Strong winds and snow buffeted much of the nation on Wednesday, mainly along the Sea of Japan, as a fully developed low-pressure system stalled over waters east of Hokkaido.
The Japan Meteorological Agency called for people to remain alert for blizzards, heavy snow, strong winds and high waves until Thursday.
It also snowed in some areas on the Pacific side of the Japanese archipelago, including in the central city of Nagoya where on Wednesday from 7 a.m. some 9 centimeters of snow fell in just one hour.
According to Central Japan Railway Co., or JR Tokai, snow forced its Tokaido Shinkansen bullet trains to run slower than usual on a section between Hamamatsu and Shin-Osaka, causing delays of up to 74 minutes and affecting 110,000 travelers as of 11:30 a.m.
West Japan Railway Co., or JR West, also operated its Sanyo Shinkansen bullet trains at reduced speeds in some areas due to snowfall.
At Chubu airport in Aichi Prefecture, two international flights bound for Seoul and the Chinese city of Tianjin and six domestic flights to destinations including Sapporo and Kyushu were canceled, the airport operator said.
In Sado, in the central prefecture of Niigata, a wind burst with a speed of 29.9 meters per second was recorded around 10:25 a.m.
Snowfall in the 24 hours through 10 a.m. reached 92 cm in the Hokkaido town of Engaru and 57 cm in the city of Gujo in Gifu Prefecture.
From Hokkaido to the Chugoku western region, wind speeds of 30 to 35 meters per second and wave heights of 6 to 7 meters are expected until Thursday.
In the city of Nakatsugawa in Gifu Prefecture, two people in a light truck sustained minor injuries when they collided with an oncoming snowplow, police said.
For the 24 hours to 6 a.m. Thursday, snowfall is seen reaching 80 cm in Hokkaido and the Hokuriku central region; 60 cm in regions of Tohoku and the Kanto-Koshin central-eastern region; 50 cm in the Kinki western region; 40 cm in the Tokai region and 35 cm in the Chugoku region.