Osaka is part of the famous Golden Triangle in Japan, which comprises of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka.
If you want to get from Nagoya to Osaka, or the other way around, this post will help you make an informed decision listing the different options to get from one to the other.
Some are faster others are cheaper. Find the method to get from Osaka to Nagoya that is right for your budget.
Great Deals in Nagoya and the Rest of Japan
To guarantee an amazing trip to Nagoya, book your portable WIFI or Sim card with Klook, as well as convenient transport from the airport to your hotel in the city.
Find great deals and discounts for your trip to Nagoya on Klook. We use this all the time when traveling around Japan!
Distance between Osaka and Nagoya
Osaka is around 180 kilometers from Nagoya by car. Both are located on Japan’s biggest island Honshu. I have to admit, I am not too big a fan of Osaka, even though I have lived there for about 10 months as a student.
I prefer Kyoto with its incredible culture and history, to the modern neighbor Osaka.
Shinkansen from Osaka to Nagoya
The easiest way to get from Osaka to Nagoya is by Shinkansen bullet train. Note that the Shinkansen doesn’t stop at Osaka station but rather at Shin-Osaka Station. There is a train linking Shin-Osaka and Osaka Station, which can be used without extra charge.
Nozomi trains, the fastest Shinkansen only stops at one other station between Osaka and Nagoya, which is Kyoto. The whole train ride takes only 50 minutes and costs 6480 yen one way.
The slower Hikari train takes 55 minutes, and Kodama trains need 70 minutes for the distance. This is not because they are slower, but rather because these trains make more stops in between.
The price for all Shinkansen trains is the same, you should, however, note that you cannot use Nozomi trains if you hold a Japan Rail Pass. This tourist pass is the most convenient way to travel the country and is especially recommended if you plan on traveling between many cities in a short amount of time. Find out more about the Japan Rail Pass here.
There is a special Kodama train ticket which might be interesting to people wanting to save a little bit of money. The so-called ‘Platt Kodama Economy Plan’ allows for train travel between Osaka and Nagoya with a reserved seat for just 4500 yen (or 5300 yen on weekends and holidays) which includes a free drink on board. This is a discount of between 1980 and 1180 yen.
You have to purchase this special discount ticket at least one day in advance at a JR Tokai Travel Agency. You can find one inside Shin-Osaka Station as well as Nagoya Station. For more information visit the JR Tours website.
Local Train from Osaka to Nagoya
Aside from JR Shinkansen trains, there is another train company offering a direct train service from Osaka to Nagoya. The Limited Express Kintetsu train between Osaka-Namba Station and Nagoya Station takes 2 hours and 19 minutes and costs 4340 yen one-way. All seats on the Limited Express trains are with seat reservations.
For this reason, I recommend it if you are on a tight budget. It is an especially good value for money if you travel on weekends and holidays, or if you couldn’t get an advanced ‘Platt Kodama Economy Plan’ ticket.
In any other case I recommend the ‘Platt Kodama Economy Plan’ which is still much faster and on weekdays costs roughly the same price.
An even more economical option is the local JR Tokaido Main Line. There is no direct train connecting Osaka and Nagoya however, you will need to change trains once at Maibara. The whole trip takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes but costs only 3350 yen.
Bus from Osaka to Nagoya
Highway buses are a great option if you really want to save some money. The connection between Osaka and Nagoya usually takes around 3 hours (depending on traffic) and can be as little as 2000 yen one-way. Depending on the day it can also be more expensive than that, so it always makes sense to compare the prices of bus vs train.
There are different bus stations in Osaka as well as Nagoya, so make sure you check in advance to find the right one.
You can make reservations from 1 month in advance on the Willer Express website.
Driving between Osaka and Nagoya
The roughly 180 kilometers from Osaka to Nagoya can be done by car in about 2 hours and 15 minutes if there is no traffic. It is however probably not the cheapest option with prices for tolls, car rental, and gasoline being relatively high in Japan.
If you decide you do want the flexibility of a car while traveling in Japan, check out your options on rentalcars.com, where you can compare the different rental companies in Japan.
Final Thoughts on Travel between Nagoya and Osaka
If you have a Japan Rail Pass it is very easy to get from Osaka to Nagoya. When trying to save some money it is best to plan ahead and get a ‘Platt Kodama Economy Plan’ ticket. Or for your cheapest option check out the prices of highway buses like Willer Express.
Ready to Book your Trip to Nagoya?
Find the cheapest flights on skyscanner.com, book amazing hotels in Nagoya on booking.com and reserve discounted tours and other activities on klook.com!
The best way to get around Japan is a Japan Rail Pass, book your Japan Rail Pass now on jrailpass.com.
Other posts that might be of interest can be found here:
Do you like Japanese food? Then you will love the food in Nagoya! Check out the Nagoya Food Guide to learn about the local cuisine.
I recommend joining one of my food tours to get a real in-depth look at what kind of food Nagoya has to offer. You can either join a group food tour or let me build a customized private food tour just for you and your friends.
To easily find this post again in the future you should pin it to your ‘Japan Travel’ Pinterest board. If you want you can use the pictures below to save it. For more Japan travel ideas check out my Pinterest boards.
In love with Japan and its amazing food, Lena wants to share her passion with the world. That’s why she started Nagoya Foodie. To teach about Nagoya, her adoptive home online through blog posts and offline through unique food tours.