The magnitude was estimated at 5.7 by the American Institute of Geophysics (USGS).
In Tokyo, buildings have moved for about half a minute, according to AFP journalists.
According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the earthquake, whose epicenter was about 10 km deep in Tochigi Prefecture (north of Tokyo), occurred at 4:23 p.m. (7:23 GMT).
According to the public broadcaster NHK, no damage or abnormalities were found in nuclear power plants near the epicenter. Several high-speed trains have been arrested, but rail traffic has resumed normally shortly thereafter, said on television.
The quake, which was preceded by a " warning "on all televisions, was felt on almost a third of the Japanese view of the map distributed by the Meteorological Agency.
No tsunami warning has been launched.
" It has shaken vertically for at least ten seconds., but nothing fell from shelves and windows were not broken. reported no fire either, we prepare to patrol the city , "he told the AFP by telephone Takayuki Fukuda, a fire department official from the tourist town of Nikko.
The last major earthquake occurred on 7 December: a magnitude of 7.3, it shook the northeast of Japan and was strongly felt to Tokyo, hundreds of kilometers south of the epicenter .
An earthquake measuring 6.9 according to the American Institute of Geophysics (ISGS) was also rocked the northern island of Hokkaido February 2, without causing damage to nuclear facilities in the region.