The stretch Osaka-Kyoto is not covered by the West Rail Pass, as it is managed by JR Central. You can either buy a ticket for that stretch in advance or at the station, before you leave the shinkansen area (but I am not 100 % sure of this latter possibility).
The trip along the Shimanami Kaido from Shikoku is a good one, as the road goes through numerous islands on the way to Hiroshima prefecture.
Ikuchijima and Innoshima are two islands in Hiroshima prefecture that are accessible on this road.
Hiroshima is one of the stops of the Shinkansen, so it's easy to get to. It is about 30 minutes from Okayama station, 1 hour from Kobe, and 6 hours from Tokyo. The ride is smooth, so even from Tokyo, it's not bad!
Take the streetcar in and around Hiroshima. It is very cheap, but if you buy a pass at the train station it is even cheaper! It is a neat experience.
Excellent location close to the Peace Memorial Museum & Park and the Atomic Bomb Dome. Fees for...more
1-1-6 Shiromicho, Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture, 720-0054, Japan
Good for: Business
1344-2 Urasaki-cho, Onomichi, Hiroshima Prefecture, 720-0551, Japan
Good for: Couples