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How To Get To Nara From Osaka And Kyoto

How To Get To Nara From Osaka And Kyoto

Nara 2016.06.16

Nara is full of sightseeing spots such as Todaiji and Horyuji, and only a short distance away from Osaka and Kyoto. Read on to learn about the access to Nara.

Translated by Shinji Takaramura

Written by MATCHA

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Nara: A UNESCO World Heritage City

todaiji

Nara prefecture has a serene atmosphere, and is the home to historic architectures such as Todaiji Temple and the World Heritage site of Horyuji Temple.

Nara can be reached easily from Kyoto and Osaka, so people traveling the Kansai region can also visit Nara.

However, there are no direct railroad routes to Nara from Tokyo. Visitors must travel to Kyoto or Osaka, and switch trains from there.

This article is about how to reach Nara from Kyoto and Osaka.

Kintestu and JR

From Osaka and Kyoto, there are two routes to Nara. Using the limited express of Kintetsu Railway (Kintetsu), or using the local trains of JR Nara Line.

The routes start from Osaka Staion and Kyoto Station, respectively. Kintetsu Nara Station and JR Nara Station are located separately, and it takes fifteen minutes to walk from one station to the other, so visitors should choose which line to use according to their destinations.

Read also:

Sightseeing In And Around Nara, The UNESCO World Heritage City

For Kofukuji, Kasuga Taisha and Todaiji: Kintetsu Nara Station

【目的地別】京都、大阪から世界遺産の街・奈良へ行こう!!!

People who wish to visit the deer-filled Nara Park, Todaiji Temple, famous for the huge statue of Buddha, or Kofukuji Temple, well-known for its the five-storied pagoda, should head for Kintetsu Nara Station.

1. From JR Osaka Station

Take the Osaka Loop Line (outer loop) bound for Tennoji. At Tsuruhashi Station, transfer to the Kintetsu Nara Line bound for Kintetsu Nara. The ride takes about an hour, and the fare is 670 yen.

2. From Kintetsu Kyoto Station

The fastest and the most comfortable route is to use the Kintetsu limited express. The ride takes about 35 minutes. All the seats are reserved, so you won't have to stand during the ride. The fare is 1130 yen, so it might be a little expensive, but a reserved seat is worth the price.

Reservations can be made at the Kintetsu official site, or at the JR ticket counter.

Those who wish to save some money should take the Kintetsu Kyoto Line express bound for Kintetsu Nara, which costs 620 yen. The ride takes about 50 minutes, and there are no reserved seats.

If you happen to board a train bound for Kashiharajingu-mae, transfer to a train bound for Kintetsu Nara at Yamato-Saidaiji Station.

A limited express from Kyoto runs twice an hour, while the cheaper express train runs four times an hour.

Read also:

Are There Really Deer Everywhere In Nara Park?
The Mysterious Historical City Of Nara

For Horyuji: JR Nara Station

【目的地別】京都、大阪から世界遺産の街・奈良へ行こう!!!

People who wish to visit Horyuji Temple, the world's oldest wooden architecture, should head for JR Nara Station. There is a large bus terminal at this station, so those who plan to use buses should also use the JR lines.

1. From JR Osaka Station

Access from JR Osaka Station is quite easy. The Osaka Loop Line bound for Nishikujo and Nara will take you directly to JR Nara Station. The ride takes about fifty minutes, and the fare is 800 yen.

2. From JR Kyoto Station

Access from JR Kyoto Station is also simple. The ride on the JR Nara Line Miyakoji rapid train bound for Nara will take about 45 minutes, and the fare is 710 yen.

If you board a local train bound for Nara, the ride will take about an hour, while the fare is the same at 710 yen.

For Omiwa Jinja, Hasedera and Mt. Miwa: Kintetsu Sakurai Station

世界遺産の街・奈良へ行こう!京都、大阪からの行き方ガイド

Photograph from the article: Omiwa Jinja: A Shrine That Worhips Mt. Miwa, Where The Deity Resides

Those who wish to visit Omiwa Jinja, one of the oldest shrines in Japan, Hasedera Temple, where visitors can enjoy flowers throughout the year, or Mt. Miwa, where the deities of Omiwa Jinja reside, should head for Sakurai Station of the Kintetsu Line.

1. From JR Osaka Station

You will need to make one transfer during this route. Take the Osaka Loop Line bound for Kyobashi and Tsuruhashi. At Tsuruhashi Station, transfer to the Kintetsu Osaka Line bound for Aoyamacho. The ride takes about an hour, and the fare is 800 yen.

2. From Kintetsu Kyoto Station

Take the Kintetsu Kyoto Line express bound for Kashiharajingu-mae, and transfer to the Kintetsu Osaka Line bound for Yamato-Asakura at Yamato-Yagi Station. The ride takes about 70 minutes, and the fare is 940 yen.

For Mt. Yoshino: Kintetsu Yoshino Station

【目的地別】京都、大阪から世界遺産の街・奈良へ行こう!!!

To visit Mt. Yoshino, which is famous for the cherry blossoms, you must head for Kintetsu Yoshino Station. From there, walk to the Senbon-guchi Station, and the cable car will take you to Yoshinoyama-guchi Station, located at Mt. Yoshino.

Please note that the cable car is currently out of service due to a malfunction in the system, and scheduled to resume operations in the summer of 2019. So walk along the Nanamagari-zaka hiking trail, which offers a great view. It will take about twenty minutes to the Shimo-Senbon area.

For details, please take a look at this page. (Japanese link, English translation available.)

1. From JR Osaka Station

The access to Kintetsu Yoshino Station is a little complicated. Take the Yamatoji rapid train bound for Nishikujo and Tennoji. Get off at Tennoji Station, walk for ten minutes to Osaka-Abenobashi Station. From there, board the Kintetsu Minami Osaka Line/Yoshino Line limited express bound for Yoshino.

The ride takes about an hour and 40 minutes, and the fare is 1670 yen. The limited express ticket can be purchased a month in advance at various travel agencies, Kintetsu stations or the Kintetsu official site.

2. From Kintetsu Kyoto Station

Take the Kintetsu limited express bound for Kashiharajingu-mae. At Kashiharajingu-mae Station, transfer to the Kintetsu limited express bound for Yoshino. The ride takes about an hour and 40 minutes and the fare is 2550 yen.

There are other routes to Yoshino, but they are all complicated and takes time, so it would be better to use the limited express.

Using a Taxi

【目的地別】京都、大阪から世界遺産の街・奈良へ行こう!!!

If you prefer a direct route, or have luggage, using a taxi might be easier. It takes about an hour and a half to reach Nara City from both Osaka and Kyoto, respectively, and the fare is approximately 13,000 yen.

Many people have visited Osaka and Kyoto, but it might be fun to extend your trip to Nara as well.

Read also:

Sightseeing In And Around Nara, The UNESCO World Heritage City
How To Travel To Nara From Tokyo - Comparing Train And Bus Routes
10 Places To Visit In Nara, The Ancient Capital Of Japan
A Two Day Sightseeing Tour of Nara (Japanese)
How To Take A Taxi In Japan

** This article is a revised 2018 version of the original, published on May 30th, 2016.

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