A strong wintry pressure pattern caused heavy snowfall Thursday on the Sea of Japan coast, especially in the Hokuriku region.
The Meteorological Agency issued advisories for traffic disruptions and possible avalanches.
Some areas in Aomori, Niigata and Tottori prefectures had more than 2 meters of snow as of 9 a.m., 1.5 to 3.3 times the average. Other mountainous regions in eastern and central Japan recorded more than 50 cm of snow in the 24 hours through Thursday morning.
Snowfall of up to 50 cm was expected in northern Japan and the Hokuriku region in the 24 hours through Friday morning, and up to 20 to 30 cm in other areas, according to the agency.