It was also felt in the capital Tokyo, some 250km away.
The epicentre of the earthquake, which struck at 7.23pm local time, was off the coast of Fukushima prefecture and measured at a depth of 50km, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
There were no were immediate reports of damage, and no tsunami alert was issued.
Public broadcaster NHK TV reported that utility companies were checking on the nuclear reactors in the area.
In 2011, a massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear accident in Fukushima.
At least 15,000 people were killed in that earthquake and tsunami, and the nuclear disaster was the worst since the 1986 Chernobyl reactor disaster.
Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world’s most seismically active areas. Japan accounts for about 20 per cent of the world’s earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.
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