A powerful typhoon bringing heavy rain and strong winds was expected to make landfall in western Japan later Tuesday, the weather agency said, as flights were cancelled and evacuations advised.
The typhoon, located east of Japan's southern Tanegashima island shortly before noon (0300 GMT), was moving north-northeast at the speed of 50 kilometres (30 miles) per hour, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
The typhoon, named Guchol -- meaning "turmeric" in a Micronesian language, -- packing winds of up to 180 kilometres per hour, is expected to move over the main island of Honshu through Wednesday morning, the agency said.
The town of Nachikatsuura, some 400 kilometres southwest of Tokyo, issued an evacuation advisory to more than 1,600 residents, warning of the danger of landslides brought on by heavy rain, public broadcaster NHK said.
It was not known how many had heeded the advice.
Airlines have cancelled around 200 domestic flights so far because of the strong winds, NHK said.