If you’re already in Kyoto and you have several days to spend, why not go for a road trip to Nara, another impressive ancient city in Japan? Nara is home to many majestic temples, including Todai-ji Temple, which houses the Diabutsu (Great Buddha), the biggest of its kind in Japan.

Only 25 kilometers south of Kyoto City, Nara makes an excellent day trip destination. But you can also opt to spend a night to take your time sightseeing.

Here are the steps on how to get from Kyoto to Nara:

  1. Take the train. The fastest and most convenient way to get to from Kyoto to Nara is taking the train.
  2. Choose between the two lines: The JR Line or the Kintetsu Railway.

Via the JR (Japan Rail) Line

This line connects to all major transport hubs in Japan. This is your best choice if you already have the JR Pass, (which we recommend you get).

  1. Make your way to Kyoto Station.  The station has two sides called Karasuma (north) and Hachijo (south). Karasuma faces downtown and it is just beside the conspicuous Kyoto Tower.  The Hachijo side faces the Toji Temples and some hotels.
    A look at the Kyoto Station

    A look at the Kyoto Station

  2. Go to the second floor of the station. Proceed to the JR West Gate and look for the JR Nara Line.
  3. Buy the right ticket.  You can choose to get the Yamakoji Kaisoku Express ticket- the fastest transport, which operates every 30 minutes. The travel time takes 45 minutes (you can use JR Pass). You can also take the local line (futsu) – journey takes 70 minutes (you can use JR Pass).