The Kintetsu Nara Line is a private railway operated by Kintetsu Corporation that runs between Fuse Station in Osaka and Kintetsu Nara Station in the historical city of Nara. This line is actually one of a series of rail lines that link the cities of Nara, Osaka, Amagasaki, and Kobe and there are Rapid Express services that run between all four cities on these lines. For practical purposes this means that you can board a train bound for Kintetsu Nara Station at Kobe-Sannomiya Station, Hanshin Amagasaki Station or Osaka Namba Station.
If you are traveling from Osaka, then Osaka Namba is the most convenient station from which to board the Rapid Express to Kintetsu Nara Station. In this article we will look at the key destinations on the Kintetsu Nara Line proper and then look at Rapid Express through train services from other lines. Because the Kintetsu Nara Line is a private railway line, it is not covered by the Japan Rail Pass. However, there are other discount passes available that we will examine at the end of this article.
Technically the Kintetsu Nara Line starts at Fuse Station, but for all practical purposes services on this line actually begin at Osaka Namba Station on the Kintetsu Namba Line. Trains will stop at the following stations before reaching Fuse:
Osaka Namba > Kintetsu Nippombashi > Osaka Uehommachi > Tsuruhashi > Imazato > Fuse
There are 19 stations on the Kintetsu Nara Line proper and these are as follows:
Fuse > Kawachi-Eiwa > Kawachi Kosaka > Yaenosato > Wakae-Iwata > Kawachi-Hanazono > Higashi Hanazono > Hyotan-yama > Hiraoka > Nukata > Ishikiri > Ikoma > Higashi-Ikoma > Tomio > Gakuen-mae > Ayameike > Yamato-Saidaiji > Shin-Omiya > Kintetsu Nara
Key destinations and transfer points are given below with fares and example train times given from Osaka Namba Station.
Osaka Namba Station
The Namba area is a major commercial district in central Osaka, which is famous for Hozen-ji Temple and Hozen-ji Yokocho, a celebrated stone flagged alleyway full of bars, cafes and eateries. Osaka Namba Station is part of a major transportation hub in the Namba area of Osaka and is easily accessed either directly by the Hanshin or Kintetsu lines or indirectly via three other nearby stations. These are: JR Namba Station, Osaka Municipal Subway’s Namba Station, and Nankai Namba Station.
JR Namba Station is accessed by the JR Yamatoji Line.
Kintetsu Nippombashi Station
This station is convenient for the National Bunraku Theatre, the Kuromon Ichiba food market, and the cheap electronics stores of Denden Town. East bound trains for the Kintetsu Nara Line and west bound trains for the Hanshin Namba Line stop at this station. However, Limited Express trains and trains bound for the Kintetsu Osaka Line do not stop at this station. Osaka Municipal Subway’s Nippombashi Station is nearby and there transfers can be made to the Sakaisuji Line and Sennichimae Line.
Train fare: 150 yen
Train time: 1 minute by Sub Semi-Express
Osaka Uehommachi Station
This station is convenient for the Shinkabukiza Theater, the Sheraton Miyako Hotel Osaka and the information exchange center at Osaka International House. Osaka Uehommachi is the eastern terminus of the Kintetsu Namba Line and the western terminus of the Kintetsu Osaka Line. At nearby Tanimachi Kyuchome Station transfers can be made to the Tanimachi Subway Line and the Sennichimae Subway Line.
Train fare: 150 yen
Train time: 3 minutes by Sub Semi-Express
Exit here for Miyuki-dori Shopping Street (also known as Korea Town) and the famous Korean “yakiniku” or grilled meat restaurant Ajiyoshi. There are three closely connected stations here which are run by Kintetsu, JR West, and Osaka Municipal Subway. Transfers can be made to the JR Osaka Loop Line, the Sennichimae Subway Line
Train fare: 210 yen
Train time: 5 minutes by Sub Semi-Express
Trains bound for the Kintetsu Nara Line and Kintetsu Osaka Line both make stops at this station.
Train fare: 210 yen
Train time: 8 minutes
Transfers can be made here to the Kintetsu Osaka Line. Though this is officially the western terminus of the Kintetsu Nara Line, many through train services from Nara run beyond Fuse to Osaka Namba Station, Hanshin Amagasaki Station, and Kobe-Sannomiya Station.
Train fare: 260 yen
Train time: 9 minutes by Sub Semi-Express
Transfers can be made at nearby JR Kawachi-Eiwa Station to the Osaka Higashi Line.
Train fare: 260 yen
Train time: 12 minutes by Local train
Higashi Hanazono Station
Exit here for Hanazono Central Park which contains the Dream 21 Planetarium and the Hanazono Rugby Stadium. The stadium, which was opened in 1929, is Japan’s oldest rugby stadium and has a close relationship with the station which was originally called the “Rugby Ground Station”. Considered the Mecca of Japanese rugby, this stadium is still a major venue for national and international games and holds some historical exhibits in the Rugby Library. The home team are called the “Kintetsu Liners” and are owned by Kintetsu Corporation.
Train fare: 300 yen
Train time: 19 minutes by Sub Semi-Express
15 minutes’ walk from this station in Higashi-Osaka will take you through an old-fashioned shopping street to Ishikiri-Tsurugiya Shrine. The shrine, which is said to date from 658, is dedicated to the god of healing so many people come here to pray for relief from illness.
Train fare: 350 yen
Train time: 27 minutes by Sub Semi-Express
Ikoma is a city in Nara Prefecture and its best known tourist attractions are Mount Ikoma and Hozanji Temple. At Ikoma Station transfer to the Kintetsu Keihanna Line, the Kintetsu Ikoma Line, and the Kintetsu Ikoma Cable Line which takes passengers to Hozanji Temple and up Mount Ikoma.
Train fare: 400 yen
Train time: 20 minutes by Rapid Express
Exit here for the original site of the Heijo Palace and the Nara Palace Museum. The large temple complex of Saidaiji Temple which dates from 765 is also nearby. Transfers can be made here to the Kintetsu Kyoto Line, and the Kintetsu Kashihara Line.
Train fare: 490 yen
Train time: 23 minutes by Rapid Express
Kintetsu Nara Station
The city of Nara is famous for its many shrines and temples, many of which date back to the 8th century when Nara was Japan’s first permanent capital. Eight locations are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Kintetsu Nara Station is convenient for Nara Park, and Kofukuji Temple a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is famous for its five-story pagoda. JR Nara Station is located a 13 minute walk south west of the Kintetsu station.
Train fare: 560 yen
Train time: 36 minutes by Rapid Express
Through Train Services from Other Stations
The Kintetsu Nara Line is part of a connected series of rail lines that run between Kobe, Amagasaki, Osaka and Nara. Rapid Express trains run through services between Kobe-Sannomiya Station and Hanshin Amagasaki Station on the Hanshin Main Line before switching to the Hanshin Namba Line and continuing on to Osaka Namba Station. From Osaka Namba the Rapid Express trains follow the Kintetsu Namba Line and then the Kintetsu Osaka Line before joining the Kintetsu Nara Line at Fuse Station. Here are the fares and train times to Kintetsu Nara Station from the major stations on this route.
|Station||Train Time||Train Fare|
|Kobe-Sannomiya -> Kintetsu Nara||79 minutes||970 yen|
|Hanshin Amagasaki -> Kintetsu Nara||55 minutes||890 yen|
|Osaka Namba -> Kintetsu Nara||39 minutes||560 yen|
A variety of discount passes are available for the Kintetsu Railway which can be used to visit Osaka, Nara, Kyoto, Nagoya and Ise-Shima. Of these the Kintetsu Rail Pass and the Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide are the most useful.
The Kintetsu Rail Pass costs 3,800 yen for adults and 1,900 yen for children aged 6 – 11. Children under 6 years of age can travel for free. This pass gives you 5 days of unlimited travel on all Kintetsu lines and the Iga Railway and 3 tickets for the Kintetsu Limited Express. Discounts for many shops, museums and sightseeing facilities are also included in this pass.
The Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide costs 5,860 yen for anyone aged 6 and over but children under 6 can travel for free. This pass has all of the benefits of the Kintetsu Rail Pass with the added benefit of 2 vouchers for journeys between Kansai International Airport and any Kintetsu Station. It also includes 5 days of unlimited rides on Mie Kotsu buses and Toba’Kamome’ Bus in the Ise-Shima area.
For details of how to use these passes download the PDF Guide for the Kintetsu Rail Pass and the Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide. A full list of special discounts and a complete route map for the areas covered by these passes are also available.
One day or two day passes are also available for selected rail lines between Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto. For more details visit the official Kintetsu Railway website.
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.