More than 100 people are believed to be dead after record rainfall caused flooding and landslides in western Japan, a government spokesman says.
Dozens more are reported to be missing and electricity supplies have been hit.
Since July 5, parts of western Japan have received three times the usual rainfall for the whole of July. Two million people have been ordered to evacuate as rivers burst their banks.
On July 9, rescuers restarted their search through the mud for any survivors or the bodies of those killed.
An official in Okayama prefecture told AFP that water levels were gradually receding and that emergency teams may be able to access the worst-hit areas on foot.
The heavy rains began with a typhoon last week that was followed by days of record-breaking torrential rain.
In the town of Motoyama, on Shikoku island, 23in of rain fell between July 6 and July 7.
Many buildings have collapsed and vast areas have been covered in debris and thick mud.
Kumano is in the Hiroshima prefecture where most of the deaths have occurred.
Meanwhile, Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe has canceled a trip to Belgium, France, Saudi Arabia and Egypt following the floods.
On July 8, Shinzo Abe said that rescuers were “working against time” and increased the number of personnel deployed to help with the response to more than 70,000.
He told reporters: “There are still many people missing and others in need of help.”
Flood warnings are still in effect for some of the worst hit areas, including in Okayama prefecture.
However, more settled weather is expected over the next few days which is likely to help with the rescue effort.