A little over an hour by train on JR Nara Line. Schedules and fares - www.hyperdia.com/cgi-english/hyperWeb.cgi
I just did research and seems like taking nonJR line is closer? Please kindly correct me if I am wrong. Many thanks.
You can take Kintetsu Nara Line from Kyoto station to Nara for 1,110 Yen. All seats are reserved. This is an expensive way to travel between the two cities.
By the way, you can also take the Kintetsu Kyoto Express for 610 Yen. It takes 46 minutes instead of 36 minutes compared to the Kintetsu Limited Express. JR Nara Line takes 47 minutes and cost 690 Yen.
Kintetsu is the better choice overall as it gets you quite a bit closer to Nara Park.
The 1day pass listed in the link you provided is for those coming from the Kobe area to Nara. The way I see it, its price is about half what you'd normally pay when you get to Nara and back.
As for the easier access to places of interest in the central parts of Nara from either railroad station, Kintetsu is a better bet than JR: Deer Park is only one block away from Kintetsu. Limited express trains (500yen surcharge incurred) depart for Nara from Kyoto twice hourly. If you hop on a standard express train, you should choose one bound for Nara, as otherwise you'd end up having to transfer along the way. Not sure when you are coming, but we're now right in the peak for sakura, which is turnng side streets/hills/riverbanks pink almost in everywhere.
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