The warning was issued Thursday at 9:31 HST p.m. Sirens were sounded about 30 minutes later in Honolulu alerting people in coastal areas to evacuate, and the first waves were expected to arrive at 2:55 a.m. local time Friday.
About 70 percent of Hawaii's population resides in Honolulu, and as many as 100,000 tourists are in the city on any given day
In the Philippines, officials ordered an evacuation of coastal communities along the country's eastern seaboard in expectation of a tsunami following the 8.9-magnitude earthquake in Japan.
Disaster management officials in Albay province southeast of Manila say they ordered residents to move to designated evacuation sites that are at least 15 feet (5 meters) above sea level.
In Guam, authorities advised people to evacuate low areas of the U.S. territory and seek ground higher than 50 feet above sea level and 100 feet inland.
The Northern Mariana Islands, another U.S. territory, was also under the warning, and the Hyatt Regency in Saipan has moved guests to three highest floors of the seven-story hotel.
Hotel spokesman Luis Villagomez said the hotel had received about three tsunami warnings in the last year but no serious damage.
Tsunami warnings are issued due to the imminent threat of a tsunami. The coast of North America is not included in the warning.