On Jan 25, 2023, policemen used shovels to try and break ice on the streets of Kyoto after heavy snow and strong winds affected wide areas of the country. FRED MERY AFP TOKYO - Heavy snow blanketed wide areas of Japan on Wednesday, snarling traffic, forcing hundreds of flight cancellations and disrupting train travel, leaving at least one person dead.
Snow falling and strong winds are blowing across Japan from Tuesday due to an unusually cold weather front and extreme low pressure systems.
Snow was particularly heavy on the side of the nation facing the Sea of Japan with the city of Maniwa in western Japan hitting a record 93 cm in the 24 hours to 8: 00 am 2300 GMT on Wednesday.
One person had died as a result of the storm, and two other deaths were being investigated as related to the storm as of Wednesday morning, chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told a news conference. There were no more details available immediately.
ALSO READ: More than 100 Japan flights were canceled due to heavy snowfall.
ANA and Japan Airlines cancelled more than 300 flights, while bullet train services in northern Japan were suspended or delayed, according to media reports.
On a highway in central Japan, cars and trucks were unable to move in the snow over a distance of about 10 km, according to the public broadcaster NHK.
On January 24, 2023, people cross the street as it snows in the city of Toyama, Toyama Prefecture on the central-western coast of Japan, as parts of the country prepare for a severe winter storm. STR JIJI Press AFP - Some 3,000 people were stranded at two train stations in the western city of Kyoto after snow and high winds forced service to be suspended on Tuesday, with some passengers forced to sleep on the floor at Kyoto's main station.
Some of the others had to hike through the snow to reach a station where shelter had been arranged, with 15 trains between stations suspended in some cases from late on Tuesday to the early hours of Wednesday.
The sinking of a Hong Kong-registered cargo ship between western Japan and South Korea's Jeju island may have been caused by strong winds connected to the storm.
Thirteen of the 22 crew members had been rescued by noon on Wednesday and the search was continuing.
The bitter weather is expected to continue through Thursday.