Donald Trump flew in aboard the Marine One helicopter for a round of golf at Japan’s Mobara Country Club with prime minister Shinzo Abe.
Mr Abe is the US president’s closest friend among world leaders and it was the fifth time they had played golf together since Mr Trump took office.
The Tokyo leader’s strategy is to keep his country out of Mr Trump’s crosshairs amid US-Japan trade tensions and the continued threat North Korea poses to both nations.
Later in the day, Mr Abe will introduce Mr Trump to Japan’s ancient sport of sumo wrestling.
The president will sit ringside at a championship match in Tokyo featuring the oversized athletes.
He will also present the winner with his own President’s Cup trophy.
The leaders will also venture into Tokyo for a dinner double date with their wives.
A motorcade of golf carts ferried Mr Abe to meet Mr Trump when he arrived at the club.
They exchanged a warm handshake, patted each other on the forearms and posed for a throng of journalists.
Mr Abe wore white trousers and a dark blue sport coat, while Mr Trump wore a red half-zip pullover with a white shirt and dark trousers.
Japanese television later broadcast aerial footage of Mr Trump swinging his club on the course.
They were joined by Japanese professional golfer Isao Aoki, who is famous for his putting technique.
Aoki was expected to present Mr Trump with a putter he designed.
Great fun and meeting with Prime Minister @AbeShinzo. Numerous Japanese officials told me that the Democrats would rather see the United States fail than see me or the Republican Party succeed – Death Wish!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2019
Mr Trump tweeted that he was “Going to play golf right now with @AbeShinzo. Japan loves the game.”
Mr Abe told reporters as he left for Mobara that Sunday’s weather was great for golf and “it seems we are in a good mood for sumo”.
He later tweeted a selfie photo of him and Mr Trump, smiling widely on the greens.