Super typhoon Neoguri was barrelling toward Japan's southernmost Okinawa islands on Monday, packing violent winds and torrential rain as the national weather agency warned residents to stay in their homes.
Gusts of up to 270 kilometres per hour (160 miles per hour) were expected to hit the subtropical island chain early Tuesday and possibly mainland Japan by Wednesday, the agency said.
On Monday morning, the typhoon was about 300 kilometres south of Okinawa, with weather officials warning of a possible evacuation order for the archipelago.
"Please be vigilant, stay inside buildings and avoid working outside and making unnecessary trips," a meteorological agency official said at a press briefing.
The official warned that the storm could pack "record level" winds and generate high waves.
"It is likely to come closest to Okinawa Tuesday morning, generating violent gales and high waves... and, in some areas, violent rains," he said."Please be ready to evacuate before heavy rains begin to fall."
The storm, which could affect an area with a 500 kilometre radius, was expected to be downgraded by the time it hit the Japanese mainland.