While Monday's clearer weather allowed rescuers to target the more than 60 people still unaccounted for, food and water are in short supply in some of the more remote affected areas.
Hopes of finding survivors were fading on Tuesday as rescue workers carried out house-to-house searches after days of deadly floods and landslides that have claimed at least156 lives in Japan's worst weather-related disaster for decades.
Elderly people are rescued on boat as the city is flooded following heavy rain in Kurashiki city, Okayama prefecture, southwestern Japan.
The devastation in Kumano in Hiroshima Prefecture. Many people started to return and check on their homes and begin cleanup after the rain stopped Monday.
The government has set up a taskforce to speed up deliveries of supplies and other support for evacuation centres and residents in the region, but disrupted roads and other ground transportation have delayed shipment, raising concerns of shortages.
(Reuters/Issei Kato) A auto is submerged at a flooded area in Mabi.
"My wife could not climb up the stairs, and nobody else was around to help us out", Katayama told national broadcaster NHK.More news: Trump savors big reveal for Supreme Court pick
In Kurashiki, 2,310 people have been rescued by authorities and the search still continues.
Assessment of the casualties was slowed by the scale of the area affected.
While persistent rain had ended, officials warned of sudden showers and thunderstorms as well as more landslides on steep mountainsides saturated over the weekend.
Some homes were smashed, while others were tilting precariously. At least 155 people have died and 50 remain missing from landslides and overflowing rivers that have engulfed towns and neighborhoods.
Thousands of people have evacuated their homes.
Several dozen Mihara residents ventured down from shelters on Sunday to inspect the damage to their homes in the Hongo district of the city, where many locals are rice farmers.
Residents sheltering at the Yano school were provided with water, blankets and cellphone chargers.More news: Henderson hopeful on fitness for World Cup semi-final
Ryutaro Hirakawa, 18, said he fled his house after smelling a odd odour coming from the ground, a sign of a landslide.
"I had wanted my daughter to wear it", Fukuda said, her eyes filling with tears.
Among the missing was a nine-year-old boy believed trapped in his house by a landslide. "In front of our house had become a river, and was making a huge noise", he said.
On Monday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe cancelled a four-stop foreign trip as the death toll rose, and his office said he would visit Okayama on Wednesday.
The government has mobilized 75,000 troops and emergency workers and almost 80 helicopters for the search and rescue effort, Suga said.
An official said 170 patients and workers had been evacuated from the hospital and another 130 people, including 70 patients, were waiting to be rescued.More news: Plane crashes outside South Africa’s Pretoria, at least 19 injured