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How to travel between Nara and Kyoto

Two railway companies, JR and Kintetsu, provide train connections between Kyoto and Nara:

By Japan Railways (JR)
Direct, 45 minutes, 720 yen one way, two connections per hour
Miyakoji rapid trains operate every 30 minutes between Kyoto Station and JR Nara Station. The one way trip takes 45 minutes, costs 720 yen and is covered by the Japan Rail Pass. For the same fare, the trip could also be made by twice-hourly local trains in 75 minutes.

By Kintetsu Railways
0-1 transfers, 35-45 minutes, 640-1160 yen one way, multiple connections per hour
Twice-hourly limited express trains take about 35 minutes and cost 1160 yen for the one way trip from Kyoto Station to Kintetsu Nara Station. Alternatively, there are hourly direct express trains that take 45 minutes and cost 640 yen one way. There are additional connections by express trains if you do not mind transferring once at Yamato-Saidaiji Station. The Japan Rail Pass is not valid on Kintetsu trains.

Above fees and schedules are subject to change. Be sure to check current yen exchange rates.

Getting around

Nara is served by two railway companies, Kintetsu Railways and JR West. The Kintetsu station is an underground station just a few steps from Kofukuji and Nara Park, while the JR station is a 15-20 minute walk west of Kofukuji and the park. A network of buses, operated by Nara Kotsu, connects the two stations with all sites of interest. All major IC cards are accepted on the trains and buses around Nara, including Suica and Icoca.

Many of Nara's main attractions are found in the centrally located Nara Park and can be visited on foot. The great temples Toshodaiji, Yakushiji and Horyuji, however, stand several kilometers outside of central Nara and are best accessed by bus or train.

Passes and Tickets

The Nara Bus Pass provides unlimited use of Nara Kotsu buses around Nara. It comes as a 1-Day Pass for 500 yen that covers central Nara and the Toshodaiji/Yakushiji area, a 1-Day Pass Wide for 1000 yen that additionally covers the Horyuji area, and a 2-Day Pass for 1500 yen that additionally covers the Asuka area. The pass is on sale at the bus ticket offices across the street from Kintetsu Nara Station and inside JR Nara Station.

A sort of an extension of the Nara Bus Pass' 1-day wide version is the 1-Day and 2-Day Kintetsu Rail Pass, which is available to foreign tourists only. In addition to the buses around Nara (as far as Horyuji), it also covers unlimited rides on Kintetsu local, rapid and express trains between Osaka, Nara and Kyoto. The 1-day pass costs 1500 yen while the 2-day pass costs 2500 yen.

Hotels around Nara

Top rated in Nara
Budget:
    • Guest House Oku
      Budget-friendly
      A 5-minute walk from Kintetsu Nara Station, Guest House Oku is located a 15-minute walk from JR Nara station. Guest House Oku features a total of 3 guest rooms and free WiFi throughout the property. All rooms come with air conditioning. A toilet and shower is available for guests. You will find luggage storage space at the property. Kofuku-ji is 900 metres from Guest House Oku, while Todaiji Temple is 1.4 km away. Kansai International Airport is a 95-minute limousine bus ride away.
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    • Mountain Home Lodge in Deer Park
      Budget-friendly
      Situated in Nara, near Nara Park, Kasuga Taisha and Kofuku-ji Temple, Mountain Home Lodge in Deer Park features free WiFi. Each unit is fitted with air conditioning, private bathroom and a kitchen including a microwave, fridge, stovetop and a toaster. If you would like to discover the area, hiking is possible in the surroundings. Todai-ji Temple is 2.4 km from the lodge, while Heijo Palace Ruins is 6 km from the property. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 49 km from Mountain Home Lodge in Deer Park.
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    • Hilo Hostel
      Mid-range
      Located 1.5 km from Kofuku-ji Temple, Hilo Hostel provides rooms with air conditioning in Nara. This 3-star hostel offers a shared kitchen, luggage storage space and free WiFi. Local points of interest like Todai-ji Temple and Kasuga Taisha are reachable within 2.4 km and 2.6 km, respectively. Popular points of interest near the hostel include Naramachi, Nara Prefectural Art Museum and Gangoji Temple. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 46 km from Hilo Hostel.
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    • NARA Visitor Center and Inn
      Budget-friendly
      The Nara Visitor Center and Inn is situated in the heart of Nara, just a 3-minute walk from Kofuku-ji Temple and Naramachi. The Todai-ji Temple and Deer Park are a 10-minute stroll away, while Nara Station on the Kintetsu Line is a 7-minute walk. JR Nara Station is 14-minutes away on foot. All guest rooms feature air conditioning and heating, and are equipped with a fridge and flat-screen TV. Japanese samue nightwear are available to all staying guests. Some units come equipped with an en suite bathroom with a shower, while some Japanese-style rooms come with an en suite shower. Japanese-style rooms feature tatami (woven-straw) floors and Japanese futon bedding. The property offers free WiFi access and a 24-hour front desk. Luggage storage is available. There is a public bath on site, where guests will find free toiletries and hairdryers. A coin launderette, a shared kitchen and free-use internet PCs are offered on site. The on-site tourist information desk offers information in English, Chinese and Korean. Services offered at the desk include transport and meal tickets at a discount, currency exchange, bike hire at a charge, cultural activities at an additional charge, such as Japanese calligraphy lessons, and tour arrangements. Some cultural activities such as origami folding are offered free of charge.
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    • Yuzan Guesthouse
      Budget-friendly
      Conveniently located a 5-minute walk from Kintetsu Nara Station and a 8-minute walk from JR Nara Station, Yuzan Guest House Annex offers cosy accommodation with a shared kitchen. Free WiFi access is available throughout the property. Each room is simply decorated and comes with air conditioning and heating facilities. Guests can choose to stay in Japanese-style rooms featuring tatami (woven-straw) floor and futon bedding. Bathroom facilities are shared. At Guest House Yuzan Annex you will find a small garden, a terrace and a shared lounge. Free luggage storage is also available upon request. Guests can make a 10-minute stroll to the Nara Park, located in the city central area. Todaiji Temple and Heijo Palace are both a 10-minute drive away while Kansai International Airport can be reached with a 80-minute drive. Meals are not served on site.
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    • Guesthouse Naramachi
      Budget-friendly
      The 100-year old Guesthouse Naramachi offers simple Japanese-style accommodation just a 5-minute walk from JR Kyobate Train Station. The property is completely non-smoking. It offers massages, bicycle rental and free Wi-Fi throughout. The World Heritage registered Nara Park is a 10-minute walk away. Guests at Naramachi can choose a private room with tatami (woven-straw) flooring and Japanese futon beds. All rooms are air-conditioned, and bathrooms and toilets are shared. Bath towels, washclothes and Yukata robes can be rented. JR Nara Train Station is a 20-minute walk, and Kofuku-ji Temple is a pleasant 10-minute walk away through the traditional streets of Nara. Gangoji Temple and three public baths are available within a 5-minute walk. Various types of bicycles can be rented. A free-use kitchenette is provided, with a microwave, fridge and electric kettle. At time of booking, you must inform the hotel what time you plan to check in. If your check-in time changes, please update the hotel. Guests who require parking must inform the hotel at time of booking.
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    • Kotonoyado Musashino
      Luxury
      Kotono yado Musashino offers accommodation in Nara, and is located a 11-minute drive from Nara Station on the Kintetsu Nara Line. Free WiFi is provided throughout the property and free private parking is available on site. Every room includes a flat-screen TV. You will find a kettle in the room. Rooms include a shared bathroom. For your comfort, you will find slippers and a hair dryer. There is luggage storage space at the property. The ryokan also offers free use of bicycles. Kofuku-ji is 1.1 km from Musashino, while Kasuga Taisha is 300 metres from the property. The nearest airport is Osaka Itami Airport, 39 km from the property.
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    • Guest House En
      Budget-friendly
      Guest House En is set in Nara, within 2.5 km of Todai-ji Temple and 2.7 km of Kasuga Taisha. Featuring a shared lounge, the 2-star guest house has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a shared bathroom. The guest house features family rooms. The units in the guest house are equipped with a kettle. At Guest House En all rooms are equipped with bed linen and towels. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Kofuku-ji Temple, Naramachi and Gangoji Temple. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 48 km from Guest House En.
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    • Onyado Nono Nara Natural Hot Spring
      Luxury
      Featuring natural hot spring baths on site, Onyado Nono Nara Natural Hot Spring is set in Nara, just a 3-minute walk from JR Nara Station. Free WiFi is available throughout the property, and private parking is available on site. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Kofuku-ji Temple is 15 minutes on foot. All rooms include a flat-screen TV and electric kettle in the room. Rooms have a private bathroom fitted with a bath or shower and bidet. For your comfort, you will find slippers, free toiletries and a hairdryer. Extras include a fridge and toothbrushes. There is a 24-hour front desk at the property. Free luggage storage service is provided. Todaiji Temple is 10 minutes by car from Onyado Nono Nara Natural Hot Spring, while Nara Park is a 20-minute stroll from the property. Osaka Itami Airport is 37 km away.
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    • Nara Guesthouse Kamunabi
      Budget-friendly
      Nara Guesthouse Kamunabi has a restaurant, bar, a shared lounge and garden in Nara. Popular points of interest nearby include Naramachi, Nara National Museum and Shin Yakushiji. Free WiFi is available and private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. Complete with a shared bathroom, all guest rooms at the guest house come with air conditioning, and some rooms also feature a seating area. The rooms feature a safety deposit box. Continental and American breakfast options are available every morning at Nara Guesthouse Kamunabi. Guests at the accommodation will be able to enjoy activities in and around Nara, like cycling. Popular points of interest near Nara Guesthouse Kamunabi include Kofuku-ji Temple, Todai-ji Temple and Gangoji Temple. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 48 km from the guest house.
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