The Gakkentoshi Line is a rail line operated by JR West that runs between Kyobashi Station in Osaka and Kizu Station in Kyoto Prefecture.
Most services on the Gakkentoshi Line terminate at Kizu Station and do not extend as far as Nara. Generally, to access this line from JR Nara Station, you first have to take a Yamatoji Line train for a short journey to Kizu Station, and then transfer to the Gakkentoshi Line. However, there are a limited number of through services in the early morning and evening that connect JR Nara Station directly to the Gakkentoshi Line. These through services provide a direct connection between Nara and key destinations in Osaka City and Hyogo Prefecture.
Six morning services run from Nara to Kyobashi in Osaka and then to Amagasaki in Hyogo Prefecture. In the evening six return services from Amagasaki run back to Kyobashi and Nara. At JR Nara Station, Gakkentoshi Line rapid services depart from Platform 4. Return services from Amagasaki arrive at JR Nara Station’s Platform 5. This service is completely covered by the Japan Rail Pass.
There are six early morning rapid services that run from JR Nara Station to Kyobashi Station in Osaka via the Yamatoji and Gakkentoshi lines. After Kyobashi Station these services continue on the JR Tozai Line to Amagasaki Station in Hyogo Prefecture. In the evening six rapid services follow the same route back from Amagasaki to Nara. Below are the main destinations on this route with example fares and travel times given from JR Nara Station.
JR Kyobashi Station
Kyobashi is a business and entertainment district in Osaka with many restaurants and bars. Kyobashi is also one of Osaka’s major transportation hubs. There are three stations here operated by Keihan Railways, Osaka Municipal Subway, and JR West.
At Keihan Kyobashi Station transfer to the Keihan Main Line which runs between Osaka and Kyoto. Osaka bound trains diverge here for their final destinations: Yodoyabashi Station or Nakanoshima Station.
At Kyobashi Subway Station transfer to the Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Subway Line.
At JR Kyobashi Station transfer to the Osaka Loop Line and the JR Tozai Line. Kyobashi Station is the western terminus of the Gakkentoshi Line. However, rapid through services from Nara continue beyond Kyobashi Station on the JR Tozai Line.
Train fare: 710 yen
Train time: 49 minutes
This station is convenient for Osaka Tenmangu Shrine which dates from 949 AD. This shrine hosts the Tenjin Matsuri festival every July 24th and 25th. Tenjin Matsuri is Osaka’s biggest festival and is considered one of the three great festivals of Japan.
Train fare: 710 yen
Train time: 55 minutes
The Kitashinchi of Umeda is famous for its nightlife and has many restaurants, clubs, and bars. Kitashinchi Station is a 7 minute walk south of the Osaka Station and is connected by underground tunnels to Higashi-Umeda Station, Nishi-Umeda Station and Hanshin Umeda Station.
At Osaka Station transfer to the west bound JR Kobe Line for Kobe and Himeji, the JR Kyoto Line for Kyoto, and the JR Takarazuka Line for northern Kyoto Prefecture. There are also limited express services for Hokuriku, Tottori, and Takayama.
Train fare: 800 yen
Train time: 58 minutes
This station serves the city of Amagasaki in Hyogo Prefecture and it is the western terminus of the JR Tozai Line. Transfer here to the JR Kobe Line and the JR Takarazuka Line. The Regional Rapid service from Nara continues beyond Amagasaki on the JR Kobe Line as far as Nishi Akashi Station. The Rapid service from Nara continues beyond Amagasaki on the Takarazuka Line as far as Shin-Sanda Station. Direct Rapid services from Nara all terminate at Amagasaki Station.
Train fare: 920 yen
Train time: 1 hour and 8 minutes
There are six round-trip services that run between JR Nara and Amagasaki Stations. The Regional Rapid and Rapid services from Nara join the Gakkentoshi Line at Kizu Station. The Direct Rapid services from Nara do not join the Gakkentoshi Line until Hanaten Station. For details of regular services on the Gakkentoshi Line, please see our main article: The Gakkentoshi Line for Nozaki, Kyotanabe, and Kizu.
To look up train times, fares and connections for these services use the JR West Timetable and Farefinder.
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.