Areas along the coast of the Sea of Japan were forecast to see heavy snowfall for several more days due to a bitterly cold air mass spreading to western Japan.
At daybreak on December 23 in Kochi, the rain turned to snow. A record 14 centimeters of snow had fallen as of 8 a.m. according to the Kochi local meteorological observatory.
It urged residents not to make any unnecessary outings for the day.
Streetcar operations had to be suspended in some parts of the city.
Passers-by helped the rider of a bike that fell due to the snow, while others helped push a car that could not get a grip on the slippery road.
The city was expected to have more snow by the evening.
In Tokushima, the neighboring prefecture of the same name, the 24 hour snowfall reached 10 cm as of 10 a.m. on Dec. 23, the most since the Tokushima local meteorological observatory began collecting such data in 2013.
The season's first snow was recorded in Osaka in the predawn hours of December 23, nine days earlier than last winter.
The first snow of the season occurred on the night of December 22 in Kobe and Nara.
On December 23, the Kanazawa local meteorological observatory in Ishikawa Prefecture issued a special alert for heavy snow at 8: 16 a.m.
After the snowfall fell over six hours, it urged residents to be vigilant until the 20 cm mark is reached at 8 a.m. More snow is forecast in the city in the coming days.
The forecasts of 24 hour snowfall until 6 a.m. on December 24 showed that the Hokuriku region can expect 100 cm while the Tohoku, Tokai and Chugoku regions will likely face 70 cm.
Officials forecast 60 cm for the Hokkaido and Kinki region, 50 cm for the Shikoku region, 40 cm for the northern Kyushu region, 30 cm for the Kanto and Koshin regions and 20 cm for the southern Kyushu region.
Snow will continue for many parts of Japan on December 25th, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.