Heavy snow is falling across parts of north and western Japan during the coldest winter since 1946.
The snow season came early this year. Weather forecasters say it has broken all records and is set to continue for another week.
Many communities have been blanketed by the relentless snow. In some areas two-storey houses have been completely engulfed.
Soldiers have been called in to clear roads and routes in mountainous regions of the country.
At least 63 people have died as a direct result of the extreme weather, many falling as they tried to shift snow from their rooftops.