Chirihama Nagisa Driveway
Chirihama-machi, Hakui City; Imahama-machi, Hodatsushimizu Town
20th century～21th century
This is the only place in Japan where you can drive right along the water’s edge. It is an 8-km stretch of beach road — a type of road that would be hard to find anywhere else in the world. The unique sand of Chirihama makes it possible. The sand particles are small, a quarter of the size of ordinary ones. They have a uniform, angular shape, which makes the driveway hard when it absorbs water. Seeing fishermen’s trucks for carrying unloaded fish at Chirihama, a local bus company employee tried driving a bus there in 1955. That is how Nagisa Driveway started. Subsequently, driving through splashing water has made Chirihama popular among tourists visiting Noto. It has become known all over Japan. Once the driveway was more than 50 m in width. As it has become narrower due to erosion in recent years, conservation activities are being carried out. They include installing artificial reefs and taking measures against sand outflow.