Though measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale, the police said there were no fatalities from the earthquake which centred around Miyagi, about 300 kilometers north of Tokyo.
Two people were buried in a landslide in the town of Kanancho but were soon rescued.
Authorities said heavy rains preceding the quake heightened the risk of more landslides.
Affecting a wide swathe in northeast Japan, the tremor snapped power supplies to about 130,000 homes and halted train services.
One train carrying about 10 people was derailed but no injuries were reported.
“There was a really huge shake... I didn't know what was going on. Now the house is a mess”
“There was a really huge shake,” a local resident said. “I didn't know what was going on. Now the house is a mess,” she added.
Fortunately though, the quake did no damage either to the Onagawa nuclear power plant in Miyagi or to the nuclear plants in nearby Fukushima.
Miyagi had been struck by an earthquake earlier on May 26.
“Based on what happened on May 26, I think we can expect the damage to be about the same or a little more,” Japanese minister of disaster management, Yoshitada Konoike said.
Japan sits atop the junction of at least three tectonic plates, the slabs on the earth’s surface whose movements cause earthquakes.
It is rocked by tremors periodically, the worst in recent years being the one that struck Kobe eight years ago, killing more than 6000 people.