Japan's Meteorological Agency is warning that heavy snow is forecast over wide areas during the New Year holidays.
The agency said on Monday that a powerful winter pressure system will bring heavy snow all along the Sea of Japan coast, from Hokkaido to Kyushu, between Wednesday and Saturday.
Snow is also forecast in flat areas along the Pacific coast.
The agency urges people to watch out for snow falling from roofs, power outages and falling trees. It also warns that water pipes could freeze in regions where this doesn't normally occur.
Agency officials are calling on people to finish preparing for heavy snow by Tuesday, and advising them to check real-time snowfall data on the agency's website.
The agency and the transport ministry also jointly issued on Monday an emergency announcement warning that vehicles could get stranded.
Drivers are urged to refrain from making non-essential outings, and to make sure that their vehicles are equipped with winter tires or snow chains.
The announcement also says that depending on weather conditions, snow chains may become mandatory on some expressways and national routes.