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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).
Updated Oct 13, 2010
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.
Written Apr 13, 2006
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!
Written Oct 3, 2005
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.
Written May 24, 2005
Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima Hiroshima
1 Review and 74 Opinions (last date stayed - Aug. 24, 2007) Rihga Royal Hotel single room - JPY 13,000 5% consumption tax...