Hakui city and Hodatsu Shimizu-cho in Ishikawa prefecture boast the 8-kilometer-long Chirihama Nagisa Driveway – the only sandy beach in Japan on which you can drive a car. Buses, motorcycles, and bicycles are also allowed on the beach 24 hours a day, meaning that it really is “The beach where anything can run.” It’s a great place for a leisurely drive but you need to experience it in order to fully appreciate the salty sea breeze on your face as you pass along the edge of the surf in the spectacular Noto-hanto Kokutei Koen (Noto Peninsula National Park). Taking a drive at sunset is an unforgettable experience.

Twenty to thirty years ago, Chirihama beach was about 50 meters in width, but gradual erosion of the sand beach means that today the beach has a width of only about 35 meters. Ishikawa prefecture is currently working on protecting the beach by supplying sand from inland areas and also through the creation of artificial reefs, but if you want to enjoy the unique experience of driving on the beach, it’s best to hurry so that you don’t miss it. From May to October, it’s also worth seeing the huge sand statue carved just beside the Chirihama rest house. Bear in mind, however, that beach traffic is restricted in bad weather, including whenever the waves are deemed too large for safe driving. If you would like to check information regarding traffic restrictions, please call 0767-22-1225.

Chirihama Nagisa Driveway – drive your car on the beach!

Posted on 22/09/2015

Access: From Kanazawa city, get on the Noto Satoyama Kaido (Noto Village Forest sea road) and get off at Imahama Interchange, from where you can drive to the beach. The journey takes about one hour from Kanazawa. Noto Satoyama Kaido is the motorway directly connecting Kanazawa and the Noto peninsula.

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Chirihama Nagisa Driveway  Photo: Ishikawa Prefecture

Toyota rent-a-car would be convenient from Kanazawa station. Their shops are located at both the east and west exits of Kanazawa station.

Chirihama Nagisa Driveway  ©Akimasa Yuasa/©JNTO