According to the US Geological Survey, a magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck off the coast of Miyagi Friday.
That prompted authorities to issue a tsunami warning shortly after and residents in Miyagi prefecture were advised to get to higher ground.
Officials confirmed that a one metre high tsunami swept ashore in Ishinomaki, but no major damage or serious injuries were reported.
Buildings and skyscrapers in Tokyo, which was more than 450 km away from the epicentre, also trembled for several minutes.
The West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center assured there was no tsunami danger for British Columbia, Alaska, Washington state, Oregon and California.
Friday's quake struck the same region that was devastated by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. In this disaster, 19,000 people died or were missing and the nuclear Fukushima Dai-Ichi was heavily damaged.
With files from The Canadian Press