Nara is a popular tourist destination in the Kansai region and being under an hour from Osaka and Kyoto makes for a perfect day trip to the city.
Nara is a rather small town and is serviced by two main rail stations JR’s Nara Station on the JR Nara Line and JR Yamatoji Line and the Kintetsu Nara Station on the Kintetsu Nara Line and Kyoto lines making access from central Osaka or Kyoto simple. A rapid express train from Osaka can reach Nara in around 40 minutes. Both stations are several blocks away from each other and are not directly connected, fortunately both stations are well serviced by site seeing buses and both have very good tourist information desks who can supply English maps and information.
The most popular way to explore Nara is on foot, from JR Nara Station it is around a 1klm walk to Konfukuji Temple via Sajodori Street (itself a popular tourist strip) from there you are looking at a 500mt walk to the Nara National Museum and the start of the large Nara Park area that is home to magnificent Todaiji Temple and Kasuga Grand Shrine as well as plenty of friendly dear.
Other options to get around Nara include renting a bike (available near JR Nara Station) or hop on one of the local buses that service both local stations. There are a couple of local loop routes that should go near most places you would like to visit, the tourist info desk at the stations should be able to advise you of the best route you could take when you visit Nara.