Is it feasible to drive from Nagano to Shirakawago in mid-January? I would prefer to have the flexibility, but I have limited experience driving in snow.
Driving to Shirakawago from Nagano is certainly possible. If you are uncomfortable driving in snowy conditions, then I recommend taking the expressway, as it is least likely to be covered in snow. If leaving from Nagano City, you would take the Joshin’etsu Expressway, then Hokuriku Expressway, and finally the Tokai-Hokuriku Expressway to reach Shirakawago. It would take about 3.5 hours.
You may want to contact Gifu’s tourism department regarding road conditions around Shirakawago.
I hope that helps.