Ireland racked up seven tries to demolish Japan 50-22 on Saturday in the second of their three-match summer tour.
It was a brutal reality check for the Asian champions as Joe Schmidt’s new-look side produced a clinical performance despite the lingering effects of jet-lag and blazing heat in Shizuoka on the Pacific coast.
With the bulk of Ireland’s usual starting line-up in New Zealand on duty with the British and Irish Lions, a fresh crop of hungry young players tore into the hosts from the start.
Keith Earls burst clear to score Ireland’s first try after just 10 minutes and, with Heiichiro Ito sin-binned, Dan Leavy barged over twice before Jack Conan also crossed as the tourists had a 31-3 lead at half-time.
The Irish, who thrashed the United States 55-19 in New Jersey last weekend, added further tries through Conan, Garry Ringrose and Earls again after the break.
Fly-half Paddy Jackson slotted 13 points on six-for-six kicking.
Japan’s “Brave Blossoms”, who ground out a 33-21 home win over Romania last week, looked short of ideas in a dress rehearsal for the 2019 World Cup, when they will face Ireland in the pool stage as tournament hosts.
Despite encouraging signs in the second half, late consolation tries from Kenki Fukuoka and Yutaka Nagare failed to paper over the cracks.
Japan get another shot at the Irish in Tokyo next week.