A severe snow storm warning has been issued in the Japanese capital, Tokyo, with residents urged to stay indoors.
Correspondents say it is the first such warning for the city in 13 years.
Hundreds of flights have been cancelled, roads closed and some train services suspended.
Local media has reported that at least 43 people have been injured because of snow-related accidents. Up to 27cm (11in) of snow fell in Tokyo between 06:00 and 23:00 (21:00 and 15:00 GMT).
Snow will continue into Sunday for northern parts of Honshu and Hokkaido, accompanied by strong winds, says BBC Weather Meteorologist Matt Taylor.
Weather forecasters have warned that with a rapidly developing low pressure front heading towards eastern Japan, more snow can be expected.
Last year parts of northern Japan had as much as 5.5m (18ft) of snow - a record-breaking amount that caused buildings to collapse under its immense weight.