While parts of the northeastern United States were getting buried by more than three feet (or around a meter) of snow this week, the high terrain of Japan dealt with about twice that much. Extreme snowfall totaling seven feet (or about two meters) in spots snarled travel and buried roadways, trapping more than 1,000 motorists on a clogged highway overnight Thursday. Drivers were encouraged to remain in their vehicles during the debacle, some forced to melt snow for drinking water.

Several all-time snowfall records had been set as of Friday, with 7.1 feet (2.2 meters) falling on the city of Fujiwara in three days’ time. Fujiwara is in Gunma prefecture, a mountain region northwest of Tokyo. A number of ski resorts are located nearby.