Kyoto to Nara train with JR pass. One day trip to Nara from Kyoto. Public transportation train travel in Japan. Backpacking Japan.

This guide on how to get to Nara from Kyoto goes along with this one day Nara itinerary with the best places to visit.

 

As an ancient capital of Japan, Nara can be a good place to go for some history and culture.

Kyoto to Nara train with JR pass. Day trip to Nara from Kyoto. Best places to visit in Nara in one day. Ancient capital city. Todai-ji with Great Buddha. Backpacking Japan.

This city is also where you’ll find the nearly 50 foot tall Great Buddha, the largest bronze statue of Buddha in Japan.

Kyoto to Nara train with JR pass. Day trip to Nara from Kyoto. Best places to visit in Nara in one day. Ancient capital city. Todai-ji with Great Buddha. Backpacking Japan.

Oh, and the deer. Nara is also very well-known for the deer.

Kyoto to Nara train with JR pass. Day trip to Nara from Kyoto. Best places to visit in Nara in one day: Deer park. Backpacking Japan.

You will see them everywhere. If you’ll be making your way to the top attractions of Nara, you won’t have to go searching for deer. They are all around.

 

Nara is an easy one day trip from Kyoto, as well as from Osaka, which is perfect if you want to avoid dragging around your luggage to one more city!

And although not a good day trip to make, you can see how to get from Tokyo to Nara too.

 

 

And…

Plan your trip to Japan

 

There are affiliate links below. You should totally check these things out to plan out your perfect trip to Japan!

 

How much does a JR pass cost?!

See the current price from an official JR pass vendor for a 7-day, 14-day, and 21-day pass.

 

What are the best tours in Japan?!

Best of Tokyo
Best of Kyoto
Best of Osaka
Best of Mt Fuji

 

 

So now, is it easy to get from Kyoto station to Nara by train?

Yes, it can be!

 

With the JR pass, there is a specific train that you’ll need to take, but there are still frequent enough timings of trains running between Kyoto and Nara that it’s pretty convenient.

 

If you’re looking to get to Nara using your JR pass, you basically have one option that you’ll want to take.

If you don’t have a JR pass, you have a few options to get from Kyoto to Nara by train:

  • JR train (JR pass option)
    • JR local rapid train
    • JR local train
  • Kintetsu train
    • Kintetsu limited express train
    • Kintetsu express train

 

How to get from Kyoto station to Nara with a Japan rail pass

Cost with JR pass: FREE!

 

  • JR LOCAL RAPID TRAIN
    • Time: 50 minutes
  • JR LOCAL TRAIN
    • Time: 1 hr 15 minutes

 

From Kyoto to Nara you only need to take one train, and the train ride is covered under the JR pass.

Between the rapid and the regular local trains, the obvious choice is to take the JR rapid train to get to Nara, and that would be your best option!

 

How much does it cost to get to Nara from Kyoto station WITHOUT a Japan rail pass?

Now, let’s say you’re trying to figure out if you should have your JR pass activated when you go to Nara, or you won’t be traveling around Japan at all with a JR pass.

Listed prices are approximate just so you can start to get at least a little bit of an idea.

These are your main options.

 

Kyoto to Nara train with JR pass. One day trip to Nara from Kyoto. How much does it cost? How much time? Kintetsu or JR train. Train travel with Japan rail pass. Backpacking Japan.

 

Option 1: Kintetsu limited express train

Cost: 1,130 yen (US$10)

 

  • KINTETSU LIMITED EXPRESS TRAIN
    • Time: 35 minutes

 

This is the fastest way to get to Nara.

And out of the options laid out here, it’s also the most expensive.

For this train, you’ll need to get a separate ticket that requires a seat reservation. You can buy this at the train station right before you board the train.

 

Option 2: Kintetsu express train

Cost: 620 yen (US$6)

 

  • KINTETSU EXPRESS TRAIN
    • Time: 50 minutes

 

If you want to save a little bit of extra money, this is probably your best option.

 

Option 3: JR train

Cost: 710 yen (US$6)

 

  • JR RAPID TRAIN
    • Time: 50 minutes
  • JR LOCAL TRAIN
    • Time: 1 hr 15 minutes

 

And of course, you can take the JR rapid train or JR regular train even if you don’t have a Japan rail pass.

Both of these trains cost the same whether you take the rapid or slow train.

 

JR train or Kintetsu train to Nara?

If you have a choice, consider going to Nara on the Kintetsu line.

In Kyoto, the JR line and Kintetsu line can be found at the same station. This is not the case in Nara. The JR Nara stop is located in a separate location from the Kintetsu Nara stop.

The Kintetsu train station is slightly closer to the best things to do in Nara compared to the JR train station.

But even if you take the JR train to get to Nara, it’s not that big of a deal, as the distance between the 2 train stations is about a 10 minute walk.

 

Public transportation apps to download before your trip to Japan:

  • Google Maps
  • Navitime for Japan Travel

Have these apps on your phone and you’ll become a pro in no time at navigating public transportation in Japan!

When you’re in Kyoto and ready to head to Nara, search for directions to Nara from your current location!

Top tips for using Navitime to get from Kyoto to Nara
  • To search train timings when you’re traveling with a JR pass, see the option “tourist pass”
  • If you’re not using a JR pass, you’ll need to search for the JR train and Kintetsu train separately, since they are 2 different train stations
    • For the JR line, it’ll be “Nara”
    • For the Kintetsu line, it’ll be “Kintetsu-Nara” with the hyphen and no spaces

 

Best things to do on a one day trip to Nara from Kyoto

 

Now that you have a better idea of how to get to Nara, what to do when you get there?!

Here are some ideas!

 

1. Visit Great Buddha Hall at Todaiji Temple

Kyoto to Nara train with JR pass. One day trip to Nara from Kyoto. Best things to do: Todaiji temple, Great Buddha. Backpacking Japan

 

2. Walk to Kasuga taisha shrine

Kyoto to Nara train with JR pass. One day trip to Nara from Kyoto. Best things to do: Hike Nara Park to Kasuga taisha. Backpacking Japan

 

3. Visit Kasuga taisha

Kyoto to Nara train with JR pass. One day trip to Nara from Kyoto. Best things to do: Visit Kasuga taisha. Backpacking Japan

 

4. Visit Sangatsudo temple

Kyoto to Nara train with JR pass. One day trip to Nara from Kyoto. Best things to do: Sangatsudo temple. Backpacking Japan

 

5. Visit Kofukuji temple

Kyoto to Nara train with JR pass. One day trip to Nara from Kyoto. Best things to do: Kofukuji temple. Backpacking Japan

 

Plan your trip to Nara

For further details on planning your trip to Nara, be sure to take a look at this list of the best places to visit in Nara in one day so you can see lots and lots of deer!

 

Kyoto to Nara train with JR pass. Day trip to Nara from Kyoto. Best places to visit in Nara in one day. Near deer park. Backpacking Japan.

HAPPY KYOTO TO NARA PLANNING!

 

How much does it cost to go from Tokyo to Kyoto? 

How much does it cost to go from Osaka to Hiroshima?

How much does it cost to climb Mt Fuji?

 



More quick tips for planning your trip to Japan

There are affiliate links on this page that take you to partner websites.

The super fast train in Japan
In general, 2 long-distance shinkansen train trips will likely end up making it so the JR pass will be worth it. But here's how to calculate it to be sure.

See the current price of a JR pass from an official vendor.

Natural disasters in Japan
Unfortunately, Japan can be prone to natural disasters which means risk for travel delays. So be sure to look at travel insurance for natural disasters.

My travel insurance took care of my accommodation and food costs when I was forced to stay extra days in Japan because of a typhoon.

See how much insurance costs for your trip.

Create your Japan itinerary


That's it for now!




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