This eerie footage captures a tsunami arriving in Japan after a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck.

The powerful quake rocked the nation just before 6am local time on Tuesday, generating a tsunami that is set to hit the same region devastated by a nuclear disaster in 2011.

The tremor, which was felt in Tokyo, had a magnitude of 7.4 and was centred off the coast at a depth of about 6 miles.

A tsunami of up to 1.4 metres had been observed around Sendai, about 45 miles north of Fukushima.

And this footage was tweeted by TV director Jeronimo in Tagajo, a city nearby.

Television footage showed ships moving out to sea from harbours as tsunami warning signals wailed, after warnings of waves of up to 3 metres were issued.

"We saw high waves but nothing that went over the tidal barriers," a man in the city of Iwaki told NTV television network.

All Japan’s nuclear power plants on the coast threatened by the tsunami are shut down in the wake of the March 2011 disaster, which knocked out Tokyo Electric Power Co’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, spilling radiation into the air and sea.

A spokeswoman for Tokyo Electric Power, known as Tepco, said the cooling system for a storage pool for spent nuclear fuel at the reactor at its Fukushima Daini Plant had been halted.

A spokesman said the cooling system had restarted soon after.

No other damage from the quake has been confirmed at any of its power plants, although there have been blackouts in some areas, the spokeswoman said.

Only two reactors are operating in Japan, both in the southwest. Even when in shutdown, nuclear plants need cooling systems operating to keep spent fuel cool.

Tohoku Electric Power Co said there was no damage to its Onagawa nuclear plant, while the Kyodo news agency reported there were no irregularities at the Tokai Daini nuclear plant in Ibaraki prefecture.

One woman suffered cuts to her head from falling dishes, Kyodo news agency reported, citing fire department officials.

Japanese Minister for Disaster Management Jun Matsumoto told reporters about three hours after the quake that there had been no reports of significant injuries so far.