Access to Major Areas

Served by the Kintetsu Railway and West Japan Railway (JR West), most of Nara's regions can be accessed with ease by train. An extensive bus network operated by Nara Kotsu is also in place for access to more rural areas, and as an alternative to rail travel.

Nara City

Nara City attractions are spread out across three main areas: Nara Park, Naramachi and Nishinokyo. An extensive citywide bus network connects the areas and their sights.

Yamato Koriyama
  • From Nara Sta. to Koriyama Sta. by JR Train : approx 4 mins
  • From Kintetsu-Nara Sta. to Kintetsu-Koriyama Sta. by Kintetsu Express : approx 11 min
- Yatadera Temple
  • From Kintetsu-Nara Sta. to Kintetsu-Koriyama Sta. by Kintetsu Express : approx 11 min
  • From Kintetsu-Koriyama Sta. to Yatadera bus stop by Nara Kotsu Bus : approx 20 min
  • From Yatadera bus stop to Yatadera Temple on foot : approx 7 min
- Jikoin Temple
  • From Kintetsu-Nara Sta. to Kintetsu-Koriyama Sta. by Kintetsu Express : approx 11 min
  • From Kintetsu-Koriyama Sta. to Katagirinishi Shogakko bus stop by Nara Kotsu Bus : approx 15 min
  • From Katagirinishi Shogakko bus stop to Jikoin Temple on foot : approx 7 min
  • From Nara Sta. to Yamato-Koizumi Sta. by JR Train : approx 7 min
  • From Yamato-Koizumi Sta. to Katagirinishi Shogakko bus stop by Nara Kotsu Bus : approx 5 min
  • From Katagirinishi Shogakko bus stop to Jikoin Temple on foot : approx 7 min
Asuka

Although Asuka is easily reached by train from Nara City, the area's sights are fairly spread out and sometimes far from the station. Make use of the local bus routes to cover the most ground.

- Okadera Temple
- Tsubosakadera Temple
Kashihara Jingu Shrine
  • From Kintetsu-Nara Sta. to Yamato-Saidaiji Sta. by Kintetsu Express : approx 5 min
  • From Yamato-Saidaiji Sta. to Kashiharajingu-mae Sta. by Kintetsu Express : approx 26 min
  • From Kashiharajingu-mae Sta. to Kashihara Jingu Shrine on foot : approx 7 min
Imaicho
  • From Kintetsu-Nara Sta. to Yamato-Saidaiji Sta. by Kintetsu Express : approx 5 min
  • From Yamato-Saidaiji Sta. to Yagi-nishiguchi Sta. by Kintetsu Express : approx 21 min
  • From Yagi-nishiguchi Sta. to Imaicho on foot : approx 5 min
  • From Nara Sta. to Unebi Sta. by JR Train : approx 36 min
  • From Unebi Sta. to Imaicho on foot : approx 6 min
Sakurai
  • From Nara Sta. to Sakurai Sta. by JR Train : approx 28 min
- Ohmiwa Jinja Shrine
  • From Nara Sta. to Miwa Sta. by JR Train : approx 25 min
  • From Miwa Sta. to Ohmiwa Jinja Shrine on foot : approx 10 min
- Tanzan Jinja Shrine
  • From Nara Sta. to Sakurai Sta. by JR Train : approx 28 min
  • From Sakurai Sta. to Tanzan Jinja Shrine by Nara Kotsu Bus : approx 25 min
Hasedera Temple
  • From Kintetsu-Nara Sta. to Yamato-Saidaiji Sta. by Kintetsu Express : approx 5 min
  • From Yamato-Saidaiji Sta. to Yamato-Yagi Sta. by Kintetsu Express : approx 20 min
  • From Yamato-Yagi Sta. to Hasedera Sta. by Kintetsu Local Express : approx 13 min
  • From Hasedera Sta. to Hasedera Temple on foot : approx 21 min
Yamanobe-no-Michi
  • From Nara Sta. to Tenri Sta. by JR Train : approx 13 min
Murouji Temple
Soni Highland
  • From Nara Sta. to Sakurai Sta. by JR Train : approx 28 min
  • From Sakurai Sta. to Nabari Sta. by Kintetsu Express : approx 26 min
  • From Kintetsu-Nara Sta. to Yamato-Saidaiji Sta. by Kintetsu Express : approx 5 min
  • From Yamato-Saidaiji Sta. to Yamato-Yagi Sta. by Kintetsu Express : approx 20 min
  • From Yamato-Yagi Sta. to Nabari Sta. by Kintetsu Express : approx 30 min
  • From Nabari Sta. to Taroji by Mie Kotsu Bus : approx 45 min
Gojo
Yoshino
  • From Kintetsu-Nara Sta. to Yamato-Saidaiji Sta. by Kintetsu Express : approx 5 min
  • From Yamato-Saidaiji Sta. to Kashiharajingu-mae Sta. by Kintetsu Express : approx 26 min
  • From Kashiharajingu-mae Sta. to Yoshino Sta. by Kintetsu Express : approx 39 min
  • From Senbonguchi Sta. to Yoshinoyama Sta. by Yoshinoyama Ropeway : approx 3 min
  • From Yoshinoyama Sta. to Hanayagura Observatory on foot : approx 57 min
Omine-Okugake Trail
Dorogawa Onsen
Mitarai Valley
Odaigahara Plateau
Totsukawa
  • From Kintetsu-Nara Sta. to Yamato-Saidaiji Sta. by Kintetsu Express : approx 5 min
  • From Yamato-Saidaiji Sta. to Yamato-Yagi Sta. by Kintetsu Express : approx 20 min
  • From Yamato-Yagi Sta. to Totsukawamura Yakubamae by Nara Kotsu Bus : approx 4 h 25 min
Ikoma
- Mt Ikoma
  • From Kintetsu-Nara Sta. to Ikoma Sta. by Kintetsu Express : approx 13 min
  • From Ikoma Sta. to Ikoma Sanjo Amusement Park Sta. by Ikoma Ropeway : approx 16 min
  • From Ikoma Sanjo Amusement Park Sta. to Ikoma Sanjo Amusement Park on foot : approx 15 min
- Mt Shigi
  • From Nara Sta. to Oji Sta. by JR Train : approx 14 min
  • From Oji Sta. to Shigi-Ohashi by Nara Kotsu Bus : approx 8 min
Horyuji Temple

The Horyuji area is a short train ride from Nara Station, but also well-served by buses departing from Nara Park. Many of these also make stops in Nishinokyo and Yamato Koriyama.

  • From Nara Sta. to Horyuji Sta. by JR Train : approx 10 min
  • From Horyuji Sta. to Horyuji Temple on foot : approx 17 min
Taimadera Temple
  • From Kintetsu-Nara Sta. to Yamato-Saidaiji Sta. by Kintetsu Express : approx 5 min
  • From Yamato-Saidaiji Sta. to Kashiharajingu-mae Sta. by Kintetsu Express : approx 26 min
  • From Kashiharajingu-mae Sta. to Taimadera Sta. by Kintetsu Limited Express : approx 17 min
  • From Taimadera Sta. to Taimadera Temple on foot : approx 15 min

Trains & Buses

Trains

The Kintetsu Railway and West Japan Railway (JR West) operate rail service throughout Nara. Both network operators offer money-saving passes to overseas visitors, making rail travel an affordable and convenient option. An overview of the different passes covering travel to and within Nara can be found on the Travel to Nara page.

Buses & Bus Tours

Buses

Nara Kotsu operates the prefecture's extensive bus network, making it possible to travel to many of the more remote areas not served by rail. They also run many tourist-friendly bus routes linking the key attractions in Nara City, and in other popular areas like Asuka. For affordable pay-as-you-go travel within the city, look out for the red and blue Gurutto buses: fares are just ¥100 per trip. Alternatively, pick up one of the inexpensive money-saving bus passes below, covering travel to areas as far as Murou and Sakurai.

Nara 1-Day Pass

Money-saving bus pass covering the Nara Park and Nishinokyo areas

  • Valid for one full day
  • ¥500 for adults/¥250 for children
  • Entitles the bearer to discounts and special services at 42 restaurants and shops within the area.

Nara 1-Day Pass Wide

Includes the Horyuji and Yamato Koriyama areas to cover a slightly larger area than the regular 1-Day Pass

  • Valid for one full day
  • ¥1,000 for adults/¥500 for children
  • Entitles the bearer to discounts and special services at 42 restaurants and shops within the area.

Nara 2-Day Pass

The most inclusive bus pass covering key attractions further afield in the Asuka, Murou and Sakurai areas in addition to those covered in the passes above

  • Valid for two consecutive days
  • ¥1,500 for adults/¥750 for children
  • Entitles the bearer to discounts and special services at 42 restaurants and shops within the area.

Bus Tours

If deciding where to go and figuring out timetables is not your thing, you may want to put your feet up and book onto one of the sightseeing tours offered by Nara Kotsu or Nara Visitor Center & Inn.

Nara Kotsu

  • 4 tours offered, covering the Nara Park, Horyuji, and Nishinokyo areas
  • Audio guides available in English and Chinese
  • Discounts available for groups of 8 or more

Nara Visitor Center & Inn

  • 3 tours offered, covering the Yamato Koriyama, Asuka, Sakurai and Kashihara areas
  • Tours given by English-speaking guides
  • Interactive tours offering unique cultural experiences

Taxis

Taxis provide a convenient alternative to travel by bus, especially in more remote areas where bus services from train stations to key attractions can be infrequent. In such areas, it is worth noting that taxis generally cannot be hailed and are only available from ranks outside train stations. Calling to order a taxi is possible but you may need help from a local to explain your location in Japanese.

Taxis are more readily available within Nara City and can sometimes be hailed at peak times during the day. Those around Nara Park, however, can only be caught from designated taxi ranks along the edge of the park. When struggling to flag a taxi in the city, head to one of the stands at the park or outside either JR Nara Station or Kintetsu-Nara Station.

Bicycle Rental

With numerous businesses and tourist information facilities offering bicycle rental services throughout Nara, cycling can be an exciting and more active alternative to travel by bus and train. In addition to regular bicycles many outlets offer battery-powered bicycles, which make hills a breeze. It is also worth noting that certain rental locations allow for bicycles to be returned at partner locations elsewhere. For more information on rental locations throughout Nara, click on one of the areas in the list.