I’m planning to drive from Nagoya to Nagano via Matsumoto. The plan is to go all the way to stay overnight in Yudanaka before returning to Nagano for a day visit. How are the road conditions? Will there be a lot of snow / ice on the roads?
And if I depart from Takayama via Matsumoto, will it be more difficult? Which route do you recommend? At the end of my trip, I am also thinking to go to Shirakawa-go light-up but not sure of the road conditions.
Your advice will be highly appreciated.
Japan is currently experiencing a cold front with heavy snowfall, so if you will be driving in the next few days you may face snowy/icy road conditions. If you travel from Nagoya, you will be taking the expressway for the majority of journey, which tends to be better-maintained than local roads. While driving from Takayama may be a shorter journey, I believe the roads from Nagoya will be easier to drive.
Regarding Shirakawa-go, I don’t know much about road conditions in Gifu Prefecture, but it looks like you can get there by taking the Takayama Kiyomi toll road followed by the Tokai Hokuriku expressway, which should be relatively snow-free. You may want to check Gifu Prefecture’s Official Tourism website for more information.
Let me know if I can help with anything else.