The first tremor hit at 14.46 local time as people were going about their everyday business in the capital Tokyo.
Eric Delattre was at his job as an IT director when the quake hit.
He spoke to euronews via SKYPE:
“There was a feeling when the quake first hit that something was happening and it grew in intensity we said ‘What’s going on?’ Something bad, something major is happening, we all hoped everything would turn out OK.
“We have a case in the office with a helmet, a little water, some food a blanket we put on our helmets and regrouped outside. There was no panic, even though there were many people in the streets everyone was calm.
“The tsunami warning came immediately, it was very efficient. Just after the initial, very strong, tremor, just before leaving the office, I saw on the internet the tsunami alerts.
“Colleagues of mine told me it was the biggest quake to hit Tokyo, they’re still making checks, but things are returning to normal. Life goes on, people are on the streets talking, everything is calm, there is no feeling of general panic.”