Hello, this is _hiroyuki.ta. This time, I went to Kotogahama Beach in Wajima City, Ishikawa Prefecture, which is famous for its crying sand beach. Kotogahama is a beautiful sandy beach that has been selected as one of Japan’s Top 100 Soundscapes and Japan’s Top 100 Beaches, and when you walk on it, a mysterious phenomenon occurs where it makes a squeaky sound like the sound of a koto. In this article, we will introduce what kind of place Kotogahama is, how to get there, what kind of highlights there are, and where the bike parking lot is.
What is Kotogahama?
Kotogahama is a beach on the north side of Manazuru Peninsula, located in the northwestern part of Noto Peninsula. It is a bow-shaped sandy beach with a total length of about 1.2 km, and the sand grains are made of fine, round shell pieces. It is called “crying sand” because the sound it makes when the sand rubs is similar to the sound of a koto. However, crying sand changes depending on conditions such as humidity and temperature, so it may not always sound. Also, as crying sand is extremely valuable and rare, it is prohibited to take it home.
There is a legend that a princess of the Heike family washed up on Kotogahama and played the koto. It is said that after the princess died, the sandy beach began to play the sound of a harp. In honor of this legend, the Kotohime Festival is held every August. During this festival, locals enjoy Bon dance and fireworks.
Route to Kotogahama
I rode my bike from central Tokyo to Kotogahama. The bike I used was a Harley Sports Glide (FLSB). This cruiser has a powerful engine and a comfortable ride, making it easy to travel long distances.
The route to Kotogahama is as follows.
- From central Tokyo, take the Shuto Expressway and enter the Tomei Expressway.
- Proceed west on the Tomei Expressway. Along the way, we will take breaks at Ashigara Service Area and Gotemba Interchange.
- From the Tomei Expressway, enter the Tokai-Hokuriku Expressway. Get off at Kanazawa Nishi Interchange.
- From Kanazawa Nishi Interchange, proceed north on National Route 249. Along the way, you will pass by the Noto Toll Road and the Noto Peninsula Skyline.
- From Route 249, enter the Route 249 Bypass. Pass through Wajima city.
- From the National Route 249 bypass, enter Prefectural Route 739. We will go around the Manazuru Peninsula.
- Kotogahama Beach is located along Prefectural Route 739.
This route covered approximately 600km and took approximately 9 hours. There were many scenic roads and sights along the way, making it an enjoyable tour.
Highlights of Kotogahama
When you arrive at Kotogahama, let’s first walk on the sandy beach. Whether or not the sand squeaks depends on your luck, but even if it doesn’t, the contrast between the white sand and the blue sea is beautiful. When you put your feet on the water’s edge, the sensation of the waves is soothing.
After walking on the sandy beach, let’s go to the nearby Nima Sand Museum. Here, the ingredients and mechanism of Kotogahama’s singing sand are on display.
Manazuru Peninsula Nature Park, located about 10 minutes by car from Kotogahama, is also recommended. Here you can enjoy the nature and history of Manazuru Peninsula. From the observation deck, you can enjoy a wide view of the Noto Peninsula and Noto Island. There are also walking trails and a campground.
Kotogahama motorcycle parking lot
Kotogahama has a free parking lot for 50 to 60 cars near the beach. However, it can get crowded with beachgoers in the summer, so it’s best to go early or use the paid parking lot (about 100 spaces) near National Route 9. Paid parking lot is 100 yen per hour.
This time, I went to Kotogahama Beach in Wajima City, Ishikawa Prefecture, which is famous for its crying sand beach. Kotogahama is a beautiful sandy beach that has been selected as one of Japan’s Top 100 Soundscapes and Japan’s Top 100 Beaches, and when you walk on it, a mysterious phenomenon occurs where it makes a squeaky sound like the sound of a koto. Also nearby are Nima Sand Museum and Manazuru Peninsula Nature Park. If you go by motorcycle, you can get there in about 600 km from central Tokyo, which takes about 9 hours. There were many scenic roads and sights along the way, making it an enjoyable tour.
Kotogahama is called Kotogahama in English. Please come and visit us at least once.