Yamatoji Rapid Service is the fastest local train that is operated between Osaka (=大阪) and Nara (=奈良). Most of local tourists take Kintetsu line (近鉄) to Nara. Because they have many more trains and very frequent. If you travel in Japan without Japan Rail Pass, you may use Kintetsu line. But most of travellers from foreign countries use Japan Rail Pass. So this Rapid Service is your best choice, because you don’t need to pay any extra by Japan Rail Pass. This line used to be very local and inconvenient. But JR West upgrade the trains and operate many Rapid trains. It is very convenient and frequent departure these days.
And there is no limited express train to Nara. So this Yamatoji Rapid Service is the fastest and best choice for accessing from Osaka.
Route, schedule and trip time
View Yamatoji Rapid Service (大和路快速) in a larger map
Most of trains are operated between Tennoji (=天王寺) and Nara (=奈良). In daytime, this Rapid Service is operated every 15-20 minutes between Tennoji and Nara, and every 30-40 minutes between Tennoji and Kamo (=加茂). Some of the trains extended to operate to Gojo (=五条) or Takada (=高田) on Wanakayama line (=和歌山線).
This Rapid Service departs from Tennoji and goes on Osaka Kanjo line (=大阪環状線) via Tsuruhashi (=鶴橋) and Kyobashi (=京橋) to Osaka (=大阪). Then it still goes on Osaka Kanjo line to Tennoji via Nishikujo and Bentencho. After making one circle trip on Osaka Kanjo line, this train takes Kansai line (=関西本線) to Nara.
Yamatojil Rapid Service stop at these following stations:
Tennoji-(stop at all stations on Osaka Kanjo line via Tsuruhashi and Kyobashi)-Osaka-Nishikujo-Bnetencho-Taisho-Shinimamiya-Tennoji-Kuhoji_Oji… After stop at Oji, all trains stop at all stations.
Average travel time among the major sections are as follows:
Osaka – Nara about 55 minutes
Tennoji – Nara about 35 minutes
If you think about taking this train from Tsuruhashi or Kyobashi, don’t take this train. Take Osaka Kanjo line to Tennoji directly. (Opposite way to Osaka) Then take Yamatoji Rapid Service at Tennoji. It is much faster.
Yamatoji Rapid Service is operated by 221 series.
Yamatoji Kaisoku By w0746203-1 (Own work (本人撮影)) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0, GFDL or CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Interior image 1 By w0746203-1 (Own work (本人撮影)) [GFDL or CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Interior image 2 and Washroom interior image by R3’s web site