Translated by Shinji Takaramura
How To Travel To Nara From Tokyo - Comparing Train And Bus Routes
Written by Jumpei Kawashima
Nara is a city with a history longer than that of Kyoto and with just as many historical treasures. How to get to Nara from Tokyo? In this article we compare train and bus routes, and we explain how to change trains after reaching Kyoto by bullet train.
Todaiji Temple in Nara
Nara is a city in the Kansai Region, known for its historic scenery. It was once the Japanese capital, older than Kyoto, and its main sightseeing spots are famous temples and shrines, such as the Todaiji Temple.
To reach Nara from Tokyo, using a bus or train is recommended. But the shinkansen, or bullet train, does not stop at Nara, so you will have to switch trains in Kyoto.
The following article is about the various routes to Nara from the Tokyo area.
From Tokyo to Nara: By Shinkansen
Take the shinkansen from Tokyo, and switch trains at Kyoto Station. There are three types of shinkansen to choose from: Nozomi, Hikari and Kodama, with Nozomi being the most efficient. Both reserved and non-reserved seats are available, so look for a ticket that fits your budget and travel plan.
The shinkansen fare with a reserved seat from Tokyo to Kyoto is 14,450 yen for Nozomi (two hours and 10 minutes ride), 14,410 yen for Hikari (two hours and 40 minutes), and 14,410 yen for Kodama (four hours and 30 minutes).
There are two "Nara" stations. The JR Nara Station can be reached via the JR Nara Line, and the Kintetsu Nara Station via the Kintetsu Kyoto Line. Be sure to check which station suits your destination.
From Kyoto Station, the fare to the JR Nara Station is 710 yen (45 minutes ride), and 620 yen (44 minutes) to the Kintetsu Nara Station.