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, got a late flight touching down at Kansai 9:45pm, what are the options from there to Nara station?

    Seems tough, considering the time needed to check out of the immigration.

    1. Hi Eddie,

      Kansai airport 23:18 (Nankai railway airport rapid) 23:59 Shin-Imamiya 00:10 (local train) 00:59 Nara

      This is the last train connection. But there are some more trains before this last connections. Please use hyperdia to find it:

      If you miss this last train connections, there is no public transportations to get Nara. You have to take a taxi but taxi fare to Nara is 25,100 yen. Train fare is around only 1,500 yen.

      As long as your flight arrives on time, you can catch the last train.

      But it will be very tight in case of delay. If you want to avoid any risks, I recommend you to cancel hotels in Nara and find it near airport.


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hi, I have the JR PASS, what is the best way to travel :
    1) from Osaka to Nagoya?
    2) from Osaka to Nara
    3) from Osaka to Kyoto
    4) what time is the first departure on shinkasen from shin-osaka station?

      1. Thank you very much takeshi!!
        I also have another question, do JR PASS holders need to pass by JR office to get the shinkasen tickets for non reserved seats ? Same procedure for subway/train ?
        Thanks again!

        1. Hi Jim,

          If you take non reserved seat, all you have to do is showing your pass at the ticket gate and proceed to the platform. It’s same procedure as taking a local train. By the way, JR Pass does not cover subway.


          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. I’m traveling to Nara from Shin-Osaka station with a JR pass. Do I use the JR pass from Shin-Osaka to Tennoji then switch to Yomatoji Line? Do I need to get off and transfer train at this point? Thanks.

  4. Hi,

    We’ll be staying in Shin-Osaka and would be visiting Nara. We’ll be getting the Kansai Wide Area Pass. According to JP website it says that Rapid Services is included in the pass. Just like to confirm with you experts if this is true? and can we use “Yamatojil Rapid Service”?


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