Melody Roads - Streets that play music in Japan

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In Japan there are streets, highways or roads that play a song as the car passes by. These roads are called “Melody Roads” [メロディーロード] and in this article we are going to talk about these streets that play music in Japan.

The songs are played as the car passes through an avenue with grooves in the floor, all without the use of technology. These grooves implanted in the asphalt cause vibrations with the tires that, in fact, make the sound of music.

These musical streets are found not only in Japan, but in Denmark, South Korea, the United States, Mexico, China and San Marino. I want to take advantage of the momentum of the article to list where you can also find these highways in another country.

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How did the streets that play music come about?

The first musical road was made in Denmark, specifically in Gylling in the year 1995. It was made by 2 Danish artists who gave the name Asphaltophone, the music played in this section is an arpeggio in the key of F Major.

In Japan, Shizuo Shinoda accidentally scratched some markings on a road with his tractor and realized that it was possible to create music depending on the depth and spacing of the grooves.

In 2007, the Hokkaido National Institute of Industrial Research, which had previously worked on a system using infrared and lights to detect dangerous roads, created Melody Road using Shizuo Shinoda's discovery.


Asphalt depth is 3mm-6mm paving on road surface, width is 6mm to 24mm. It is recommended to walk at a speed of 40km to hear the music well, its speed will depend on your speed. A blogger also recommends driving along these glass-enclosed roads, to hear the music better.

Where to find melody roads?

In Japan there are many Melody Roads, only in Gunma there are 6. Let's see in this table below:

ProvinceCityYearstretch (mt)Melody
HokkaidoShibetsu2004565mShiretoko Ryojō
HokkaidoHokuto Murayama2015250mAkatonbo, red dragonfly
HokkaidoHokuto Murayama2015317mĪmondanafurusatoha
HokkaidoShibetsu2010700mMusical road test
FukushimaOnuma-gun Kanayama-cho2014278mCountry Road
NaganoChino2008210mScarborough Fair
ShigaOtsu2009610mBiwako travel song.
OkinawaNago2012340mFutami Jowa
HiroshimaSera-cho2009513mTotoro's walk
GunmaKusatsu 300mKusatsu Onsen
GunmaTsumagoi2010 Montanha Neve Canção de Louvor
GunmaTakasaki, Lake Haruna2008280mLago Tranquilo
GunmaMaebashi2010 Tulipa
GunmaNumata Shirasawa
HiroshimaAkitakata2014270mExcerpt from Kagura-demon
IshikawaNanao - Anamizu20151200mMaresora ~ rare Zola ~
octaTaketa2007 Kojo no Tsuki
EhimeIkata2011430mmikan'no hanasa kuoka

The streets that play music around the world

There are many other Melody Roads around the world. In 2019 Hungary had its first musical road in memory of the death of Cipő (vocalist of the band Republic) on Road 67.

In Anyang, Gyeonggi, South Korea, Singing Road was designed to help drivers stay alert and awake, as 68% of traffic accidents in South Korea are caused by inattentive and asleep drivers.

In the netherlands a music track was removed because drivers did not pass at the proper and recommended speed causing the music to play in a bad key, disturbing the whole neighborhood which ended the songs on the road.

The same thing happened in the USA on K Avenue in Lancaster, California. It seems that only the Japanese can appreciate classical music being played by car tires. How did these two countries succumb to neighborhood nausea?

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Videos of streets playing music

Finally, let's leave some videos showing the musical roads. I hope you enjoyed the article, if you liked it share and leave your comments. Have you ever had the chance to pass on one of these roads? I already passed Gunma.

The first video shows how roads make sound with different vehicles including bicycles, rollerblades and wheelchairs. The other videos show some roads spread across Japan.

YouTube video
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YouTube video

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