At least eight people were killed and more than 200 were injured as a severe winter storm hit coastal regions along the Sea of Japan.
The local media reported that many people died while clearing snow during heavy snowfall in the north and central areas of the country.
The body of a man in his 60s was found from a car buried by snow in the city of Himi, Kyodo News reported.
Most of the injuries were reported in the prefectures of Niigata, Ishikawa, Fukui and Toyama.
About 1,000 vehicles were stuck on a snowy highway in Sakai city, while another 200 cars were stranded on a highway in heavy snow in the city of Nanto.
About 180 centimeters of snow has fallen on the city of Joetsu since Thursday, while 160 centimeters on Shirakawa village.
In December, heavy snow pounded Niigata, leaving more than 2,000 vehicles stranded for two days on a snowy highway in the prefecture, north-west of Tokyo.