A man removes snow from a sidewalk in Aomorii on Tuesday. Photo: KYODO

Heavy snow warnings issued for parts of Japan; flights canceled


A wide area of Japan is bracing for more heavy snow and strong winds Wednesday as the coldest air of this winter stays over the archipelago, with authorities warning of traffic disruptions due to frozen roads and high waves.

The weather agency forecast subzero temperatures in many locations from the northernmost island of Hokkaido to the Kyushu region in the southwest on Wednesday morning, with the mercury expected to drop to minus 3 C in Tokyo and minus 2 C in Osaka.

Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways plan to cancel more than 200 flights Wednesday and JR East will suspend bullet train service between Fukushima and Shinjo on the Yamagata Shinkansen Line in the northeastern Tohoku region throughout the day.

As the strong winter patterns are expected to hold through Thursday, some parts of the country could see their lowest temperatures in a decade, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

Low-pressure systems near Hokkaido are bringing the coldest air of this winter, making atmospheric conditions extremely unstable, the agency said.

A cold air mass with temperatures at minus 42 C or lower is staying some 5,000 meters above areas of northern and eastern Japan, while another with temperatures of minus 36 C or lower has been observed over the west.

In the 24 hours through 6 p.m. Wednesday, some spots of the Hokuriku region in central Japan could see up to 90 centimeters of snowfall, while there may be up to 80 cm of snow in the Tohoku region.

Winds could reach up to 126 kilometers per hour in areas across the country, the agency said.

On Tuesday, snowfall was observed in central Tokyo for the first time this season, while Fukuoka and Kagoshima, both in the Kyushu region, also saw snowfall as temperatures dipped below zero.

JAL and ANA canceled more than 200 flights on Tuesday, impacting more than 8,000 people.

In western Japan, JR West's Sanyo Shinkansen service was suspended between Shin-Osaka and Okayama on Tuesday night due to a snow-related technical problem.

Snowfall topped 30 cm within three hours in Maniwa, Okayama Prefecture, logging a record in the city, while Otari, Nagano Prefecture, saw more than 40 cm of snow.


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Sunny but windy here in East Osaka at 4.30pm

4 ( +6 / -2 )

tamanegiToday  04:28 pm JST

Sunny but windy here in East Osaka at 4.30pm

Clouding over in NW Osaka, so we might get a bit of snow early this evening. Fingers crossed.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

leading to a possibility of snowfall in Tokyo and Osaka, the agency said.

And yet the agency shows no chance of snow in Tokyo in its forecast over the next week. Strange.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Rough sledding for the homeless.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Just got SUPER windy here in Minato, Tokyo!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

A friend from Aomori sends us beautiful snowscapes. The homeless will suffer tonight. Hyogo we have a powerful wind and snow. Shutters closed for the night. Hope we don't lose power.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@ Patrick, I was just thinking the same thing! Crazy windy, right out of the blue!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Here in rural Kyoto we have blizzard conditions, the worse I have seen in 20 years

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Heavy snow this evening Kochi, all my shopping and essentials have been delivered.

It is the freeze overnight that could become treacherous under foot.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Watch the waterpipes. We open a tap to a slow drip.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Just cold and windy here in in Hachimanyama Setagaya

3 ( +4 / -1 )

At least the weather in the winter is wintry;as it should be.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Blizzard conditions here in Toyama. Digging the car out in the morning won’t be fun

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I’d be taking the day off tomorrow if my area was heavily snowed on but there’ll be people trying to ignore the conditions and running into problems

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

We are in a wind and heavy rain advisory for two days

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

… and here I was thinking that Tokyo would be all white from today… ( -_- ); … maybe from tomorrow or Thursday…; I wanna see some snow…

(stay safe, everyone!)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

...not only flights, but trains have stopped, and highways are closed. Not bc of heavy snow, but more as a "precaution", but esp with the trains this is becoming more of a "not in my backyard" mentality I got the feeling. Meaning they don't want to deal with stress of delayments, short-notice changes etc, and just close up everything, no matter how much more inconvenient it gets for all regular users.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Been out with one of my chums, double plus fun. Very chilly and a few snowflakes. Nothing o worry about for us Osaka chaps.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Nothing o worry about for us Osaka chaps.

As long as you don't need to take a train of course. Everything except the Loop Line has either shut down completely or has been massively delayed, the status map is a blinking christmas tree. On the Tozai line, some trains have been sitting between stations for more than an hour, with people inside.

2 ( +2 / -0 )


Took the subway train after I met him and my friend earlier landed at Kansai and took Nankai to Namba with no issues.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Welcome snow!!!..

Come to Tokyo, make me happy!!!..

Japan has the best winter in the world!!!..

-6 ( +1 / -7 )


you got lucky then, Nankai is now also completely shut down. Not that it matters much after midnight, but tomorrow morning will be a proper mess.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan has the best winter in the world!!!..

For me, I could only say that in reference to Okinawa.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Precisely why I have a ticket to Thailand and not Japan.

See you in July on the beach in Okinawa

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Wintry weather is hitting North America big time too. Stay safe, everyone.

2 ( +2 / -0 )


Tomorrow will just be travelling by subway, expect that will all be working.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Thank GOD I decided to leave the motorcycle and commute by car yesterday.

8pm and I witnessed multiple mini tornadoes wreaking havoc in Tokyo roads, every muscle focused on keeping the car under control. Everyone was doing 20km/h while crossing a big bridge, just crazy

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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