The All Blacks face a stormy start to their World Cup campaign as they fly into the aftermath of one of the strongest typhoons to hit the Tokyo area in recent years.
Heavy rain awaits the team, which departed on Monday morning on an 11-hour flight to Japan despite concerns of Typhoon Faxai hammering parts of Japan.
The All Blacks are expected to land in Tokyo about 4pm local time before heading to their team camp base.
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The typhoon slammed ashore in the city of Chiba, just east of Tokyo, a little before dawn, bringing record-breaking winds, stinging rain and raised rivers before heading out to sea.
It's wind gusts were measured at 207km/h, the strongest ever recorded there, national broadcaster NHK said, adding Faxai was the strongest storm in the Tokyo area in several years.
The storm had headed out to sea by midmorning, but authorities warned that heavy rains were likely to continue for some hours, including in Fukushima, the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.
While the All Blacks flight went ahead, Australia's World Cup preparations weren't so fortunate.
The Wallabies' flight out of Sydney on Sunday night was cancelled due to the ferocious winds. They're expected to fly on out Monday, however this will delay their arrival at their staging camp in Odawara, which is around an hour and 20 minutes' drive south-west of Tokyo.
Japanese authorities are now bracing for the clean-up in the typhoon's wake, with reports of damage to buildings and infrastructure.
Some minor landslides occurred and a bridge was washed away, while as many as 930,000 houses lost power at one point, NHK said, including the entire city of Kamogawa.
"I've never seen a situation like this, the whole city without power," an official told NHK.
Metal signs were torn from the sides of buildings, trucks overturned, the metal roof of a gas station torn off and glass display cases destroyed, scattering sidewalks with broken glass.
Trees were uprooted throughout the metropolitan area, some falling on train tracks to further snarl transportation.
Some 2,000 people were ordered to evacuate because of the danger of landslides, NHK said, but there were no immediate reports of major damage.
Around four to five typhoons make landfall in Japan every year, but it is unusual for them to do so near Tokyo.
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Reuters / Newshub.