Local authorities in Japan have issued evacuation orders as a powerful typhoon moved towards western areas recently devastated by floods and landslides.

Typhoon Jongdari, packing winds of up to 180km/h, is forecast to make landfall on the country's main island tonight or early tomorrow morning, according to Japan's Meteorological Agency.

TV footage showed high waves smashing onto rocks and seawalls on the coastline in Shimoda, southwest of Tokyo, and trees buffeted by strong winds and heavy rain.

The storm is expected to move towards the western Chugoku region tomorrow, where record rainfall earlier this month unleashed flooding and landslides, killing around 220 people and leaving more than 4,000 survivors still living in temporary shelters.

The weather agency warned of heavy rain, landslides, strong winds and high waves, and urged people to consider early evacuation.

The western city of Shobara in Hiroshima prefecture issued an evacuation order to some 36,400 residents as a precautionary measure, officials said.

TV footage showed workers and residents hurriedly piling up sand bags to build temporary barriers against potential floods.

More than 370 domestic flights have been cancelled so far because of Typhoon Jongdari, while ferry services connecting Tokyo with nearby islands were also cancelled due to high waves, news reports said.

The flooding in the Chugoku region was Japan's worst weather-related disaster in decades, and many residents of affected areas are still living in shelters or damaged homes.

Officials are particularly cautious after the deadly downpours because many people did not heed evacuation orders and became trapped. Some critics said the orders were issued too late.

Japan is now in typhoon season, and is regularly struck by major storm systems during the summer and autumn.