The Sanyo Shinkansen from Osaka to Fukuoka (Hakata) runs down the coast of Hiroshima prefecture, stopping at all major cities including Hiroshima and Onomichi. Direct Nozomi trains from Tokyo take about four hours to reach Hiroshima and cost ¥18,500 one-way.
Atomic Bomb Memorial Museum and Peace Park A visit to Hiroshima naturally brings people to the Atomic Bomb Memorial Museum and Peace Park to see the real affects of atomic warfare. Genbaku Dome is the famous symbol of Hiroshima, as it one of the only structures that remained standing after the bomb hit. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Hiroshima Castle (広島城, Hiroshima-jō) - The original castle was built in the 1590s however, it did not survive the atomic bomb. The present-day castle is a reconstruction built in 1958. Only a picture was used in the reconstruction of the castle, so it is not exactly the same as the original castle.
Shukkeien Garden (縮景園 Shukkeien) - The garden was originally constructed in 1620 by the daimyo Asano Nagaakira. The gardens suffered extensive damage in the atomic bombing in 1945 however, it was reconstructed and opened to the public in 1951.
Okayama Prefecture lies to the east. Kurashiki with its beautiful and well-preserved historic district is easily accessible from Hiroshima Prefecture. Other cities in the prefecture include Okayama, which contains many museums, Korakuen Garden one of Japan's Top 3 gardens, and the Kibi Trail, among other things. The city of Takahashi is home to the famous Bitchu Matsuyama Castle, which is the highest castle in Japan, as well as one of Japan's remaining original castles.
Shimane Prefecture is located north of Hiroshima Prefecture. In Izumo you can find Izumo Shrine, the second most holy Shinto Shrine in the nation; it's quite an impressive site. The city of Matsue is famous for Matsue Castle, one of only twelve original castles left in Japan, Vogel Park, one of the largest greenhouses in the world, and the Lafcadio Hearn Residence. Shimane is also home to one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, Iwami Ginzan, in Oda.
Yamaguchi (prefecture) borders Hiroshima Prefecture to the west. In the city of Yamaguchi, you will find the beautiful Rurikoji Temple, Joieiji Temple, and memorial for Saint Francis Xavier. In Hagi, there are many cultural sites, such as the ruins of Hagi Castle, Hagi Castle Town, and the Hagi Uragami Museum which houses a large amount of famous Japanese Ukiyoe artwork. For nature lovers, Akiyoshidai is home to Akiyoshidai Plateau, the largest limestone plateau in Japan and the Akiyoshido Cave, the largest cave in Japan. Akiyoshidai is not so well known among foreign tourists however, it is a unique and and very worthwhile addition to one's travel itinerary.