Nara is a great day trip to make during a stay in Kyoto or Osaka. This historical town, Japan’s first capital, is easily accessible using a JR Pass.
To get to Nara from Kyoto with the JR Pass you would need to travel from Kyoto station, from there you can get on the JR Nara line which is 7 stops (45 mins) to JR Nara station. Alternatively you can take the Kintetsu limited express train which is around 3 stops (35min) to Kintetsu Nara station, but this train isn’t covered by the JR Pass and would cost around 1280 yen one-way.
To get to Nara from Osaka using the JR Pass, you would need to travel from JR Osaka station on the JR Yamatoji line to JR Nara station. It takes around 45 minutes one-way. Alternatively you can travel from Kintetsu Osaka-Namba station to Kintetsu Nara station in around 30 minutes, however this route is not covered by the JR Pass and would cost around 1300 yen one-way.
Once in Nara, we recommend walking from the train station, going straight through Sanjo-dori street, to Nara Park. Many of the main attractions such as Todaiji temple are found here, and you can explore the area to your heart's content. The walk from JR Nara station takes around 15-20 minutes.
Be advised that the buses in Nara cannot be used with the JR Pass, you will need to pay the fare in cash unless you have an IC card such as the Suica.
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