Nara is served by both the JR trains and the Kintetsu company's trains. We chose the Kintetsu Line for our travels from Osaka to Nara and from Nara to Kyoto, primarily because the Kintetsu Station in Nara is much closer to the tourist sites than the JR Nara Station, saving us a good amount of walking. The Kintetsu Nara Station is small, but clean, with many gift shops, tourist information areas, coin lockers, clean restrooms.
We took the local train from Osaka to Nara for around 500 Yen. The local train took about an hour, but we could have chosen the Kintetsu Limited Express for about 550 Yen more per seat. Much of the ride was scenic, along the mountains east of Osaka, overlooking the city. Approaching Nara, we also got a good look at Nara's Heijo Palace site to the north of the train.
Going from Nara to Kyoto, we chose the Limited Express train and sat in the upper level of car three. This also offered us a good view of the former palace, but the rest of the 30 minute journey offered few sites other than small towns and rice fields. This ticket,for reserved seats cost us 1110 Yen (I think a local train would normally be about 600 Yen).
The city limits of Nara extend well-beyond the Nara Park area. The famous Enjoji Temple and the Yagyu area are within Nara, but there are no train stations here, so you'll need to take a bus. There are 5 buses per day that go to Yagyu and all of them stop near Enjoji along the way. There are also 5 from Yagyu back to the stations. It is very easy to see Enjoji and the Yagyu area in one day.
The buses to this area leave JR Nara Station at Bus Stop #1 from the Nishiguchi Exit and Kintetsu Nara Station at Bus Stop #4. The bus numbers are 94 and 102.
Enjoji's stop is called Ninnikusen, so don't panic and get off at the stops with 'Enjoji' in the name.
Yagyu's stop is Yagyu. Some of the buses terminate at Yagyu while others continue on, so you'll still want to listen for the stop. The information centers in Nara have all the updated bus timetables so it's a good idea to go there to get them so you are aware of all the times.
From JR Nara Station it takes 38 minutes to reach Ninnikusen (Enjoji) and 54 minutes to Yagyu.
From Kintetsu Nara Station is takes 31 minutes to reach Ninnikusen (Enjoji) and 48 minutes to Yagyu.
Although a fixed sightseeing bus is also good, if you want to take a walk Nara or want to inspect the world heritages of Nara in your original pace,
I recommend 1 day free pass.There are mainly three kinds.
:Nara city section Free ticket-500yen
:Nara city and Nishino-kyo Free ticket-810yen
:Nara city, Nishino-kyo and Ikaruga Free ticket-1600yen
I bought Nara city and Nishino-kyo Free ticket. Since this pass is free-ride in one day and getting-on-and-off freedom, a charge is profitale. Almost all the world heritages of Nara can be inspected with this pass. Kofuku-ji, Kasuga Taisha, Todaiji, Toshodai-ji, Yakushi-ji and the remains of Heijokyo so on. Although it is my personal opinion, area of Horyuji Temple also have selection of going by train.
It may be incomprehensible at first for a foreigner,even Japanese I may make a mistake in riding on . Let do your best, purchase and use one day free pass.
The places which can purchase these passes are the Kintetsu "Nara" station and JR "Nara" station.
Probably, the uneasier one will be good to use a fixed sightseeing bus.
There are several types of bus passes for Nara.
(i) One Day Pass (only for 'fixed fare zone' in Nara City)
Adult : JPY500
(ii) This Pass allows you to travel in Nara City('flat fare zone' only), Sahoji, Nishinokyo and Tono areas. Heijokyo Capital and Toshodaiji Temple are covered with this Pass.
Adult : JPY810
(iii) One Day Pass (Nara, Nishinokyo and Ikaruga Areas)
Adult : JPY1,600
(iv) Two-Day Nara Yamatoji Wide Pass
Adult : JPY3,150
For a map of the bus system in Nara, go to the following website. hmm.. seems like there's "Free rides" which I do not know of when I was there.. maybe you can check it out and tell me...
There are two trains that will take you near Nara Park: Kintetsu Nara Station and JR Nara Station. You will need to use Kintetsu Railway to get to other sites in the city.
Kintetsu Railway can take you to the Heijo Palace ruins and Saidaiji Temple at Yamato Saidaiji Station. It will also get you within easy walking distance of Toshodaiji and Yakushiji Temple from Nishinokyo Station.
"Vanbina " is the Bus following a circular route in Nara City main route.
On foot, the Nara city sightseeing is so hard. If you want to travel in one day , the Kofuku-ji area, the Todaiji-area, the area of Kasuga Taisha, the Takahata circumference, the area of Nara-cho and so on, " Vanbina " intelligible for foreign tourists is recommendation.
A numbering machine and the English notation are given so that intelligibly also for foreign tourists. Moreover, while also giving the English notation to the route figure and the timetable in main bus stops that are installed with the color of Vanbina .
It has a big window which can enjoy a wide scene, and is prepared for the rear the view seat which has arranged the seat outward. It is the interior design of the grain tone which uses the MUKU material of a cherry tree in plenty, and the trip feeling to an ancient city is enlivened.
The charge is 180 yen.
Nara is best reached by train.
Nara has two competing train stations : JR Nara Station , on the west side of the town centre, and the private Kintetsu-Nara Station in the city centre.
The quickest option is a Limited Express train on the private Kintetsu-Kyoto line (every 30min; 33min; ¥1110); the ordinary express takes a little longer and you have to change at Yamato-Saidaiji (1-2 hourly; 45min; ¥610). JR also has a choice of express trains (8 daily; 45min; ¥740) and regular trains (every 30min; 1hr 20min; ¥740) from Kyoto.
Trains on the private Kintetsu-Nara line (from Osaka's Kintetsu-Namba Station) arrive at the Kintetsu-Nara Station (every 15min; 30-40min; ¥540-1040). Alternatively, take a JR line train from Osaka Station (every 20min; 40min; ¥780), or from JR Namba Station (every 20min; 30-40min; ¥740) to JR Nara Station.
If you're coming here from Kansai International airport , you can go into central Osaka to pick up a train, or hop on a limousine bus (hourly; 1hr 35min; ¥1800), which stops at both Nara's train stations.
From Kyoto Station, go to platform 9 and take the rapid train to Nara. It's a 45 minutes jouney and there's one that leave at 9.19am.
Once you arrived at Nara, go to bus stop no. 1 and take bus no. 2 to Nara Park which is the gateway to all the ancient sights in Nara.
This bus will take you to the World Heritage sites.
You can get a one-day bus pass for around 800yen. The pass is called "Sekai Isan Guruto Pass".
The bus departs every 6o minutes and goes to the following sites:
Toshodaiji Temple ~ Yasushiji Temple ~ Suzahu-Mon Gate (the ruins of Nara Heijokyo Capital) ~ Nara Shiseki Bunka (Culture) Centre ~ Kintetsu Nara Station ~ Kofukuji Temple ~ Himuro Jinja ~ Nara National Museum ~ Daibutsuden Kasugataishamae ~ Nakashimizu-cho ~ Gankoji Temple ~ JR Nara Station
You can get on and off the bus as you please.
The Shinkansen is by far the most convenient way to travel around Japan. Unfortunately it isn't very cheap! Luckily there is a Japan JR Rail Pass available to foreign travellers. See the JR East website for details:
It must be bought abroad and stamped in Japan before you can use it. There are several options including one week (unlimited JR travel except for the super fast Nozomi service), two week, JR East and JR West passes. Check with your local travel agent for the best option or click on the link to see for yourself!
Here is a link to a very cool page that lets you see the routing between cities/stations/ports within Japan. It will tell you the route and includes the cost and time. http://www.jorudan.co.jp/english/norikae/.
There are many people who run around Nara with Rickshaws transporting tourists from the station to the temples and shrines. Although it is quite easy to walk you may like to experience a ride in a rickshaw (at least then the deer won't attack you or eat your map!!)
From Osaka or kyoto it is about a 1 hour train ride to Nara. Both the JR and Kintesu lines will take youthere. JR is a little more expensive but it goes more often and the Ltd. Express trains are the same price as the locals.
The Kintesu line is fine. it also takes you directly into Nara but you either have to pay more for a Ltd. Express seat or you have to wait for a local or express train.
I ussually travelled vian Keihan and Kintestu to Nara.
Once you are in nara the best thing to do is WALK!
Sekai Isan Gurutto Pass
(A round trip pass to World Heritage sites)
This is a one-day pass which costs JPY800 and going to the following places:
Toshodaiji Temple - Yakushiji Temple - Suzaku-Mon Gate (Ruins of Nara Heijokyo Capital) - Nara Shiseki Bunka Center - Kintetsu Nara Station - Kofukuji Temple (Kencho Mae) - Himurojinja Shrine - Nara National Museum - Daibutsuden Kasugataisha Mae - Naka Shimizu Cho - Gankoji Temple - JR Nara Station
This sightseeing bus depart every 60 minutes.
We walked from JR station to visit the places of interest. We felt too tired to walk back on the hot and sunny day, so we took a bus back to the station. Remember to collect the ticket when you board the bus. Then give to the driver when you alight and pay for the ride. The transportation system is excellent in Nara too. There's a circle route around Nara.
There are two types of busses in Nara; one is front-embarking and rear-disembarking type and another is front-disembarking and rear-embarking type. For the former, the passengers pay their fare in advance when they board the bus. The fare is fixed throughout the service zones. For the latter, passengers take a numbered ticket when boarding the bus, and pay the fare according to the number on the ticket. The fare is indicated at the front display panel.
Did you know there are special bicycle motels in Japan where you can stay and rent bikes?
Japan's 57 cycling terminals have overnight guestrooms, conference rooms and bike rentals. Rates are approximately 5000 yen for 1 night with 2 meals included. Bicycle rental is about 500 yen for 4 hours. Bicycles can be rented on an hourly or daily basis.
Below is the contact information for bicycle rental in Nara including the address.
855-2 Kawanishi-cho, Kashihara-shi, Nara