221 series Yamatoji rapid at Nara station

Rapid train service to Nara from Osaka by Japan Railway, Yamatoji Rapid Service

Yamatoji Rapid Service by 221 series
Yamatoji Rapid Service by 221 series (C)w0746203-1 (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0, GFDL or CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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


Sign of Yamatoji Rapid Service
Sign of Yamatoji Rapid Service

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.

Travel time

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.


(C) w0746203-1 (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(C) R3’s web site

37 thoughts on “Rapid train service to Nara from Osaka by Japan Railway, Yamatoji Rapid Service”

  1. Hi we will be staying at Hotel Brighton City Osaka Kitahama and want to go to Nara for a day trip on Saturday. Google map gave below route. Is it the best route? Thanks.
    Kitahama Station – Dobutsuen-Mae Station (Sakaisuji Line) JPY230/adut
    Walk to Shin-Imamiya Station
    Shin-Imamiya Station – Nara Station (JR: Osaka loop line then Yamatoji Line) JPY560/adult

    1. Hi Ting,

      I recommend you the following route:

      Kitahama (subway 180 yne) Nippombashi (Kintetsu railway 560 yen) Kintetsunara

      If you put “Kintetsunara” in the destination, you can find this route on hyperdia. Kintetsunara is much better location than JR Nara station.


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hi,

    We are traveling on the 16th of September from Osaka to Oji. We have a Japan Rail pass. Can you please advise on how to go there and the timings of the trains ?
    This is our exact address :

    kudo 2-chome 13-25
    Oji-cho , Kitakasuragi-gun, Nara 636-0003

    Thanks a lot,


    1. Hi Antoine,

      I don’t know much about this address. But it seems to be near JR Oji station. So you can take the train, Yamatoji Rapid in the post above.
      Train runs frequently, like every 10 to 15 minutes in day time. Even in early morning and late night, local train runs from 5:30 to midnight. If you want to know exact schedule, use hyperdia to find it.


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. We are staying at Daiwa Roynet Hotel,Uehonmachi, Osaka. We want to go to Nara on Sunday morning about 9 am. What is the best way to go from the hotel to Tennoji station to take the Yamatoji Rapid Service to Nara ? The 2 subway stations near the hotel are Tanimachi 9 Chome and Osakauehonomachi. I would much appreciate your kind advice.


    1. Hi Jay,

      Please see the link below:

      You can take Tanimachi line to get Tennoji.

      But why don’t you take Kintetsu railway from Osaka-Uehonmachi. You can get Nara from Osaka-Uehonmachi by Kintetsu railway directly.


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Thank you Takeshi-san. I am opting to take JR because my Nara tour starts from the JR station in Nara. I guess the cost is the same whether you travel by JR or Kintetsu train to Nara.

  4. Just wondering if you can use these new Suica cards to travel on this service. We don’t have a JR rail pass for this section of our stay and are hoping to get from Osaka to Nara for a day trip.
    Also just wondering if this is a direct service? Do you have to change trains at any point.

  5. Hello, how often do trains go from Osaka to Nara? And what time is the departure of the last train from Osaka to Nara in the evening time?

    Thanks in advance!

  6. I will travel to Osaka Kansai airport arrived at 1030pm, what is the last train to namba? Is there a coach to Namba?

  7. Dear Sirs,
    Please advise.
    We (3 adults) will be arriving at Nov 19th to Osaka Internl Airport (landing at 12.40 pm) and we need to get to HOTEL NIKKO NARA * * * * 8 1 SANJO HOMMACHI NARA PREFECTURE | 630-8122 Nara-Shi | Japan.
    And we leave at Nov 22 from the same place and airport.
    Could you suggest an itinerary and approximate fare charged by JP Rail.


  8. I will be arriving at Osaka Airport. Can I know if there is a direct access from the airport to Nara via Yamatoji Rapid Service using my JP Rail Pass?

  9. Once again thanks for website.

    I have never taken the
    JR trains to Nara, I have always used the Kintetsu line, but next time I will try TR from tennoiji

    1. Hello Andy,
      You are right. Kintetsu is more popular to get Nara. But JR trains give us direct transfer from Osaka. So it is more convenient for the travellers who stay around Osaka station.And also if you use Japan Rail Pass, you don’t need to pay any extra. : )
      Try this train next time. It is not bad.
      Takeshi / JP Rail

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