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Getting Here and Around
The hourly airport limousine bus from KIX takes 90 minutes and costs ¥1,800. From Itami, buses leave hourly, take 55 minutes, and cost ¥1,440.
Two local bus routes circle the main sites (Todai-ji, Kasuga Taisha, and Shin-Yakushi-ji) in the central and eastern parts of the city: Bus 1 runs counterclockwise, and Bus 2 runs clockwise. Both stop at JR Nara Station and Kintetsu Nara Station and have a flat fare of ¥180.
Bus 97 heads west to Horyu-ji (with stops at Toshodai-ji and Yakushi-ji), takes about 50 minutes, and costs ¥760; you can catch it in front of either station. Pick up a bus map at the Nara City Tourist Information Center.
With relatively flat roads, an abundance of greenery, and most of the major sights located within Nara Koen, by far the best way to see Nara is on foot. Even the quaint, traditional streets of Nara-machi are a 10-minute walk from Nara's two central stations. For people with less time, most of the main sites can be reached by bicycle, except for those along the eastern edge of the park, such as the San-gatsu-do, the Ni-gatsu-do, and Kasuga Taisha.
For small groups, short taxi rides within Nara cost only slightly more than buses. Expect to pay about ¥1,000 to get to Kasuga Taisha from either of the main train stations.
From Kyoto, the best option is the private Kintetsu Railway's Limited Express trains, which leave every half hour for the 33-minute trip (¥1,110). Three JR trains from Kyoto run every hour. The express takes 45 minutes (change at Yamato-Saidai-ji); the two locals take 70 minutes. All JR trains cost ¥740 without a JR Pass.
To get to Horyu-ji Temple in western Nara, take a JR Main Line train from JR Nara Station. The ride to Horyu-ji Station takes 11 minutes and costs ¥210.
JR Nara Station. Sanjo-hon-cho, Nara-ken, Nara, 630-8122. 0742/22-9821.
Kintetsu Nara Station. 29 Higashi-mukinaka-cho, Nara-ken, Nara, 630-8215. 0742/24-4858. www.kintetsu.co.jp/foreign/english/useful/about_stations/3-4-nara.html.
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