An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.4 jolted central Japan on Sunday, but there was no danger of tsunami, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
The quake hit at 12:19 p.m. local time and was centered about 200 miles southwest of Tokyo, at a depth of about six miles, the USGS said.
Japan sits atop four tectonic plates and is one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries. The last major quake to hit the capital, Tokyo, killed some 142,000 people in 1923, and experts say the capital has a 90 percent chance of suffering a major quake in the next 50 years.
In October 2004, a magnitude-6.8 earthquake hit northern Japan, killing 40 people and damaging more than 6,000 homes. It was the deadliest to hit Japan since 1995, when a magnitude-7.2 quake killed 6,433 people in the western city of Kobe.
Powerful quakes in 1703, 1782, 1812 and 1855 also caused vast damage in the capital.