The Japan Meteorological Agency said the 6.8-magnitude quake struck 10 kilometers below the sea surface off the coast of Fukushima at 4:22 a.m. The quake shook buildings in Tokyo, about 250 kilometers southwest of the epicenter.
A 20-centimeter tsunami reached the coast of Ishinomaki Ayukawa and Ofunato, about 50 minutes after the quake. Smaller waves were observed at several other locations along the coast. Changes to the shoreline were not visible on television footage of NHK public broadcaster.
In Fukushima, a 68-year-old woman fell down the stairs and broke her leg, according to the prefectural police. No damage was reported.
Eight towns devastated by the tsunami three years ago, including Rikuzentakata, Higashi Matsushima and Otsuchi, issued evacuation advisories to thousands of households along the northern coast, along with schools and community centers.
All tsunami and evacuation advisories were lifted about two hours after the quake.
The stricken Fukushima Daiichi and two other nuclear power plants, along with other nuclear facilities along the coast, found no abnormalities, and their reactors and fuel storage pools are being cooled safely, according to the Nuclear Regulation Authority.
Tokyo Electric Power Co, which operates the Fukushima Daiichi plant, has instructed plant workers on night duty along the coast to retreat to higher grounds.