Transportation across Japan affected by cold and snowy weather

Heavy snow and strong winds are disrupting domestic flights and other transportation systems in many parts of Japan.

As of 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Japan Airlines had canceled 177 flights and All Nippon Airways had called off 111. These flights were mainly to and from airports in areas along the Sea of Japan coast.

Other carriers have also canceled flights. Airlines say more cancellations are possible. They are calling on passengers to check for updates on their websites.

The snowy conditions have also been affecting bullet train services.

East Japan Railway Company says it will suspend operations between Fukushima and Shinjo stations on the Yamagata Shinkansen line throughout Wednesday.

The operator also says there are delays on the Tohoku, Joetsu, Akita and Hokuriku Shinkansen lines.

The Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen is experiencing delays as trains are running slower in some sections.

Expressways have been closed in many areas from the Tohoku to the Kyushu regions. Road operators say more sections may be shut.

The transport ministry says national roads may be closed for snow removal depending on weather conditions.

Drivers are being urged to avoid non-essential journeys when heavy snow is expected and to keep an eye on weather and traffic conditions. They are also advised to use winter tires or carry snow chains.