The 6.6 magnitude quake struck at 7.07pm BST (3.07am Thursday local time) at a depth of 33.4km, collapsing walls and shaking buildings.
The quake was located 17 miles (27.3km) east of Tomakomai, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
USGS said it was also centered 40.3 miles (64.8km) south-east of the island’s capital Sapporo, home to 1.8 million people.
No tsunami threat has been issued, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, although there may be some slight changes in sea levels around Japanese coastlines.
The US Consulate General Sapporo tweeted: “Large portions of Hokkaido remain without power and local authorities urge drivers to exercise caution at intersections, as traffic signals may be affected.”
Worried residents shared their experience of the earth moving with one Twitter user writing: “Just woke up to a pretty damn big earthquake in Sapporo.
“I’ve been through quite a few before and I’m shaking like a leaf right now. In fact, we’re getting an aftershock right now…”
Where is Hokkaido?
The quake was located in the southwestern tip of Hokkaido, Japan’s most northern isle in its archipelago.
Like all of Japan, Hokkaido is seismically active sitting on the Ring of Fire, which is responsible for 90 percent of the world’s earthquakes.
A 8.3 magnitude earthquake struck the island on September 25, 2003, causing extensive damage and landslides.
Hokkaido is a mountainous region with several active volcanoes.
But hikers and skiers regularly flock there to enjoy the wildlife and nature of its vast national parks and stunning lakes.
Japan’s citizens have only largely settled in the region within the last 100 years due to its rugged terrain and huge size.
Much of the population lives by the sea.
Noboriso official Kenji Yamamoto told Japanese broadcaster NHK there were no reports of any deaths or injuries.
Video reports showed a brick wall collapsed and broken glass in a home.
The Foreign Office website has not updated its advice following the quake.
However, it does give general advice warning of earthquake threats.
The website states: “You should familiarise yourself with safety procedures in the event of an earthquake or tsunami and take note of instructions in hotel rooms, at train stations and on your local prefectural website.”