Kyoto is a city in Japan.
The easiest way and a great place to hitch is directly from the Service Area "Otsu SA". To get there take the JR line eastwards from Kyoto St to Otsu (two stops, 190 Yen). In Otsu, exit the station at the north exit, turn right and walk until the first crossroads with traffic lights. There turn right again and walk straight for 10 minutes. Before you see the motorway bridge crossing your street theres a mound with stairs that leads up to the motorway (Meishin Expy) and directly to the service area. You're on the side towards Nagoya and Tokyo now but you can change to the other side (towards Hiroshima, Osaka etc.),too. Maybe you have to climb a little fence to get to the stairs that bring you up to the Service Area, but when I was there, the gate was open. Very great and accessible place! http://goo.gl/maps/QXv7
Alternative: From the main station ask your way to Jonan-Gu-Shrine. It's basically a little west from the main station and then about 2 miles south down one and the same road. Once you get to cross a small canal you can see the ramp on to Meishin Expy, which goes west-east, so from Osaka to Tokyo and on. Best position yourself in front of the McDonald's just before the bridge to go east to Nagoya/Tokyo. Oh, and of course, learn the Kanji writing of the place you want to go to and make a sign.