We numerically characterize a novel type of a photonic crystal waveguide, which consists of several rows of periodically arranged dielectric cylinders. In such a nanopillar photonic crystal waveguide, light confinement is due to the total internal reflection. A nanopillar waveguide is a multimode waveguide, where the number of modes is equal to the number of rows building the waveguide. The strong coupling between individual waveguides leads to the proposal of an ultrashort directional coupler based on nanopillar waveguides. We present a systematic analysis of the dispersion and transmission efficiency of nanopillar photonic crystal waveguides and directional couplers. Plane wave expansion and finite difference time domain methods were used to characterize numerically nanopillar photonic crystal structures both in two- and three-dimensional spaces.