I've been through a couple of earthquakes before. Usually, though, I wasn't quite sure it was an earthquake until the news or the USGS confirmed it. Last night (or this morning, actually, 0007 to be exact), Ant had just crawled into bed. We heard the windows squeak, then the bed lurched. I thought, at first, that it was Ant moving in Bed, but then the bed continued to shake for a good 30 seconds. This was the first earthquake that I've experienced that I KNEW was an earthquake, right from the start.
This is where the earthquake's epicenter occurred. It was 5.5 on the R/S, right across the bay from where we live in Misawa, Aomori prefecture.