells you how to travel between two Japanese big cities, Tokyo and Nagoya.

First of all, let’s check the distance between Tokyo and Nagoya. The shortest distance is about 166.4 miles (267.8 km), the distance by train is about 227.4 miles (366.0 km).

The followings are major public transportation methods between Tokyo and Nagoya.

  • The Shinkansen (Bullet Train)
  • Airplane
  • Highway bus
  • JR local train

Let’s take a close look at each one of them.

The Shinkansen (Bullet Train)

Shinkansen and Mt. Fuji

Shinkansen and Mt. Fuji

Adult one-way fare: JPY 10,880 – 14,680
Approximate travel time: 1:40 hours

The Shinkansen (Bullet train) is the fastest train in Japan and most frequently used transportation between Tokyo and Nagoya. The Shinkansen departs every 5 or 10 minutes at each station.

The advantages of the Shinkansen are speed, the preciseness of time, and comfortableness of the seats.

The Shinkansen is a little bit costly than other transportations. But recommended to most tourists, in particular, first-timers in Japan.

Shinkansen types and fares

There are 3 types of Shinkansen train that is running between Tokyo and Nagoya.

  • Kodama is the slowest and stops at every station in between.
  • Hikari is faster than Kodama and stops at several major stations.
  • Nozomi is the fastest and stops at the two stations, Shinagawa and Shin-Yokohama.

Shinkansen fares and surcharges

The table below shows Shinkansen fares and surcharges between Tokyo and Nagoya. These are adult reserved-seat fares and surcharges in the regular season as of 2018.

 Shinkansen adult fares between Tokyo and Nagoya (reserved seat)
Tiekct TypeAdult One-way Fares
Hikari or Kodama regular-carJPY 10,880
Nozomi regular-carJPY 11,090
Hikari or Kodama green-carJPY 14,470
Nozomi green-carJPY 14,680

Tickets for short-term overseas tourists

If you are overseas tourists staying in Japan for a short-term, exclusive rail passes are available. These rail passes are only available to tourists who have foreign passports.

The famous rail pass is JAPAN RAIL PASS. JAPAN RAIL PASS’s area covers all Japan, but it’s expensive.

About other exclusive rail passes in Japan, please check out the article below.

Exclusive train and bus ticket deals in Japan for overseas tourists.

About Platt Kodama

Platt Kodama is a special discount Shinkansen ticket and restricted to only Kodama cars. You need to purchase a Platt Kodama ticket a few days in advance before boarding.

Airplane

Chubu Centrair International Airport

Chubu Centrair International Airport

Adult one-way fare: JPY 6,500 – 22,050
Approximate travel time: 1 – 1:10 hours

The number of flights between Tokyo and Nagoya is not so many. Most people use Shinkansen instead. But the airplane is convenient for travelers who transfer from international flights at Narita Airport.

The table below is the flights between Tokyo and Nagoya. The data is as of April 2018.

Flights between Tokyo and Nagoya
AirplaneFlightsFares
ANAHaneda-ChubuJPY 6,500 – 20,900
Narita-ChubuJPY 7,050 – 21,050
JALHaneda-ChubuJPY 6,900 – 21,900
Narita-ChubuJPY 6,850 – 22,050

Chubu Centrair International Airport is south of Nagoya city, and 1 hour away by train from Nagoya Station.

Some advance fares are reasonable than Shinkansen. If you have a fixed schedule, you may as well book as soon as possible.

In contrast, fares are very high in some season like a new-year season or “golden week” season.

Highway bus

Meitetsu highway bus

Meitetsu highway bus

Adult one-way fare: From JPY 2,400
Approximate travel time: 4:30 to 9 hours

Lots of reasonable highway buses run between Tokyo and Nagoya. You can select the bus by seat type or operating times. 3-seat row buses have wider space and a little bit more costly than 4-seat row buses.

The following table lists major highway buses that have English websites. The information is as of April 2018.

Major highway buses between Tokyo and Nagoya
Bus nameFaresOperating hoursSeat types
Seishun DreamJPY 2,400 – 5,900Night4-seat row
Ladies-only Seishun DreamJPY 2,400 – 5,900Night4-seat row
Tomei Expressway BusJPY 2,400 – 5,250Day3 / 4-seat row
Chuo Expressway BusJPY 2,400 – 5,250Day3 / 4-seat row
Meitetsu BusJPY 4,700 – 6,000Day / Night4-seat row
Dream NagoyaJPY 3,900 – 7,900Night3-seat row
Ladies-only DreamJPY 3,900 – 7,900Night3-seat row
Dream ToyotaJPY 3,900 – 7,900Night3-seat row
Willer ExpressFrom JPY 2,500 Day / Night3 / 4-seat row
Amy-GoFrom JPY 2,360Night4-seat row

Highway buses take long hours to travel and therefore not recommended to short-term tourists that have a limited amount of time. These are suited to backpackers or budget travelers.

JR local train

A rapid train running on the Tokaido Mainline

A rapid train running on the Tokaido Mainline

Adult one-way fare: From JPY 6,260
Approximate travel time: 6 to 7 hours

JR local trains run on Tokaido main line between Tokyo and Nagoya. Tokaido main line runs parallel to Shinkansen line. These local trains do not connect Tokyo and Nagoya directly, so you need to change trains at intermediate stations.

These local trains consist of two types. “Futsu” trains stop at every station and “Kaisoku” trains are faster and skip some stations.

These local trains are reasonable but considerably slow, so best suited to experienced or budget travelers like backpackers.

Please check Hyperdia on the timetable of each train.

Summary

The following is the summary of the public transportations between Tokyo and Nagoya.

TransportationAdult one-way fareApproximate travel time
ShinkansenJPY 10,880 – 14,6801:40 hours
AirplaneJPY 6,500 – 22,0501 to 1:10 hours
HighwaybusFrom JPY 2,4004:30 to 9 hours
JR local trainFrom JPY 6,2606 to 7 hours
  • The most popular and fastest is the Shinkansen. The Shinaksen departs every 5 to 10 minutes during daylight hours.
  • Flights between Tokyo and Nagoya are not so many. But it is convenient if you first land in Haneda or Narita airports.
  • JR local trains are slow but reasonable. It is suited to budget travelers like backpackers.
  • Highway buses are the most reasonable. It is also suited to budget travelers like backpackers.

The contents of this article may be updated on the changes in transportation circumstances.

Tag

NagoyaTokyo