Tokyo is the current capital of Japan, and one of the biggest cities in the world. If you like the metropolitan life style or just want to experience the atmosphere, you should go there.
If you want to visit Tokyo while you stay in Kyoto or vice-verse, use one of the following three transportation methods.
This is the best and fastest way to travel. It costs much more than the other two options, but in my opinion, it’s worth the cost. It only takes 2 hours and 20 minutes and it costs 13320 yen.
Local train (non-express)
This method is suitable for people who want to avoid using the bus and do not want to pay much. It costs about 8000 yen and takes more than 6 hours. It is cheaper but I can’t recommend it because of time you have to spend on the train. Just in case you have a JR Rail Pass and want to stop by a few places on the way, I’ll show you how to get to Tokyo from Kyoto without using the Shinkansen.
Kyoto -> Maibara (JR Biwako Line: Nagahama Bound)
Maibara -> Ogaki (JR Tokaido Honsen: Ogaki Bound)
Ogaki -> Toyohashi (JR Tokaido Honsen: Toyohashi Bound)
Toyohashi -> Hamamatsu (JR Tokaido Honsen: Hamamatsu Bound)
Hamamatsu -> Numazu (JR Tokaido Honsen: Numazu Bound)
Numazu -> Tokyo (JR Tokaido Honsen: Tokyo Bound)
Note: Be sure to leave early in the morning so that you can reach Tokyo on the same day.
Long distance bus
You can take a long distance bus to get to Tokyo from Kyoto station. You can buy a ticket at the ticket center inside JR Kyoto station. The bus leaves early in the morning (arrives at night) or late at night (arrives early in the morning). The fee depends on the type and season, but it usually costs 4000 to 8000 yen. And the bus leaves from the Hachijo Exit (not the exit where you can see Kyoto Tower).