Heavy snow fell on central and western Japan early Saturday as the Meteorological Agency warned of more to come through Sunday.
By midday, as cold air blanketed a large chunk of Honshu, more than 80 cm of snow had blanketed Kuzuryu, Fukui Prefecture, and Wayata, Hiroshima Prefecture, the Meteorological Agency said.
In Shikoku, two men were found in critical condition the same morning in Yoshinogawa, Tokushima Prefecture, after they abandoned their vehicle in deep snow, according to local police.
Nearly 70 cm of snow was recorded in the town of Shirakawa in Gifu. In another part of the mountainous prefecture, deep snow caused vehicles to become stranded on an expressway, and the road had to be closed for several hours.
Up to 80 cm of snow is expected to fall through Sunday morning over a wide area of Honshu facing the Sea of Japan, the agency warned.