Japan is bracing for a powerful typhoon which is now carving a path towards Japan's southern Pacific coast, the weather agency here said Monday, warning that the typhoon could make landfall on Tuesday and be the most powerful typhoon to hit Japan in 25 years.
The typhoon, the 21st of the season, is striking the area of the country that is home to Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe.
The storm was bearing down on western Japan and set to make landfall on Shikoku, the smallest main island, before raking across the western part of the largest main island, Honshu, and Osaka, the nation's second-largest city, later on Tuesday.
Arriving on land, Jebi had winds of up to 162 kilometres per hour at its centre, classing it a "very strong" typhoon, the weather agency's chief forecaster Ryuta Kurora told AFP.
"Rainstorms will likely intensify suddenly as the typhoon is approaching while picking up speed", the official said, warning people to prepare for evacuations and not go outside unless absolutely necessary.
Television footage showed waves pounding the coastline amid warnings of high tides later in the day.
Around 87mm of rain drenched some areas in an hour on Tuesday morning, with as much as 500mm set to fall in the 24 hours to Wednesday morning.
The Shinkansen bullet train was operating on a reduced schedule and Universal Studios Japan, a popular amusement park near Osaka, was closed.
More than 700 flights were cancelled, including several global flights departing and arriving at Nagoya and Osaka, along with ferries, local train services and some bullet train lines.
Japan on Alert as Deadly Storm to Hit, 600 Flights Cancelled.
Sub-urban trains and high-speed railways, such as the one covering the Osaka-Hiroshima route, were suspended indefinitely.
Japan is bracing for flooding and landslides after what could be the strongest typhoon to hit the country in a quarter of a century made landfall on Tuesday.
It's possible it may end up close to the parts of Japan where more than 200 people were killed in heavy rains and flooding in July.