A strong winter pressure pattern brought a dumping of heavy snow to many areas across Japan and dropped temperatures to their most frigid levels on record.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said its staff observed the first snow of the season in Tokyo on January 24 at 8 p.m. but it came about a month later than expected.
The snow arrived 21 days later than an average year and 29 days later than last winter.
Three locations had record-low temperatures as of 5 a.m. on January 25, according to the agency.
The mercury plunged to minus 9 degrees in Kosa, Niigata Prefecture, while the temperature in Matsuhama, Niigata Prefecture, reached minus 5.6 degrees, as well as minus 3.1 degrees at Chubu Centrair International Airport in Aichi Prefecture.
The maximum snowfall over a 12 hour period hit 74 centimeters in Kaminagata, Okayama Prefecture, 46 cm in Sugadaira, Nagano Prefecture, 6 cm in Wakayama and 4 cm in Kobe as of 5 a.m. on January 25.
Snow in Tsuyama, Okayama Prefecture, measured a record 44 cm deep, while it was 11 cm deep in Tsu, Mie Prefecture, a record high for January.
Snowfall is expected to continue on the Sea of Japan side from western Japan to northern Japan until January 26.
There is a chance of heavy snowfall on the Pacific side.
The JMA has forecast snowfall of up to 80 cm in the Tohoku region, 60 cm in Hokkaido and the Hokuriku region, 50 cm in the Kanto-Koshin and Kinki regions, 40 cm in the Tokai region and 30 cm in the Chugoku region over the 24 hour period until 6 a.m. on January 26.