Dozens of houses in Wajima were badly damaged by the 7.1-magnitude quake.
Many buildings collapsed completely, like this one, photographed by BBC News website user Clive Cotterell.
Roads were badly twisted and warped by the moving earth.
The quake shook Ishikawa prefecture mid-way through Sunday morning, startling people awake and wrecking homes and businesses.
Those who emerged unscathed from the quake ventured out to look at the after-effects.
Many have been forced to seek sanctuary at evacuation centres in the area.