Asia Japan Nara Travel

Day Trip to Nara: Kyoto/Osaka Day Trips

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Share on LinkedIn
Pin to Pinterest
Share on StumbleUpon

People often travel to Kyoto and Osaka – the two biggest tourist destinations in west Japan – however not many people travel to Nara, even though you can easily get there from the famous tourist destinations. We took a day trip to Nara when we were traveling Osaka: it was as if we found ourselves in the ancient city. Here are some must-see places in Nara, one of the oldest capital in the country!


About Nara

The capital of Japan was once located in this ancient city from 710 A.D., until it was moved to Kyoto in 784. The period was called Nara period, and it had one of the first structured and systematic social system.


How to get there

Because of the metro and trains spreading all over the city, it is easy to get to Nara from surrounding area, especially Kyoto and Osaka.


From Kyoto Station
Kintetsu Kyoto Line (For Kintetsu Nara Station)
Get off at KIntetsu Nara Station
  • Time: About 50 minutes
  • Cost: 620 yen


From Osaka Station
JR Osaka Loop Line (For Kyobashi, Tsuruhashi Station)
Change trains at Tsuruhashi Station
Kintetsu Nara Line (For Kintetsu Nara Station)
Get off at Kintetsu Nara Station
  • Time: About 60 minutes
  • Cost: 670 yen ($)


What to see



If you come to Nara, you must visit Todai-ji temple, the most famous tourist attractions in Nara. It has 50 feet tall buddha statue in the main hall, which is the biggest bronze statue in the world. After walking through the street full of street food vendors, you will see how big the hall is – people look so small from distance. Being registered as the UNESCO World Heritage Site, this temple goes in top of your bucket list!
  • Entrance fee: ¥500 (Junior high school and over), ¥300 (Elementary school)
  • Opening hours: 7:30 – 17:30 (Opening hours change depends on the season. More details here)
  • Address: 406-1 Zoshicho, Nara, Nara Prefecture 630-8211, Japan (Google Maps)
  • How to get there: 20 minutes walk from Kintetsu Nara Station
  • Official website:


Nara Park


It is probably the only park in the world where you can see this many wild deer (about 1000 of them) in the center of the city. They are peacefully lying down here and there in the park, people taking pictures with them and feeding them Shika sembei (Deer rice crackers). Since the popular TV show “Shikaotoko Aonioshi” was broadcasted in 2008, Shika sembei (Deer Rice cracker) became famous, and now everyone is buying one set of rice crackers (¥150 yen) and feeding it to them. This 600 ha park includes  Todaiji and Kofukuji temple, and the whole area seems like a historical district.
  • Entrance fee: free
  • Opening hours: 24 hours
  • Address: (Google Maps)
  • How to get there: 20 minutes walk from Kintetsu Nara Station
  • Official Website: (Japanese Only)




Being located near Nara station, as well as walking distance from Todaiji temple, Naramachi is where you can find old street fill of Machiya (townhouses) from Edo period. Fortunately this area remained undamaged during WWII, so you can see how the town looked like in the past. Some people are still living in the houses, and others use them as restaurants and souvenir stores. You can easily get there from Nara Stations and Nara Park area, so I recommend to drop by this old part of the town.
  • Entrance fee: free
  • Opening hours: 24 hours
  • Address: Chuincho, Nara, Nara Prefecture 630-8392 (Google Maps)
  • How to get there: 10 minutes walk from Kintetsu Nara Station
  • Official Website: (Japanese Only)




Isuien is one of the traditional Japanese gardens in Nara city. Start from the peddle walk after the entrance, to teahouse and beautiful little flower gardens – you can small the fresh air, and appreciate the moment of silence. Probably all of the ancient city has same kind of Japanese gardens, however there won’t be many where you can see this spacious garden with many trees and ponds. Come appreciate the beauty of Japanese garden in this ancient city!
  • Entrance fee: ¥900 (Adult), ¥500 (High school and junior high school), ¥300 (elementary school)
  • Opening hours: 9:30 – 16:00 (Closed on Tuesdays and New Year holidays)
  • Address: 74, Suimonchō, Nara, Nara Prefecture 630-8208 Japan (Google Maps)
  • How to get there: 15 minutes walk from Kintetsu Nara Station


How to get around


By walk
All of the tourist attractions above are within 20 minutes walking distance from Kintetsu Nara Station. You can easily move between places.


By bus
Gurutto Bus
Gurutto Bus stops at some major tourist attractions in Nara city. It connects Todaiji and Nara temple area in the east and Heijo Palace area which is on the west side of the city. It only costs 100 yen, so it is a convenient way to move around the city.
  • Cost: 100 yen


You’ve been to Nara before? Tell me your experience in the comment down below! 🙂

You Might Also Like

1 Comment

  • Reply Tiffany May 17, 2016 at 12:19 am

    Beautiful! I really wish to visit Japan someday.
    Tiffany recently posted…龍潭 Longtan | Taste of the CountrysideMy Profile

  • Leave a Reply

    CommentLuv badge

    %d bloggers like this: