A severe storm over northern Japan dumped more than 22 inches of snow by Thursday evening and another 40 inches could fall before the storm is over, forecasters said.
Some isolated mountain areas in the northern part of Honshu, the island that Tokyo is on, could get twice that, they said.
Even some parts of the normally temperate Kanto plain, the area around Tokyo, could get up to 20 inches of snowfall, the Central Meteorological Agency said.
A National Police Agency spokesman said there were no reports of significant damage or injuries from the latest snowfall, although by late Thursday, seven stretches of freeway in various parts of northern Honshu had been closed down because of deep snow.
Television footage from Hokkaido, the northernmost of the four main islands, showed local residents struggling to remove deep snow from their heavy tile roofs, which put a strain on the structures even without the extra weight.